4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Austin Day 2

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Friday was day 2 in Austin.  Had a great day.  The weather was stunning.  Early on it was in the 60’s and cloudy, but eventually the sun came out and the high was 79 degrees.  Thankfully the weather would cool before the marathon, but it was just perfect for being out and about.

In the morning, my wife had a business meeting on the campus of University of Texas, so I wondered around for a bit and just sat outside with my book, enjoying the weather.  Also got the worlds fastest haircut at some place on 26th and Guadaloupe.  Afterwards, we met up with another of my wife’s business contacts at Ranch 616, a diner style restaurant with great Texas food.  The special of the day was Chicken Fried Chicken, and I couldn’t pass that up.

After lunch, we had a couple of hours to kill before the Austin Marathon race expo, which was held at the Palmer Events Center, across the lake.  So, we did a lot of walking, and then spent an hour sitting in the shade just behind the expo location.  Just before 3pm, we headed into the expo, and it was a total mob scene.  Very crowded!  Waited about 15 minutes on line to get my bib, bag and shirt.

I went a little bit crazy at the expo and bought lots of stuff:

  • 1 tank top from the ‘discount’ guy.  Last summer I killed 2 of my tanktops from all the sweat, and I can’t get the stink out anymore.  So, I need some replacements.  Unfortunately, he only had 1 XL in a style that I liked.
  • 3 cheap pairs of ‘throwaway’ gloves from the same discount guy.  Figured I’d use one for the marathon on Sunday and then have 2 extra for future cold races or New York City Marathon.
  • Speed laces – I got this at Super Runners Shop last year, but have since had a hard time finding them.  These laces tighten and loosen by drawstring, rather than tying.  I absolutely loved them, and am glad I got some refills – 1 set of fasteners and 2 sets of laces
  • Austin Marathon branded mesh hat and gloves.  My old NYC Marathon branded gloves have gotten a bad case of the stinks, and need to go in the garbage.
  • 3 pairs of shorts (buy 2 get 1 free) from the sub4usa stand.  I love their DryLyte Compression shorts.  I bought 2 of these at the Big Sur Marathon expo in 2005 and after 4 summers of hard use, they were falling apart.  Should be set for a few more years now.
  • 3 pairs of socks – For my size 13 / 14 feet, extra large socks are a must.  I have a very hard time finding them in the running stores in New York.  I tried Super Runners Shop and Jackrabbit, to no avail.  At the expo, I splurged $20 for 3 pairs of super duper, toe reinforced, blister free, dry, etc socks.  Now I can throw away all of my old blister-causing socks.

We walked all around downtown in the evening and then headed to South Congress St to go to Guero’s Taco Bar for dinner.  Unfortunately, the place was packed, as was all the other restaurants in the area.  So, we went back to the hotel and had a great meal at Texas Land and Cattle, a chain restaurant, but still very good.  We ate in front of a fireplace, and topped it off with a great brownie with ice cream.

All in all, a wonderful kid-free day!

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Written by SCL

February 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm

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