Whoever thought having the race near Valentine’s Day—I’m curious the rationale. After spending time away from my wife to train, I’m going to disrupt the annual romantic-for-no-reason-besides-a-random-date-on-the-calendar celebration to be in fighting form for the race?
The day before the race was Valentine’s Day, but more importantly, the twins went to sleep early for the first time in a long time. Sure, I could have called it a night early. Instead Vanessa and I talked—something that isn’t as simple as it used to be since there’s almost one of the five kids needs some type of attention or something else needed to keep the household running.
To keep the story short, we talked for a few hours and had a glass of champaign. Perfect pre-race preparation.
After sleeping through my alarm and waking up 45 minutes before the starting gun, somehow all things in the world were on my side. Drove straight to a free (both in terms of price and availability) parking spot near 3rd and Red River and able to make it to the starting line in time for the National Anthem.
Happy to be there in time, I simply stayed where I flowed into the starting group, without regard to pace group. The starting gun went off and started the 13.1-mile run.
Notably, I saw more medical intervention needed during this race than any other race I’ve ran (5 or so half-marathons, a full, and dozens of shorter races). Medics on motorcycles were treating people on the side of the course. The EMS off-road vehicles were transporting runners. The weather conditions weren’t noteworthy. Perhaps I wasn’t the only one who had champaign the night before.
The race was hard. I had been training regularly until the end of November when the twins were born. With the NICU stay and trying to get everything at home going, I simply stopped training. Including this run, my runs since a Thanksgiving Day gravy run-off have been three half-marathons and an 10k. Nothing else. As you can imagine, seeing Austin Beerworks about a mile from the finish line serving small cups a beer was a welcomed sight.
When Vanessa and I ran the full marathon in 2008, we had heard of a beer stop toward of the end of the race. We were, um, slow during that race and either we had incorrect information, or they gave up on us1. We never got our in-race beer.
Between being a mental break, a slight pain reliever, a break from the same ole’ beer, and knowing I could finally say I’ve had a beer during a run, it put a bit of fire into my step for the final mile.
All in all, a fine race.
- They probably gave up on us. Even the last water stop was just tables with cups of water on them with no one giving them out. Amazingly, there was still over an hour left before the course closed. ↩