Let me start with the elevation profile for this particular event.
On this particular day in 2014, it was 60*F and humid as all get out. I went into this just as my last half marathon last month, treating it as a long run. I didn't really care how long it took me to finish it. The only thing I actually cared about was getting up the hill at mile 12 (see above...ugh) without stopping. Some goal, huh?
So Harry and I arrived the Friday before (you can read my recap of the weekend up to this point here). We woke up early Sunday morning and head toward downtown Austin. I was nervous about parking (not really sure why...I grew up in this town, learned how to drive in this town, and pretty much knew where I was), about finding a spot close enough to the event start. We didn't have a problem finding a spot AT ALL. Most lots were open, pay and free parking. Very convenient. We had just enough time to park, check our bag, and a quick pee break before heading to the start line. I realized while waiting in line that I had forgotten to put on BodyGlide. Grrrrrrrrreat.
Miles 1-3 were hilly. We went up and down and up and down...these rollers were only the warm-up and, knowing the course, I kept my pace super easy and relaxed. This allowed me to enjoy the crowds and gorgeous scenery, and to smile my booty off!
Around mile 8, my tummy started to turn over itself. *le eyeroll* Fine, I figured, I'll take a potty break. After standing for FOUR...STINKING...MINUTES...I was finally the next in line. The door to the port-a-potty opened, and a guy jumped out of it and said to me "I don't know what you're going in there to do, but there isn't any toilet paper," then grabbed a folded towel from the side waistline of his shorts and held it out to me. "You can use this if you want...I don't need it," he said. I looked at him in awe. "Are you sure?!" I couldn't believe someone was this generous, seriously! He assured me and I gave him a big, sweaty hug, and told him thanks and good luck. When I went into the bathroom, it was so disgusting. Many people had almost made it unusable. There was poo everywhere. :\ I had no other choice here, though. I needed to go and get done with this run. I got my business done and got back out on the road.
Miles 9-12 I knew what was coming. I held back as much as I could. At this point, I started taking Gatorade, swishing it in my mouth, then spitting out the majority of it. I have never trained with it, and I certainly didn't want to have to spend another five minutes going to the bathroom again. I took water immediately after. I kept my pace very, very easy, though it stated to feel very tiring. The hills and rollers were back again, and it really took a lot to run past people who were walking. I started seeing people on the sides of the road, holding onto what I can assume as cramping calves. Right before the hill here, I saw a lady down, not moving, and surrounded by several EMTs. Yikes.
Side note: They made it a point to have more water tables out this day, since the weather was pretty warm and very humid. People were warned before the start of the race about the conditions, and that they needed to stay hydrated.
Mile 12-13.1 TOUGH. Just tough. There are still many rollers to deal with toward the end. You don't really catch a glimpse of
Harry and I found each other at the bag check area, then hit up this coffee shop for breaky tacos and caffeine. We started heading to the car when we saw more people down after the finisher's area. One lady was getting an IV by a medical professional just as we were walking past. It was kind of disturbing.
We got back to the car and head over to the hotel to shower up and check out, then hit up our favorite post-Austin Half Marathon race noms spot: County Line BBQ (off 2222).
We devoured everything. We somehow got our tooshies up to Mount Bonnell to find some rocks for Sophia, and so I could reminisce of my younger days. Ahhhhh...home. <3
We spent a bit of time here before we had to get to the airport...
...to come back to the Chi to this. It snowed about eight inches the very next day. Ppppppppp!
At least I have this to keep me warm and to remember of those couple of days in February of 2014 where I could run outside in shorts. :)