Love the race shirt - it has the route map and shows lots of things Austin is known for - among them, bats under the Ann B. Richards Congress Ave. Bridge, being the state capital, food trucks, RUNNING, and music. It's a technical shirt, too - sweet!
Yesterday I, along with over 14,300 other people, ran the Statesman Cap10K race in Austin, Texas. This was the 38th year for this, the largest 10K race in Texas, and boy, was it ever popular! We turned it into a getaway weekend for the race and had a great time with some of our JFR Crew - Cristy, Cary and Brian.
Even though we weren't running on Saturday, we woke up early enough to get our Blue Baker fix for breakfast before making the nearly two hour drive to Austin. I know for some readers that would put them in another state, but nope - we just made it to the next biggest city! We went to the expo first, to get our race packets, and were pleasantly surprised by all the goodies:
Nice plastic-coated grocery bag, provided by HEB, a race sponsor. I use these bags when I grocery shop (coincidentally at HEB) and love them, so I was really happy to get two new ones! Technical race shirt, hot/cold ice pack, coupon for free Whataburger (such a Texas thing, lol), Clif bar, and wildflower seeds. Cary told me later that the intent was for the seeds to be sprinkled along the trail at Lady Bird lake (The Trail Foundation was this year's race beneficiary), but we'll just sprinkle them in our backyard and call it good.
The expo wasn't huge, and wasn't crowded when we were there, but the vendors were pretty interesting and we had a good time checking everything out. Jeff and I bought some race clothes:
Windbreaker for him, pullover for me.
We also bought the black insulated bottle for Jeff to use as his coffee thermos:
I was able to get a couple tubes of Nuun Kona Cola, which I like but can't find locally. That purchase gave me a free Texas edition Nuun water bottle, woohoo! The purple bottle was a freebie from a probiotic company.
After the expo, we had a quick lunch at Whole Foods (you know we were in the big city when there's a Whole Foods around), and then we went to Ikea...again, big city. After that we checked into our hotel and took a nap before meeting the JFR Crew (plus Cary and Cristy's mom) at Tuk Tuk Thai, where we had noodle dishes for our pre-race dinner. The food was so good! I'd like to go back there and be a little more adventurous with my meal, but that wouldn't have been a good idea before the race. We made plans for where to park and meet the next morning (TxDOT Riverside - free parking!), and then called it a night.
Race day! I have to say, after the luxury of staying so close to the starting line in Houston, I was a little nervous at having to drive in, especially with so many people converging on the same small area. We left our hotel at 5:50 am and were parked by 6:10, which gave us time for a quick nap in the car. The race started at 8:00 am, but our corrals weren't scheduled to start until 8:30 am, so we had plenty of time to find the porta-potties (which ended up being right around the corner from where we parked) and then take some pictures:
Jeff, me, Cary, Brian, and Cristy - ready to JFR!
So the weather. Thunderstorms had been predicted all week for race day, and the organizers said that while the race would go on it if was just raining, there was a possibility that it might be cancelled if lightening was occuring. We prepared for the rain as best we could (i.e. we are all wearing hats to keep the rain off of our faces, and there was a lot of Body Glide and/or 2Toms used to prevent chafing), but really, we were just going to suck it up and run through the rain. Well guess what? No rain! Heavy, misty fog, yes - but no rain, and more importantly, no thunder and lightening. That was a relief!
Waaay back in Corral D. The state capitol building is straight ahead of us. Oh, you can't see it? Neither could we, which was too bad, as it would have been a cool thing to run toward. Oh well, no rain, right??
This guy had no idea I took his picture, but I had to - I loved his shirt!
Cary and I - before. We ran together. She pushed me along and we managed to not die. I'm joking about that, but holy crap, the hills were as bad as I'd feared!
The race started and we finally crossed the starting line at 8:24 am - earlier than expected! We ran 2:1 intervals, and stuck to them for about the first two miles, except when we were on a downhill - those we ran, regardless if we were supposed to or not. But Austin hills are no joke, and the first 2.5 miles were full of them. Going up the hills was brutal, but going down them? A little scary! I was running so fast that I was a little worried about the slick pavement, and hoped I wouldn't slip and fall. My Garmin recorded a 6:42 pace for me on one of the downhills! At least we made up time for the extra walking, right?
The course was really crowded for the entire distance. I've never inadvertently hit so many people in my life by swinging my arms backward (just general running motion, nothing extreme) - it was unavoidable. There were a lot of walkers, so we did a lot of dodging and zipping around people when we were running. There wasn't much room for people to spread out, which contributed to the crowded feeling. And I've never seen so many people wear the race shirt on race day, either! I guess they hadn't heard the "don't wear the race shirt before you earn it" superstition.
We ran and ran, and I kept telling myself that I only had to run for two minutes. That worked for a while, but dang - it was so warm and humid (we were as wet as if it had been raining, truly), and the fact that I haven't run more than three miles at a time was catching up to me. Cary was pushing me along, and we were finally nearing six miles on our Garmins. When we hit six, Cary said no more intervals - we'd just run it in. Well, that was fine, but a short time after that, we hit the six mile marker on the course, ugh. That meant we were running long (I'm sure all of that dodging and weaving we did added to our Garmin distance) - so we ended up running for nearly half a mile with no breaks...I can do that on a normal day, but the hills early on, plus the warm, muggy weather had worn me out. Nevertheless, I kept running, and we finally turned into the finisher's chute, where we saw Jeff and Brian cheering for us, and shortly after we saw Cristy, who took a great picture:
All smiles because we were nearly done!
We crossed the finish line - whew! Our Garmins showed that we covered 6.34 miles (Jeff had 6.33 and Cristy had 6.31); a 10K is 6.2 miles, so we got some bonus running done.
Avg Pace: 13:50
Mile 1: 13:32
Mile 2: 13:58
Mile 3: 14:48 (cluster at the water station here; plus we walked a hill)
Mile 4: 13:41
Mile 5: 13:27
Mile 6: 14:16
The race was as much of an experience as I'd hoped, what with getting to run in downtown Austin, and being part of such a huge tradition (there were lots of runners wearing bibs saying this was their XX number of years running it - we saw a 28 year and a 36 year!). The heavy fog made it so we couldn't see much, unfortunately (like the capitol building - as we got close, we could barely make out the bottom of the building), but overall it was fun (even with those dastardly hills). The only thing that was not great were the water stations - while there were several on the course, they were really crowded and one station (near mile 3) didn't have any cups filled, so we had to wait to get water. Plus, that's all there was - water. No Gatorade or other electrolyte drink...considering how much everyone was sweating from the rough weather, a sports drink should have been offered. We were surprised to not see more people taken out by the heat - we saw two people needing medical aid on the course, but they were both sitting up and whatever the issue, it luckily seemed to be minor.
Cary and I - after. A little red in the face, a lot wet from the misty fog and sweat, but overall, we were looking good!
JFR Crew - Cap10K finishers!
Eggs Francisco - amazing! Scrambled eggs on top of an English muffin, with fresh tomatoes, avocado, and bacon, and then covered with queso. I managed to demolish a lot of this.
Side of gingerbread pancakes. Yep, made it through most of these as well. Plus lots of coffee. I'd say I wish we had a place like this in our town, but it's probably a good thing we don't...or else I'd have to learn some restraint.
All in all, it was a fun weekend spent with good friends, with a little run thrown in as well!