Monday, April 19, 2010

It's about time!

I know, I know - it has been OVER a week since the Cap 10K and I haven't written a thing yet...shame on ME!

I actually need to write about the entire weekend because it was all so amazing! We left home on Friday night and drove to Copperas Cove and stayed in a hotel there because we wanted to go hiking at Colorado Bend State Park then next day - AND we wanted to get there early. Good thinking on our part!

We were up at 5:00 am on Sat. morning, stopped for our coffee and then on to the park. Our main goal was to get there around sunrise and get to Gorman Falls. As you can see by the
pictures we made it!

Sunrise from the trail to Gorman Falls

Our first view of the falls from the top of the trail

The view from the bottom of the trail. Love the rippling pools and small falls.

After hiking to the falls and back we drove down to the park office and paid our day use fees and checked out the park a little - we are already scheduling our next trip - there is so much to see there!

Once we got that done we were off to Austin. We found our hotel with no problem at all and got checked in. It is the same one we stayed in last year for the race, so it was all good...this year we were much more familiar with what was going on!
Then it was off to my sister's house. We always try to visit with them when we come to town - it is amazing how hard it is to get isn't like we live in different states or anything, we just don't ever seem like we have the time. Anyway, she knew we were coming and prepared a WONDERFUL pasta dinner for us, and as luck would have it my niece and her husband were in town from San Angelo so we got to visit with them a bit (and play Wii with my 2 year old Great Nephew). Then my other niece came over and we got to visit with her and my 9 year old Great Niece too! It was a great evening just filled with family and lots of laughter - very relaxing...Thanks Mary!!!

After we got back to the hotel we went down to the hot tub and soaked for a (very) little bit - met some other runners doing the same and talked about this race, past races, and races that we all want to do - that was fun too! All in all - a great day!

Sunday morning was supposed to be bright and sunny - but NOOOOOOOO...we woke up to overcast and almost cold! By the time we walked down to the start line it was misting heavily - not raining, but not just cloudy either...oh well - I was going to run the thing no matter what!

The race started on time - we were in the "red" corral, so we didn't make it to the start line for about 15 minutes or so, but it is OK with the chip timing. Once we hit the start line I started up Garmin and iPod and we were off. The first mile isn't too bad as you run across the bridge and straight to the capitol, and I was pretty pleased with my 9:34 pace. The second mile is pretty close to the same, although there is a small incline as you go around the corner to the back side of the capitol building. I was still clipping along (for me) at a 10:02 pace and feeling fairly comfortable, although I was feeling the residue of the cold I had fought earlier this month... Mile 3, however, is my personal "killer" mile. Not just in this race, but in many of the races I run I seem to hit a small wall at about 2.5 miles - well this race just makes it that much harder by putting the biggest hill of the race right in the middle of this mile!!! Last year I got stuck in a group that stopped dead in front of me to walk and I couldn't get past them so I walked the entire hill - and my legs were still fried at mile 5! This year I made it 1/2 way up the hill and had to stop and walk about 1/4 of the way, then ran the last 1/4 - so it was better....but it cost me a little. My time in this mile was 10:54 (Still under 11:00!) Mile 4 was pretty uneventful - I just ran along enjoying the bands and people lining the streets cheering on the runners and stretched it out in 10:16. Now I'm in the 5th mile and I have convinced myself that I feel so much stronger this year, as I passed milestone after milestone where I had to slow down the year before - and I wasn't anywhere near feeling that bad this year. I pushed on, and this mile went by in 10:13...see - I even got FASTER! I was ready for the last full mile of the race. Last year this is where I pretty much died. There is a smaller hill right about the 1/4 mile mark and I had to walk the entire thing last year. This year I ran it with very little problem. I felt good and fairly strong. I knew I was tiring - but NOTHING like the previous year. I completed the mile at a 10:33 pace - not the best, but so much better than before! Now I was to the point where I could hear the bands at the finish line. I was determined to finish strong, so I tried to pick it up a bit. Now when you run a race like this, your Garmin distance is always a little more than race distance so on Garmin I ran the last .31 miles in 2:51 - that is a 9:20 pace for you non - runner types out there - can you say "sprint to the finish"!!!! I was ecstatic that I took almost exactly 3 minutes off my time from last year. My new time to beat for this race is 1:04:45!

Of course Rick was there waiting for me at the finish - his time was 59:33 - beating his time for last year as well and breaking the 1 hour mark for the second time!

All in all a GREAT experience again. We'll be watching for them to post the sign up for next year's race. This is a well organized race with LOTS of water available - and I am DETERMINED that I WILL make it over the hill without walking next year!!!

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