This weekend my friend, Shanna, and I took a quick trip to Austin. I had registered to run the 3M Half Marathon "Downhill to Downtown" and Shanna said she'd come along for the ride. I'm always willing to run a half marathon to get a girls weekend!!
We left Saturday morning just after 8am and stopped in Ft. Worth for an early lunch and made it to Austin by 3:00. We checked in and headed to packet pickup. Shanna had looked and found that out that there is an Athleta store (our favorite store) so we decided to head there. Getting to go to Athleta was a HUGE deal for me. There aren't any stores in OKC. The closest ones are in the DFW area, but we don't go to Dallas hardly ever so I was PUMPED!!! Plus! Rumor had it that if you're a group fitness instructor you get 30% off your purchase (which is TRUE! The first thing I did when I walked in was to ask about that. I had to show my certification and they got me signed up for their program and I get 30% off full priced items for myself. No gifts. And they mean that...they wrote down my sizes to verify that!!) Anyway, when we were driving to Athleta, we passed a Lululemon (I had gotten a GC to there for Christmas and GFI get 15% off there) so we hit up that store as well. I LOVE all of my purchases (as always), but as neither of them are inexpensive stores (Athleta is SLIGHTLY less expensive than Lulu) we had spent all our spending money....and then some =)
The next morning was race morning. I managed to get with a head cold a couple of days before the race. I get to feeling worse and worse throughout the day, so around bedtime every night I was severely questioning being able to run, let alone race. I seriously considered skipping the race altogether. However, in the mornings when I wake up, I haven't been feeling to bad, just really congested and running usually helps with that, so I decided I would run, but that I would run really conservatively in case it became clear that it was just too much for me. Race morning was the same, I was headache free, felt pretty good and was just congested. The course was net downhill and the uphill portions weren't long or very steep grades. I started out slowly and had to keep reigning myself back...I was wanting to run faster. I kept reminding myself that I was only feeling this good because of all the downhills. I was still fully expecting to hit the wall. Mile 6 came and I was still feeling pretty good, and my average pace was conservative, but not too slow. I decided to try to drop my average pace by a few seconds to 9:15 by the time I got to the 10 mile mark. If I couldn't...fine, if I could and I was still feeling good, I was within range to push the last 5K and go for a sub 2 finish. Well, my average pace was 9:13 at the 10 mile marker and I was still feeling strong and I knew that if I could run three 9 minute miles I could squeek in under 2 hours and that felt doable for me. I went for it....and ended up with a bright, shiny new PR of 1:58:31. More than a minute faster than my previous PR (set in March of last year). The 3M course was the fastest I've ever run on and I know that helped me yesterday! The only down side was it was not the most attractive course. It wasn't chosen to show of the neat areas and pretty sights in Austin...it was picked to be a fast course. There was nothing interesting to look at for pretty much the entire race...but that's okay by me!!
After the race Shanna and I ate at Torchy's Tacos (sooooo good. The best meal of the weekend) and then went to Amy's Ice Creams (my new favorite Ice Cream place...they have de-throned my beloved Freddies Frozen Custard. It's now #2). Since we had spent all our money the day before we decided to just head home. The drive home was long and I was definitely not feeling well again, but it was a great quick trip with even better company.
I got home, saw the kids, put them to bed and was asleep myself before 8:30. I was TIRED!!!