This past weekend I had the opportunity to run the Spicewood Half Marathon in Spicewood, Texas. I had to stop running pretty quickly after I found out I was pregnant due to some hip issues, so I was determined to get back to running as soon as possible after Annabelle arrived. I knew I wanted to do a race in early December (after football season slowed down) and near Austin so we wouldn't have to leave Belle (I'm so not ready for that yet). After looking around at my options, I decided on the Spicewood half.
Since it was my first race back in the saddle after baby, I liked the idea of starting with a smaller race. Additionally, the pictures of the course looked absolutely beautiful so I was excited to check out the scenery as I ran. Everyone raved about how intimate and beautiful the race was, so I decided I had to sign up. I admit, I was a tad bit nervous about doing a race in the hill country, but a few hills never killed anyone right?
WRONG!!! This was by far the hardest and hilliest race I have EVER done. I know, I know.... what did I expect? It was in the HILL COUNTRY after all. I guess I just assumed there would be a few hills here or there, but it felt like we were running up and down the entire time. Yikes!
The first 2 miles of the race were not too bad at all, a few hills here or there, but pretty similar to my training runs. As we went, the hills started to get steeper and steeper and more frequent. At around mile 5, we came around a corner and I looked up and saw what I thought was "the hill." O-M-G! I shuffled my way to the top and even made myself stop to take a picture of the view and how high we were.
I jogged down, went around another corner, and saw another gigantic hill and thought, "oh crap, what did I get myself into?" It continued on like this until the turn around point. Yep, it was an out and back, so we got to climb those killer hills again going the other way. That had to be the most brutal part. The steepest hills were between miles 5 and 6.5 which is about where we turned around so you got to climb then again immediately.
To say my legs were on fire would have been an understatement. My right glute actually cramped a bit at one point. I shortened my stride and it worked itself out. Luckily, the gorgeous hill country views were a nice distraction. After I made it back over the killer hills on my return trip, I was still feeling fairly strong. My hips were starting to bother me a bit, but less than I was expecting. I was still holding strong at about 3 minutes under my goal pace.
With two miles to go the hills started to level out a bit which was just in time. This was the point that my hips really started to beg for mercy. Luckily, they held strong for me until the end and I finished in 2:06. That's 20 minutes slower than my last half marathon. I keep trying to remind myself that my last half was pre-baby and on a very flat surface, but I still don't love it! :) Oh, well, it gives me a good goal for next time!
After the race, I grabbed some water and a little bit of BBQ. They had lots of post race beverages to choose from. I grabbed a glass of red wine in a super nice wine glass that was engraved with the half marathon logo. Who needs a medal when you get a wine glass? I only drank about 1/2 of it before I decided that might be a little bit too much sugar for my system.
Overall, it was a great race! It was definitely the hardest half marathon I have ever done, but I would totally do it again. It was so easy to get to, packet pick-up was a breeze, the course wasn't ever over crowded, the views were awesome, and the post race party was great! If you are looking for a half marathon in the Austin area, I would totally suggest it!
For now, I am going to take a little bit of time off from heavy running to let my hips heal up a bit. I think I may have jumped back in to running a little too quickly post pregnancy. I will still run a few times a week, but I am going to focus my individual workouts on strength training for awhile to build my muscle mass back up!
Did anyone else race this weekend?
Has anyone else done the Spicewood Vineyards Half Marathon? What did you think?
share this on »