My trainer says my “peak” workouts are almost done. Tonight’s workout took about 2 hours and included running up and down hills (actually an overpass) and a gym workout. I’m beat. But, I’m starting to feel a lot stronger. In fact, I got a second wind going up the 8th hill tonight. That was encouraging since the Austin Half Marathon will be very hilly.
I was checking my account on Athlinks.com to see my half marathon times in the past. Athlinks.com is an awesome site where you can compile all of your race times since race results started being published on the internet. I found my race results from 2000 when I first got on the site a couple of years ago. I had forgotten about some of those races. I also thought I had run my first half marathon in 2003 a lot faster than I actually did. I thought I had finished in 2 hours 18 minutes, but my real finish time was 2 hours 27 minutes 44 seconds. I had actually beat that time in Austin in 2009 on a much hillier course, and, of course, I was 6 years older. I’ve been even faster since I started incorporating walk breaks into my runs. And, I generally do pretty well on hills. My Personal Record is 2:23 in the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville two years ago….my toughest race ever!
The Austin Half Marathon that I’ll be running February 17 will be my 15th half marathon. I had to look it up because I don’t count them, but I think I’m going to start keeping count. It’s obviously something I’ll keep doing. I really love that distance. It’s challenging but it doesn’t take up so much of my life and energy during the training process that I can’t live my life and do the other things that I need to do.
I love this Austin race. I love Austin, period. Austin is the home of the original Whole Foods Market. It’s downtown, and it is fabulous! I love shopping there. I’ve never had a bad meal in Austin, and it is a very health conscious city, so there are all kinds of vegetarian, macrobiotic, healthy tex mex and unique food offerings. I’ll be there this year for 3 full days. That should be plenty of time to sample some great meals. In fact, my friend and trainer Jessica tells me the food trucks are to die for, and, apparently there’s some cupcake one that we’re already planning to visit.
I’ll be staying with Jessica, and this will be the first time I’ve visited with a real, live tour guide. I’ve been once on vacation with my ex and once for the Austin Half Marathon with my sister, Susan. They actually have a nude beach in Austin called Hippie Hollow. My ex and I went there and did a little skinny dipping. It wasn’t all that crazy. It was a beautiful lake with lots of little inlets and private places to swim. The only other bathers we saw were men walking to and from the lake and a group of about 15 people hanging out (literally) at a spot on the way out. It was just something unique we had to do.
So, I guess I’m ready for this one…I still have a couple of my longest runs today, but Jessica, aka the “bitch”, has assured me that the harder weekday workouts are history after tonight’s. I’m glad because it’s just hard to get my energy up for those after working all day, and they are most nights so I get fatigued by the end of the week. I love the long runs because they are on the weekends, and I just enjoy running long. I get all the endorphins going, my dog is with me, and we just enjoy the journey. Right now, it’s three weeks away and counting. I’m already starting to look for a half marathon in March in driving distance to keep me motivated and in shape. Any ideas?