Thursday, April 5, 2012

CAP10K Recap

A year ago, we ran the Austin Statesman Cap10K.  It was the race that started insanity for me.  It gave me the running event fever that I had never experienced.  I had done plenty of local 5ks and 10ks but they were small scale - no expo, no packet pick up, no pre-registration (you get the picture).  You just basically ran them because they were fundraisers for a cause that you believed in.

But a year ago, we ran the Austin Statesman Cap10K.  Apparently, rumor has it that it is the largest 10K in Texas.  Last year, they had 23,000 participants - 10,000 of those timed and in the 10K.  Being true to the saying "Keep Austin Weird" you have those runners who dress up - tutus are normal, but here you see bananas, M&Ms, Mario Bros, etc running.  It's a hilly, challenging course.  But then, it's Central Texas and in Hill Country, so if you've been running in Central Texas, that's the norm.  It's downtown Austin - which is great - logistically as well as festive wise.

Last year, our time was 1:04:04.  Last year, I had no idea that I would be bobbing and weaving through crowds of runners, looking for porta potties, and had serious RACE FACE (a term my husband refers to when I quit speaking and just continually listen to my race playlist for like an hour before the race).  Apparently, I have a warrior look about me.

This year, we knew what to expect and were ready.  After all, we'd done a couple of half marathons at this point, finished our first full, and a 6 mile run was just a typical Saturday morning run for us.  Nothing to this.  We went into Austin the night before - we love using our run events as a night away.  We stayed downtown Austin - a block from the start line!

This year, we didn't attend the expo - which is okay - seeing as I just tend to spend a lot of money at those things!  We had registered through HEB - our Texas grocery store chain - because our daughter is a checker there and so we got a price break for running.  HEB is also the main sponsor of the event. But because we registered through them, we were sent our race shirts, our bibs, timers, packet, etc.  No need to stand in line and go through the expo!  It really freed up our afternoon (although I do love an excuse to look at new gear).

Being downtown, we enjoyed our Saturday afternoon on a restaurant deck catching some rays, and then checked into the Hotel.  My Perfect Pacer had been having some tight hammie issues all week so he suggested a quick 2 mile shake out run.  After all, we had always wanted to run around Town Lake and this seemed like a great opportunity.  We geared up (the beauty of me always packing extra gear) and walked across the street to Town Lake and joined what seemed like 1000s of others who were either walking, fishing or running the course.  I loved it!!!  We ran a couple of tabatas, and our 2 mile run, ended up bing 6.5!  Oops.

We took a bridge over the Lake and ended up doing a few extra loops, and wound up a lot farther out then we had expected.  I kept asking people if they knew where our street was and no one had a clue.  Apparently, no one from Austin actually runs Town Lakes - all the tourists do!!  But it was great fun!  We took our time, Chris tripped over a huge speed bump at one point (but managed to not fall!) and we enjoyed the sights.

At mile 4, I remembered I had my iPhone on me (how else did i know how far we were going?) and mentioned "hey, I could pull it up on my gps", to which I got that "how come you just thought of that" look from PP.  We realized we were within miles and kept forging ahead.

After cleaning up, we headed out for dinner - running late for our Team Beef dinner, we decided we would just head to our traditional pre-race restaurant - Olive Garden.  Where we enjoyed watching Basketball on the tube, PP had a huge steak and I had my typical 'naked' pasta!  (let's not mention the breadsticks or salad!)  There really is no sense in cargo loading for a 10k race - it's typical mileage for me and so I didn't make any special attempts to increase my carbs or hydration.

The morning of the race, we headed over to the starting line - it's a late start.  9 am.  In Texas.  In March.  Sometimes it is cold.  Sometimes it is hot.  Today, it was going to be toasty.  Sporting our stylish Team Beef apparel, we happened to meet up with a few friends - just by chance, in our corral!

At the start with our local HEB manager!  

Reconnecting with old friends! 
It's a slow walk to the start line and not such a fast start out of the gate!  Apparently, walkers and strollers had jumped a few corrals (they are always supposed to be in the last corrals) and we ended up having to bob and weave out of the shoot!  Lance (our HEB man) hung with us for about 1.5 miles but we ended up losing him (or he lost us).  We managed to find our groove - PP in front, and be just focusing on keeping up.  Several things different this year: 

Perfect Pacer shows off where the beef is - in those guns!! 
  • I knew to get away from the crowd of runners as soon as possible and find my own pace
  • I skipped every other water stop, and barely took any.water.  
  • I looked for my Team Beef cheerleaders at mile 3 - which would tell me - I was half way there
  • I ran every hill - something that I had never been able to do at last year's & really questioned whether I could this year. 
  • I had my GPS yelling out my mileage and pace - keeping me on target for a PR
  • I focused on the PP and at one point, ran past him!  
  • I had plotted my playlist perfectly so when I hit the hard miles, one of my motivational, favorites would play - keeping me going. 
  • I repeatedly told myself "you've got this" instead of "omg, aren't we done yet?".  
Non-impressive guns! 

We crossed - holding hands as usual - and I PRd!!  :00:57:57.  Right where I wanted to be.  We headed over to the HEB tent and feasted on fresh fruit, and Muscle Milk (chocolate of course).  We met up with some of the "young ones" from our local HEB who ran as well!  And PP got his picture taken with the University of Texas Cheerleaders (if A&M would've been there, then it would've been picture perfect!)

for some reason, the blog won't let me post that cheerleader pic, so  you'll just have to settle for our finish pic!


Quite happy with our time (although everyone knows that PP could have finished about 10 minutes faster), we walked around a bit at the finish festivities and then headed back to the hotel.  We cleaned up, loaded the vehicle and headed out for brunch.  PP wanted to check out Thundercloud Subs as they are a huge hit in Austin, but we walked in and were totally unimpressed so we headed out for something more "Austin".  We found this great place with a 2 story deck, live gospel band, and a church service in full swing!  Besides, how can you resist a back lady with open arms?  Seemed perfectly fitting for a sunday morning - so we ordered & headed up to the top deck and took in the sights and sounds of what a Austin street worship was. 

I've always said that running is when I connect the strongest with God so worship after a PR was an awesome way to finish our Cap10K.  

I can't wait for next year's Cap10K - do I dare hope for another PR? 

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