I ran my 6th Houston Half Marathon this morning in 2:24:32. Not too shabby, and I’m really happy with my result! I’ve been trying to remember how many half marathons I’ve now run, and I’ve lost track! Off the top of my head, I named at least 6 more: Austin, Surfside, the fall Houston Half, and Seabrook at least 3 times. Oh — Charlotte! That makes at least 13. And of course there was a half marathon at the end of my half ironman, so that’s 14, in a way.
Point being: the half is where it’s AT! I love the half. It’s long enough that I really feel like I accomplished something, but short enough that I don’t end up wishing I were dead. 😉
Jose and I stayed downtown at the Four Seasons last night, just because it’s fun to have an “in town” vacation and spend the night in a hotel. We drove down yesterday afternoon, checked in, and walked over to the convention center to pick up my packet. I resisted buying the shirt pictured above, mainly because it didn’t look like it would fit me, but I just could not resist buying a green tech tee that says “I’m only doing this so I can post a picture on Facebook.” We spent the rest of the night relaxing in the hotel room, splurging on room service for dinner and a way overpriced pay-per-view showing of Julie and Julia. (It was good, but made me want to eat!)
View from our hotel room today
We were up at 5 a.m. this morning and out the door at 5:45. I had my now-standard race day breakfast of instant oatmeal, made with a pitcher of hot water that they brought me for free since our room didn’t have a coffee maker. (Side note: the Four Seasons was nice and all, but the room wasn’t anything above rooms I’ve stayed in before. The service, however, was exceptional.) Jose walked over to the convention center with me, where we met John, Melissa, Matt, and Melissa’s dad. Melissa and Matt were running the half, while John and Mr. P were running the full. We hung out for a bit then headed to the start line.
I wasn’t really paying attention to how far back we were, and it turns out we were towards the back of the black wave. The result was that we had a LOT of weaving to do — it was more crowded than I remember it being before, and it took a lot longer for the crowd to thin out. It didn’t help that people were walking in the middle of the road. I don’t have a problem with walking whatsoever; after all, I do some walking myself. But if you’re going to walk, you should 1) move to the edge of the road and 2) DON’T walk 6 people abreast in the middle of the road, thus clogging up the entire road behind you!!
Anyway, so it was crowded. I ran with Melissa and Matt for the first 5 miles, at which point Matt slowed his pace a bit. We only covered the first two miles at 12:00 pace due to the crowds, but were able to speed up after that. I stayed with Melissa for another mile, long enough to pass Kelly and Mrs. P cheering for us just before the 6 mile mark. I made it through 6 miles without walking at all, but I started my run/walk regimen at that point and continued for the rest of the race while Melissa went on ahead. Interestingly, the run/walk didn’t slow me down — in fact, I sped up for the next few miles! I crossed the 10K mark in 1:09 (11:07 pace), but by mile 9 I had lowered my average pace to 10:55! I did slow over the last couple miles (still run/walking) but still finished with an average pace of 11:02.
After the race, I found Melissa and then met Jose in the reunion area. We couldn’t find Matt, and eventually had to abandon him for the time being to walk back over to Rusk about a quarter-mile from the finish. We saw both Mr. P and John run past on their way to excellent finishes and finally met up with everyone one more time at the convention center. From there, Jose and I headed back to the hotel where I took an awesome shower, and then it was back to League City!
Overall it was another fun year at the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon, and I hope to be out there again next year!