I'm Officially a "Finisher!"

Somebody cue the uber-inspirational theme song that plays in Chariots of Fire because....I officially ran my 1st 1/2 marathon!

Lets just say in the words of Barnie from How I Met Your Mother, it was legen...

LEGENDARY!  The race was legendary!  

I ran 13.1 miles and didn't:
1.  Puke
2.  Get the runner's trots (aka: crap my pants)
3.  Look as hideous and near-death as I did at the Corpus Christi 1/2 Marathon-Relay
(yes, this means I actually touched up my face with a bit of make-up pre-race in order to avoid being confused with a homeless man...if you look at that link, you'll know what fugly really is)
4.  (and most importantly) I DIDN'T DIE!!  


(I thought for sure he might get me as I trudged up one of those massive-o mountains that Austinites like to call "hills" mid-race)

Oh, and I must say, I ran with 2 of my fabulous friends (1 old and 1 new)....Reese's and her best friend from school.  And yes, since it was my first 1/2, Reese's was sweet enough to run with me the....entire...time!

Nitty Gritty
So lets get down to the nitty gritty and give a race review! 

So let me just get this off my chest.  Pre and post-race organization kinda sucked.  That's just all there is to it. There was little to no organization of "corrals" before hand, so everyone pretty much started together.  Towards the end, the flow was nice from finish line, to water, to snacks, but then something happened after picking up a banana...CLUSTER! Between food and exiting the race you were suppose to pick up your t-shirt and pick up your checked bag.  Signs! Large signs pointing people in the right direction would really better facilitate 20,000 exhausted runners in getting their crap so they can get off the streets and go collapse somewhere!

Now...let's move onto the good stuff.

Das Swag
So every runner likes the swag they get when they pick up their race packet!  Even if you claim that "it's all about the race, I don't do it for the t-shirt," we all know you really signed up to run 13.1 effing miles so you can wear your super, duper, sweet-ass running shirt.  Don't lie to yourself people.

So! This is what the fabulous Austin race fairy gave me the day of packet pick-up...

I don't know if you can see it, but there's a SpiBelt in that mix, and Lord knows I'll run any race for a "free" SpiBelt!  Holla!

Oh, and by the way.  If you run Austin next year, arrive at packet pick-up Saturday morning right before the Expo opens and WHAMMY no trouble parking.  If you get there 30 minutes after the Expo opens like my friend Reese's, you my friend, will indeed be stuck in horrendous traffic.  Please spare yourself, and learn from her mistake.

Das Route

Let me just say Austin had a wonderful route that was full of little-dipper hills that I made it through without walking or yelling obscenities.  Not too shabby for a gal who's been training on the flat as your back roads of Corpus Christi for 9 months.  

The 13.1 mile trek through the B-E-A-utiful Austin, Texas started near the grandiose state capitol building...

Then out of no where, the route tempted me with booze as we trolled by 6th street.  I definitely almost ducked-out of the race at the mere thought of ditching the heat and humidity and diving head-first into an ice-cold margarita. Reality sunk in only seconds later and I realized....I don't think bars are open Sunday morning at 7 a.m.?  So I decided to stay the course.

We then crossed over the river, and took a light yog through the low-key South Congress area, or at least I think that's where I was...I tend to completely zone out while running and "wake up" miles later.  

Around mile 7 I was feeling "effin' strong," there was no pain to be had, no shin splints, and no doubt in my mind that I was going to be fine becauseeeee.....the race was almost over....right?  Hmm, I'm not sure how this thought of "the race is almost over" popped into the little thing I call my brain, but it did...and at mile 7.  It didn't quite don on me that I had 6 more miles to go before I could be considered a finisher.  

Once this sad realization sunk in Reese's and I stumbled across this little jewel which boosted my spirits...

(Ma'am, wherever you are, you always have me as a running buddy, because I felt the EXACT same way!)

After passing mile-marker 10, we plowed hard and fast back to the capitol-area. Looking back on the last 3.1 miles of the race, two particular hills stick out in my mind, both which came reallllllly close to ruining my life.

After mile 10 I came across, what I will refer to as, the Hella-Hill. This is also where I stumbled upon a little running lady who chatted with me about this gi-normous hill we were coming up on. Word through the running groups was that it was a legit mountain.  All I kept thinking was WTF?! I didn't sign up to run up a stinkin' mountain! That's why I choose to live and run in TEXAS!!

Well this "mountain" the little running lady was referring to was around mile 12.5 (shown below), and let me just point out that it was terribly gut-wrenching to see the mountain for an entire mile before I had to embark on the climb!

So I didn't think I would have to walk during the race, but the minute I hit an intense incline after running 12 miles...I had a little "come to Jesus talk" with myself and realized I...would....DIE if I ran up this particular hill.  So I did what I thought I wouldn't do during the race....and walked.

If you only knew the ugly UGLY words and phrases that were going through my mind at this point and time....uhhh I shudder to even remember them myself! Oh! And yes, that IS in fact what people call a "love handle."  Reese's is only so good with Photoshop and has yet to master the proper love handle blurring technique.

Finisher say what?
Yes, even though I had to cross the Texas-version of the Himalayas, I actually finished the race! And I must say, I'm proud as hell of my time!


Overall:  6520 (of 10,523)
Sex:  3363 (of 6291 females)
Division:  498 (of 793 20-24 year olds)
Injuries:  One torn sock, and an achy hip (Any suggestions...not for the torn sock?)

So after Reese's and myself sprinted the last 50 yards to the finish line, we were handed a little something I like to call a medal!

Yes, I was super proud of myself for receiving a medal for the first time since junior high (DI-Destination Imagination....yup, huge nerd!)  

Welp, hope you enjoyed the race review, and thanks Reese's for all the great pics, I'm the sharp girl who forgot my camera...whoops! 

I guess that's all folks.


  1. Congratulations on a great race! I can not believe the race organizers put a killer mountain at the end of your race!

  2. Advertising Nurse21.2.11

    Shawn! Thank you! I totally agree about the mondo-hill, what were they thinking?! I just hope no one got a glamor shot of me trudging my booty up that sucker...not...attractive!

  3. The course & conditions for your first half were pretty rough, but you did great! Congrats on surviving the hills and mountains of Austin :)

  4. Advertising Nurse22.2.11

    Gracias Melissa! Hopefully my next one won't be as hilly...hmm, where to run? Decisions. Decisions.

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!! what a huge accomplishment!

  6. That hill looks ridiculous! I am glad you had a good time overall though! Oh and I am excited that you are a HIMYM fan! :)
    Did you watch last nights episode?!


  7. congratulations! Now you need to update your "about me" section! : )

  8. Great job finishing your first half! You did awesome! I just wrote a post praising my favorite new running toy: the SPIbelt...I'm totally jealous you scored one for free :)

  9. Great job! Congrats to you! That course was hella crazy-- the wind! the hills! I walked the half, but it was amaaaazing! And i'm so proud of myself!