Woohoo – another (my second) 3M Half Marathon accomplished! I was cautiously optimistic going into this run (I’ll explain why later) but the day was fantastic. This post – something other runners will enjoy and something for me to remember this race by – will give all the details!
Half Marathon Training
Let’s start at the beginning, which is two years ago! Remember when I ran my first marathon in February 2020? In the recap post, I was ready to jump into long-term training for future races. I said “I’m currently in the best shape of my life. Why stop now?” Well, a month later, the pandemic started, and gone was most of my motivation for working out and the ability to go to the gym. I spent the rest of the year doing the least – a short run or bike ride here and there and lots of walks.
At the end of April 2021, I woke up from the slumber. My ClassPass membership was un-paused by the company and I went to a few studios before canceling my membership (the quality of offerings had declined significantly) and joining OrangeTheory Fitness. I spent the next nine months going to eight classes monthly and it has been the physical and mental reset I needed. It’s proof to me that regular exercise/cardio has a major effect on my overall wellness.
I guess this is where I tell you I’m terrible at training and my farthest run was six miles in early December. A month out, I took a three-week somewhat unintentional break for the holidays and vacation. So, somehow, my regular cardio for the past nine months helped me get through the race!
3M Half-Marathon Recap
The weather was perfect! I think it was about 45-50 degrees the whole time with no rain or wind. The weather has been tricky the last couple of races this time of year, so it was a big factor in a good run.
There were about 6,000 runners and safety protocols required a rolling start from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. We (I ran with my friend Melanie!) took off at 7:40 a.m. Can you believe the male winner ran a 4:56 mile and the female winner ran a 5:47 mile?!
They call the 3M Half-Marathon the fastest, downhill race for a reason. I got a PR (personal record)! My time was 2:12:56 with an average 10:09 mile. My last PR was 2:17:31 at the Austin Half-Marathon in 2019 and my other 3M Half time was 2:35:15 in 2017.
Here are some of my paces:
- 5K: 9:38
- 10K: 9:49
- 15K: 10:01
I had run the 3M once before, five years ago, so I was somewhat familiar with the course. It starts west of Mopac off Capital of Texas Hwy (Gateway/Arboretum area) and ends at the Texas Capitol. It is fairly flat with a handful of small “hills.” Overall, it is downhill elevation, though it’s hard to feel that during the run.
Running with someone and the race environment (seeing other runners and supporters along the route) helps with maintaining speed. I think this was the first race where I ran the whole time! I stopped for hydration three or four times and ate a caffeine Gu gel between mile nine and ten.
Based on how much (err…how little) I prepared for the race, I’m surprised that recovery has been smooth. The first five hours post-race were terrible (usual cold symptoms) but after that, my legs and body have not been very sore.
My next race is already on the calendar – Austin Half-Marathon on February 20th! (If you want to sign up to run the 5k, half, or full, my ambassador discount code is AnitaAM2022 for $10 off.) I’m looking forward to this next month of training.
Then after, who knows? I’m planning to continue working out at a gym, doing yoga, and taking walks. Keeping it fun and consistent.
Quick Tips about the 3M Half Marathon
- For local Austinites, it’s a no-brainer. It’s a fun race where you will likely get a PR
- For out-of-towners, it’s a less expensive time to visit Austin and you’ll get to explore Austin
- The weather can be a toss-up but expect colder weather, usually below 50 degrees
- Well-managed race by High Five Events. Plenty of portopots at the start and water stations/energy gel along the way
- “Downhill to Downtown” but there are slight but manageable hills throughout the course
- It starts in North Austin and ends downtown at the Texas Capitol. If it’s your first time in Austin, I recommend staying downtown and getting a ride to the start. If you’re renting a car, you can drive to the start and there are shuttles to take you back to the start.
- Book your trip with extra days after the race to eat through Austin
- Usually a good swag bag with useful items since 3M is the sponsor. Expect office supplies and sticky notes (see photo below)
- Registration is always cheapest right after the race ($89) with price increases throughout the year. It goes up to $139. Look for discount codes from race ambassadors
- See more details on the website here
Are you a runner? What’s your favorite race?