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An Athlete’s Perspective – Issue 11

An Athlete’s Perspective is a blog series of event and/or training experiences written firsthand by the athletes themselves. An Athlete’s Perspective is a completely unscripted and raw look into the mind and daily life of an athlete as they prepare for their next race. Readers will discover training regimens, eating tips, gear recommendations, and an uncut perspective into the lives of people like you and me.

From Australia to Austin

By: Mike Marshall

The Marshall family.

I live in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. I’m married to Kylie and am the father of 2 boys, Zach 9 and Jake 6. We are now four weeks away from racing in the Austin Marathon and 5K race. How we got to this point started about 12 months ago I decided that in 2017 I wanted to set a goal to run some marathons and see exactly what I could achieve with a targeted focus.

My background in sports had been “on pause” for the past 12 years while we started the family and may have extended a bit too long as I “enjoyed the life” of excess and “normality” (ie not getting up at 0400 and being constantly tired, sore and irritable like all hard training endurance athletes). I had never really specifically trained and “run” a marathon, I had completed a bunch as part of training but these were always part of a “bigger IRONMAN picture” so I was not fully focused, trained, or tapered during these races and I suppose that’s what lead to the goal.

This goal seemed to fit well with the family as they all showed interest in getting involved. We decided that the “main event” of the year would be the Honolulu Marathon in December followed by a Hawaiian Christmas vacation (sounded perfect end to a year of hard work).

I set about training utilizing the Under Armour Connected Fitness Apps, Map My Fitness, Record, and My Fitness Pal to monitor, review, and hold me accountable throughout the process After so much time away from training I was substantially “well-conditioned” (read: overweight).

Mike and his boys, who’ll run the Austin Marathon 5K.

As the year progressed I started to see some improvements in both running and the weight front, racing a half marathon in May and a marathon in July where I managed to record the same time I ran 12 years prior despite an epic “blow up” at about the 33K mark.

From July onwards the focus was solely on Honolulu. As the last 11 weeks approached I saw on the Map My Fitness App a challenge for the month of October: The Under Armour Australia “Reward your Run” Challenge. The concept was pretty simple, most KM in 28 days, two sessions per day, min 20 mins per session, max four hrs. The major prize for Australian residents was a trip for 2 to the Austin Marathon in 2018 and for those in places 2-100 a pair of shoes. I figured I would enter the challenge to help “keep me focused” on the training for the marathon and given the volume I was running figured I might end up winning a pair of shoes if I was lucky. I got off to a slow start in the challenge as I was away and missed the first day (as it was my rest day following my long run the day before) and I was planning on racing the approaching weekend. At the completion of the first week of the challenge I found myself in about 5th position and looking at what I had done and the gaps figured I might be able to do a bit better than what I thought. Pretty soon I found myself focusing on achieving the most KM per day so I could to “Get to Austin.” The KM increased and the fatigue set in. My family were a huge support to me throughout the challenge and we were trying not to “Dare to Dream of Austin Marathon.”

#IWill

At the conclusion of the challenge I had racked up 878 KM and was declared the winner. We now found ourselves Austin bound in 2018. This challenge helped me prepare well for a good performance in Honolulu in December 2017, but also gave me something further to focus on heading forward. With Honolulu ticked off, the work is truly underway with the goals set for the Austin Marathon.

Glad to say that thanks to the Under Armour Australia “Reward your Run” Challenge not only will I get the opportunity to race the Austin Marathon, but my wife and boys will also race in the Austin Marathon 5K. Needless to say, we are all super excited to get this opportunity to go halfway around the world to race and experience a city like Austin.

The reality of racing in Austin is what is motivating us all to prepare and train hard for which I expect is the whole point of the event being held. The Austin Marathon event seems to be comprehensive in bringing in a complete experience of the city and state which is super exciting for an Australian family. Would love to hear the suggestions for post-race meals, parties, and experiences so we can capitalize on this opportunity at the Austin Marathon thanks to Under Armour Australia.

If you see me out there say “Gday,” if I am not too out of breath you will probably get a “Hey Mate” back.

An Athlete’s Perspective – Issue 10

An Athlete’s Perspective is a blog series of event and/or training experiences written firsthand by the athletes themselves. An Athlete’s Perspective is a completely unscripted and raw look into the mind and daily life of an athlete as they prepare for their next race. Readers will discover training regimens, eating tips, gear recommendations, and an uncut perspective into the lives of people like you and me.

Preparing to Pace the Austin Marathon

By: Albert Marino aka Moose Malloy

This Sunday, 12/3, is my next marathon. It still hasn’t fully sunk in, but it’s starting to. I’ve been training since June. Five and a half months. All that work….

athlete's perspective

Marino at Hagerman Pass.

For this cycle, I’ve upped my mileage to 90, which a year ago would have seemed like insanity. I’ve been doing my workouts with guys and gals that not long ago I considered way out of my league. I’m very proud of my improvements, and I am now confident enough to say that I’m going for a 2:45 at the California International Marathon. Unreal.

But whether I hit that goal or not, isn’t why I run. My personal motto is “The Path Is The Goal.” I run because I love running. I train because I love training. When I get up for my morning run, I don’t think about PRs or BQs. As I wait for my Garmin to connect, I look up and thank the moon and the stars for the gift of running. I discovered running basically by accident. It changed my life so profoundly that I won’t attempt to summarize it here. If I can pay it forward, then I’m game.

My first and only pacing duty took place a few years back when I convinced a few of my high school Cross Country kids to run the Austin Marathon. They absolutely killed it. Their time goal was modest, but they didn’t care about that. They simply wanted to take on a herculean task, and see what happens. Well, they finished, right alongside their coach. We cried, we hugged, then we sat down and contemplated the fact that we just ran twenty-six point two blessed miles! Lives were changed that day, and that’s a beautiful thing.

So while I look forward to my race, and I’m trying not to look too far beyond it. I am already looking forward to my pacing duties at the Decker Challenge and Austin Marathon, where I’ll pace the 3:35 group. I remember how important and inspirational my pacers were during my first two marathons and the idea that I can be that for others in pretty exciting. Crossing the finish line with a group of warriors that accomplished something that was beyond themselves, now that sounds like something worth doing. For those hours, we will be a family. There will be ups and there will certainly be downs. But together we will succeed, and it will be a beautiful day.

Four Reasons to Build Your Austin Marathon Team

There’s no better way to kick off the new year than by running the Austin Marathon as a team. Creating an Austin Marathon team is perfect for companies, groups, friends, and family. With race day a couple months away, it’s time to start thinking (if you haven’t already) about who you want running by your side. What people do you want pushing you when you think you can’t go anymore? Here are 4 reasons why you should run with a team on February 18th:

  1.    Built-in training partners

    austin marathon team

    The Austin Runners Club team!

  • Running with people who are working towards the same goal just makes sense. Training with partners is a great way to keep each other on track and hold one another accountable.
  1.   Austin Marathon team packet pick up
  • Would you rather have one team member pick up everyone’s packet or have the whole team go as a group to soak up the energy of the expo? One good thing about building an Austin Marathon team is that you can choose. Love having options!
  1. Finish line party with your Austin Marathon team
  • Parties are awesome, but parties are better with people you know. Finish the Austin Marathon or half marathon, kick back with your team at your team tent, and celebrate your accomplishments at the Austin Marathon finish line festival.
  1. Trash talking

    austin marathon team

    Team Kate at the 2017 Austin Marathon.

  • Who doesn’t like some good ol’ fashioned trash talk? Nothing fuels the competitive juices better than wanting to prove someone wrong!

After reading these reasons, why wouldn’t you get a team together? If you realize that you really want to run with a team but haven’t started making one, don’t worry, team registration doesn’t close until January 5th. Get started today!