Austin Marathon standingI run the Austin Marathon tomorrow morning.  This picture is of me after finishing the 2011 Austin Marathon.  It makes me appear seemingly fine.  The race was a disaster.  I started hurting after only ten miles.  I’m still surprised I even finished.  There was quite a bit of walking involved after 16 miles.  My time was a disappointing 4:23, my slowest marathon ever.  My only other race out of eight marathons where I couldn’t break 4 hours was Steamboat – another disaster – last spring.  I completed Steamboat in 4:13.  I hope to run right at 4 hours tomorrow.  That will be a 9 minute per mile pace.  I would like to do this feeling comfortable and avoiding muscle cramps.  I expect to do this with smart in-race nutrition and hydration.  I have a history of forgetting to eat and drink so wish me luck.

I arrived in Austin earlier today on a Southwest flight.  Steve picked me up at Austin-Bergstrom Int’l and drove me directly to the Palmer Events Center to pick up my race packet.  It was called Palmer Auditorium when I last lived here.  Actually we stopped for lunch first at Threadgills across the street.  It was convenient free parking.  Service was a bit slow but the waitress was a sweetheart.  Gave us drinks to go.  Palmer was a party atmosphere.  I discovered I won’t get the race shirt until – and if – I cross the finish line.

I like to wear the race shirts and now won’t be able too.  Instead I’ll wear a recent newby – my ultra bright yellow, Colorado Club Championship Flatiron XC hi-tech t-shirt.  I might be chilly standing around at the start in 57° but it’ll warm up to 70° by the time I finish.  Short sleeves are the way to go.  I’ll pair that with my black PEARL iZUMi ultra running shorts.  They have awesome pockets for food and a built-in brief that wraps around the upper thigh like tights to mitigate chaffing.  I’ll add blue with my Boulder Marathon running hat and blue CW-X ventilator compression socks.  The German Olympic rainbow outfits will have some competition for color tomorrow.

For nutrition, I’ll carry a Cliff Shot Blocks at 200 calories.  A bag of Honey Stinger Energy Chews (think gummy bears) for 160 calories.  Six FRS healthy energy chews at 40 calories each for another 240 calories.  And four Hammer Endurolytes to mitigate muscle cramps.  I typically don’t eat half the crap I carry.  That might be okay because my brother Steve intends to serve as my race crew.  He’ll meet me at 3 points in the second half of the course with bananas, oranges and frozen PowerIce.  I also expect Steve to take professional grade photos.  Steve is currently attending two different parties in downtown Austin.  I plan to wake him up before 5:30 am to drive me to the race.  My bib# is 2401 for anyone who wants to track me with the race iPhone app.  I launch at 7am CST.