Monday, February 22, 2010

Race Report

HELLO ALL!!! I want to give a HUUUGE THANK YOU to everyone who donated to Blue Dog Rescue in support of me at the Austin Half Marathon. We raised $500 to help keep the rescued dogs alive! You all made a big difference, THANK YOU!
We had a great Austin morning. The weather was in the 40's as the gun went off to start the race. We made our way up South Congress for 3 miles before heading back down across to Cesar Chavez. I was feeling comfortable at 6:30 mile pace for the first part of the race. I was paced by one of my old Gazelle training partners for the first 3 miles. I have to admit he has an unfair advantage, long legged strides. He makes it look effortless! I pushed a little through the corridor of spectators cheering as I turned onto Cesar Chavez. I told myself not to let the adrenaline rush get the best of me, but some times experience and smarts gives way to the bodies urge to hit the gas pedal. As we made our way on to Lake Austin Blvd. I was having tightness in my left hip/glute that was affecting my stride and pace. I started to struggle a bit, but I found a kid decked out in a Naval Academy running outfit to pace with. Yes, he inspired me to hang on through the discomfort. At the same time we had a younger female come from behind, out of know where it seems like, and pass us. I decided that I would do whatever it took to keep her within 100 meters. Now comes the fun part, the last 3-4 miles of the Half Marathon are mostly uphill. This stretch of the race really got me last year, so I put extra miles training in the Northwest hills. If you live in that area you have probably driven up my running buddies Ladera Norte, Smokey Valley, and Far West Blvd. We made the turn onto Enfield and the kid from the Naval Academy split to keep on the full marathon. We exchanged some motivation grunts and kept on pace. I headed under Mopac to see that I was gaining on the young female that had passed me earlier. Was I running faster or was she running slower? My body was feeling better and with only 3 miles to the finish, I decided to reel her in. I made my push up the steep section of Enfield thanks to some motivational cheering from OTEF clients. I passed her at the top. I could tell she was in difficulty, so I made another push and she didn't follow. I was firing on all cylinders. I passed a couple other people and linked up with an older gentlemen as we made our way through the capital. I kicked again as we began the downhill home stretch to the finish. I dropped him with about 400 meters to go. Wow, What a GREAT experience. I finished 40 seconds faster than last year plus we ran for the pups of Blue Dog Rescue. It was a very rewarding experience. THANK YOU again to all who supported me and donated to Blue Dog Rescue. Keep running, Trainer Todd

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