Race Review: Austin 3M Half Marathon

So about that half marathon I ran on Sunday.


If you read yesterday’s post, you know I did some kick ass preparation for this race. That preparation included no PRP (<— anyone remember that one?) the day before or the day of the race, so I was pretty sure I was doomed.

I woke up at 5:00am, had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, stuffed another PB&J in my sports bra for the race (now dubbed “boob food” by Brad), and decided to bring my Camelbak out from its year and a half long hibernation (half water/half Powerade Zero).

Melissa, Brad, and I left for the race around 6:00pm, parked about a block from the race, and sat in the car with the heat on until the last minute. We made our way to the corral about 15 minutes before the start.



I tried to get Melissa and Brad to snuggle with me for warmth but they insisted on dropping me off at my pace marker so they could get to their own. Rude. So, I stood and froze for about 10 minutes before the race started with no one to snuggle (it was about 40°F).

Oh, I also decided to bring my Garmin. I know I said I was going to leave it home but Melissa kinda talked me into bringing it. I figured if anything, I could use it to keep from starting out too fast.


I decided to start the race conservatively and see how it went from there because I was not in the mood for another crap race like last week. (I don’t normally post my mile times, but I want to look back on this for the next potential PR race.)

  • Mile 1: 10:02
  • Mile 2: 9:39
  • Mile 3: 9:37
  • Mile 4: 9:20

I kicked on some music at mile 2 and was feeling pretty good (i.e. no stomach issues and I didn’t feel like poking my eyes out with a fork). I mean, the course wasn’t much to look at but the weather was perfect for running and sometimes that’s all you need.


The course had some rolling hills but was mostly net downhill.

  • Mile 5: 9:14
  • Mile 6: 9:24
  • Mile 7: 9:06

At mile 7, I got a little misty because I was still feeling so good. I’ve never felt that good during a race before. Then I reminded myself how lame it is to cry at mile 7 and pulled it together like a champ. Around this time is where races usually start going downhill for me and where music starts getting annoying and I have to turn it off. So I was really appreciating it.

  • Mile 8: 9:12
  • Mile 9: 9:24
  • Mile 10: 9:09

Mile 10 went by and I still wasn’t tired. At all. So I tried to push the speed a little more because I really thought I had a chance at a sub-2 at this point.

I was a little worried about mile 8.9 – 10.4. According to the elevation chart, it was all uphill but I didn’t even notice it. It was mile 12 that was a real bitch.


Once I saw mile 12 in person, I was not amused.


(By the way, both those course pictures were taken while running with the new camera I got for Christmas. I think those are the first non-blurry race pics I’ve ever taken.)

I knew I had to speed up if I was going to sub-2 and I really tried to sprint that thing, but damn, it was steep. Somewhere during mile 12, I knew the sub-2 wasn’t happening so I changed my goal to a PR (anything below 2:02:41).

  • Mile 11: 8:56
  • Mile 12: 9:05
  • Mile 13: 8:54

I really tried. But it didn’t happen. Finish time: 2:03:20…40 seconds short. Man, so close.


After the race, I collected my medal and a woman came up to me and thanked me for pacing her. (!)

Who? Me? A pacer? BAD ASS. <—- coolest moment of the race

I circled back past the finish and waited for Melissa and Brad to come in. I was freezing at this point so I was never so happy to see them run down the finish chute.

Brad got a 30 minute PR!



So, this wasn’t a scenic race and I didn’t PR, but it was still the best half I’ve ever run. I ran it 15 minutes faster than my race last week, five minutes faster than my race last month, and it’s my second fastest half marathon.  My PR race was in March 2011, so I have been waiting a long time to come close to that again.

While I would have loved to sub-2 or PR and I keep thinking, “if I wasn’t so conservative at the beginning, I would have had it,” I’m not disappointed in my time because this is the only race where I felt amazing during every mile. I never got tired, I never walked or stopped at a water station, and I never fueled because I felt like I had so much energy the whole time. Awesome.

This was also a point-to-point race, which I’ve never done before, and they are now my absolute favorite.

After the race, we stopped at Kerby Lane Cafe for brunch. I had a chocolate coffee to fat warm up.




We waited 45 minutes for a table, but it was worth it. This hot mess is an English muffin with scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado, and a vat of queso on top. Delicious.


The three of us also shared three different flavors of pancakes (gingerbread, pumpkin, and peanut butter banana with Nutella) since I had to try them all. And really, it’s all about me.


The pumpkin won the taste-off. Oh, and when I say we “shared” those pancakes, I mean I ate most of them because Melissa and Brad were too full.

Psh. Like too full is a thing.

I had an amazing trip. Thank you Melissa and Brad for being awesome hosts and to Melissa for letting me wear all her clothes, eat all her food, and use all her bathroom products because JetBlue decided my luggage was better off in Orlando.


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27 responses to “Race Review: Austin 3M Half Marathon

  1. Congrats Lady! You deserve an awesome race! I bet the temps helped. I always felt better during a measly 5k when it was colder out. And, what a wonderful hostess to let you use all her things!!!! So, was your luggage at MCO when you got home? Geez.

  2. Genelle

    Awesome for kicking butt at the Austin half! I live about 4 hours south of Austin and would’ve loved to run that race. Props to awesome hosts and I hope you eventually got your luggage back?

  3. What an awesome race you had! I’m so happy for you! Sub 2 is so close!
    And good lord! No PRP is like a major cause of anxiety!!
    Hope you got your luggage back. I hate when that happens.

  4. Deb

    so, what do you contribute your high energy and overall good results to? I’m always looking for some tips!

  5. You might have to go back to Austin and run that one again – with ME in tow. Yay for a great race!!

  6. Awesome! Congrats on a great-feeling half. That is so important…the feeling good part, that is. I am speaking from the perspective a 51 year old woman with arthritic feet who is in pain pretty much from mile 3 on and your pace looks amaze-balls to me! (I who am happy to run 11:00 miles without having to stop, take off my shoes and rub my poor feet) You rock! Keep enjoying the journey. 🙂

  7. CathyJ

    How awesome! I loved your race recap. I’m hoping for a PR this weekend at the Disneyland Tinkerbell…. I’ll keep your experience in mind as a motivator…

  8. Congratulations on a great race Paula! So, so close to your PR!

  9. So glad you had such a great race! Way to kick that last hill’s butt!

  10. One more reason to love Austin – an almost PR! Yeay for a great race! Even with that ugly hill at mile 12, your mile splits still look amazeballs! This has just made me decide that I must run 3M next year no matter what!*

  11. Swede Lena

    I wouldn’t stress about going out too conservative… What if you didn’t and then couldn’t kick that uphill mile 12 the way you did? I think you planned and ran it perfectly. Now if the course had been flat and fast, you’d gone close or under 2:00 for sure. Great Job!

  12. I was thinking about skipping my run tonight and having an evening of R&R in front of the TV. After reading your post I am DYING to get outside and run! And I WANT to do some speedwork tonight. Your recap is such an inspiration for me to fight for that half PR. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for that!

    I am so happy that you had such a great race! I love it when things just fall into place like that and just click. All the hard work pays off. Whoop, Whoop!!! CONGRATS!

    And myohmy, that breakfast looks divine. You add queso to anything and my mouth begins to water!

  13. Great job, Paula! Congrats on finishing a race and feeling good for every single mile!

  14. Good Job!! 🙂 I always find someone to pace me who has no idea Im following them stalker style on the course. I usually thank them after and then feel like a creeper!

  15. Michelle

    You will have that sub 2 in no time!!!

  16. Pingback: 2013 3M Half Marathon Race RecapMelissa Runs

  17. Hey, Melissa sent me! Nice job even if it wasn’t a PR. At least now you know you can get that PR next time, given that you felt so good! You look a good bit taller than Melissa so wearing her clothes must have been interesting! I’m 5′ 1″ and no-one wants to borrow my clothes! 😉

  18. Pingback: 2013 3M Half Marathon Race Recap

  19. Pingback: What Went Right

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