2012 LIVESTRONG Austin Half Marathon Race Recap

Sunday morning started with quite an early wakeup call:


Although I went into this race without any time goals, for some reason my stomach was still in knots. I could recite the course to you turn-by-turn from memory and should have had nothing to be worried about.


I picked Carly up at 5:45 and shortly after 6am we were parked in a garage downtown by the finish line. In an effort to stay warm, we stayed in the car until 6:30 and then headed to the start. We decided to hit the restrooms before jumping into our corral.

Easier said than done. There weren’t any port-o-potties visible on either side of the corrals. There seemed to be a ton of runners coming and going from a building to the left of the corrals so we headed in that direction. After we waited in line for a few minutes, a police officer came in shouting it was a public building but not open at the time and we all needed to exit the premises immediately.

I overheard the officer tell someone there were port-o-potties to the left and across the street so off we went. At this point it was 6:50am and clearly we weren’t going to make the 7am start. There were about 9-10 port-o-potties and 5 lines of 50 people each waiting. Needless to say, it took FOREVER.

As the announcer declared “if you are running the half or full marathon, you should have already crossed the starting mat. The 5K is about to start!” we were full out sprinting towards the start, crossing the mat at 7:21am.

Austin HM

Just like San Antonio, if there was anything we did well in this race, it was running positive splits.

Austin HM 2

We didn’t slow down nearly enough, clocking our first mile in 9:47. Not ideal for the first mile of a notoriously hilly race. We pulled in the reins a bit on miles 2 & 3 (10:10 & 10:25), but could tell it was probably too late.

Miles 4-6 (13:25, 11:25, 12:54) were a steady uphill climb so we started incorporating walk breaks. I had a massive cramp which didn’t seem to want to go away, no matter how much I focused on my breathing.

Austin HM 3

We decided to try and make up some time on the downhill stretch of South 1st Street, heading back into downtown. We ticked off miles 7 & 8 in 11:03 and 10:14, respectively.

Mile 9, the Yellow Mile, was nothing short of inspirational. Supporters lined both sides of the course and the road was covered in motivational phrases etched in chalk. Their cheers pushed us along to finish the mile in 11:58.

At this point, our legs were starting to feel fatigued. Earlier the walk breaks would leave me reenergized, able to go back to running at a pretty decent pace. After mile 9 the breaks made me want to walk more and run less. Our pace slowed considerably over the final miles (13:49, 12:48, 12:39. 12:12), which included the beast at mile 12.

Austin HM Enfield Hill

Please excuse these recycled photos from last year’s recap – my running camera had a timely death the day before the race. Lucky for me, the course was exactly the same and recycling was possible.

The course rose 80 feet in less than a 1/4 mile and drained much of what was left of the strength in our legs.

Austin HM Enfield Hill 2

Another recycled photo. Again, I’m sorry.

After this hill, we hit another (not as large) hill on San Jacinto, before making the right onto 11th Street. We started to pick up the pace, exchanged one knowing glance, and let our legs fly.

Austin HM 6

Whoa, check out that heel strike. Nice form, Melissa, nice form.

Austin HM 5

The last portion of our race was a 7:58 pace, 6:16 best pace. A tad faster than I thought I had left in those tired legs!

Austin HM Finish

Official Finish Time 2:34:37, 11:48 pace

It wasn’t a PR for either of us, but not a bad time for a challenging course. We also beat our time from San Antonio, which was a much flatter course.



Another great race put on by LIVESTRONG and I can say with certainty I’ll be back for more next year. I’m thinking 2013 might be the time to conquer the full after completing the half in 2011 & 2012.

We’ll see how crazy I’m feeling come registration time!

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Excellent recap. 2:34 is a very respectable time on this course!

  2. Hills are the devil. I love race descriptions that are “fast and flat” because I’m such a wimp. But it looks like you had a pretty respectable time there! Plus you guys got to run together. I’ve never run a whole race with someone before. I always end up on my own. Boo.

    • I love the fast and flat ones too! Hills are my nemesis. One of these days we’ll end up at the same race together, and I’ll run it with you 🙂

    • So glad you had a wonderful time! Also good to know it’s not just me that gets so sore on the sides of my legs dunirg longer walks. You might have new perspective on the old debate about whether a person is a marathoner (or half marathoner) if they walk instead of run I’m not saying you’re against it just that you have a new experience to inform opinions. I really do believe it’s about completing the distance. I get that elite runners want to keep races small and fast, but it’s WONDERFUL that long enough time limits are making marathons accessible to people at every speed.

  3. oof! those HILLS! proud of you girl! 😀

    • Thanks Courtney! I’d take the 3M course over this one any day 😉

    • I’ve read this post during lumchtine and I felt sorry for you: you looked so forward to this race.But …. I think you did great! You didn’t give up and in my opinion you had a great finishing time. You should be proud of yourself and your next half will be even better than this one.There are so many people, including me, who can’t do this but you did! Congratulations!If you still want those socks I promised you: send me an email with your address and I get them for you!

  4. Great race recap and great race. Urg, the hills! Way to keep going…

  5. Excellent race! I can’t wait to read about your post recovery plan and what you have next on your agneda. You did a great job training for a winter marathon and I admire the fact that you were able to get in any long runs over about 10 miles, given the amount of snow and ice we have had this winter. I would definitely chalk up this marathon as a personal best, if nothing else because achieving such a good time in a February marathon is more than a little amazing and much to be proud of accomplishing. Congratulations!

  6. Pingback: Austin Distance Challenge « Melissa Runs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge