I ran my 5th Houston Half Marathon this morning — 2004, and 2006-2009. (In 2005 I ran the full marathon.) In 5 years, I have run this race on less and less training. This year takes the cake. After not running for an entire month from early December to early January, I ran a couple 4-milers, then a 9-miler, then showed up at the race. This is certainly not my brightest move, but it turned out fine.
I ran a 2:29:54, my slowest Houston Half, but not my slowest half marathon ever. All things considered, I’m thrilled. After running the first mile, I stuck to my plan of running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute. It worked perfectly. I was able to maintain the same ~11:30/mile pace the whole way without any tailoff at the end, because even towards the end when I got tired, I never had to run for long before I had another walk break.
The funny thing about doing run/walk during a race like this is the comments you get from spectators. Since I was walking as early as the second mile, I got tons of “you’re looking good, you can do it!” cheers from people who assume that if you’re walking, it means you’re already worn out. So that was cool — lots of cheers just for me! 🙂
Jose was waiting at the corner of Dallas and Milam to give me a boost for the final mile to the finish line. I worked my way through the post-race hoopla as quickly as I could and met him in the lobby of the Hilton, and by 10:00 we were on our way back to Clear Lake. Not much fanfare to my race this year, that’s for sure. I didn’t even go to the expo — Debbie and Jason were kind enough to pick up my packet for me.
I’d like to say that I’ll train better next year, but who knows. Right now I view running as a fun way to maintain fitness, so I’m not really concerned about getting faster. This was my slowest Houston Half, but it was also one of the most fun, because I didn’t care about what time I ran. I’m happy to have squeaked in under 2:30, but honestly I didn’t even realize I could do that until I was a tenth of a mile from the finish and could see the clock. It was nice to not care.
From the look of it, most of my friends had great days, and I can’t wait to read all the blog posts!