It was an exciting weekend for me. My second marathon in five weeks, and my first big city marathon.
Saturday, I went to the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute EXPO at the Chevron Houston Marathon to pick up my race packet and, of course, check out some good deals. The atmosphere was filled with excitement, seeing all the racers.
I got a great deal on some new Adidas Energy Boost ESM 2 shoes that I couldn’t pass up. Of course, I didn’t wear them for the race, but they’re exactly like the ones I wore for the race.
I really enjoy seeing all the fun and funny products they have at expos. This car magnet was one of my favorites!
Afterward, I relaxed at the hotel and tried to quiet my nerves. The view outside my room was gorgeous.
Race day, I woke up at 2:30 am and had a tough time getting back to sleep. Nerves! I ate a bagel and drank some tea with honey to relax and fuel up. I did some light stretching and read my Bible to get ready. The weather was going to be gorgeous. Starting out at 40 degrees, sunshine and clear, and warming up to 50s mid-race. Ideal race weather. The thing about Texas weather, I’ve learned, is that it’s very unpredictable, especially in the winter.
I headed to the George R Brown Convention Center to meet my friends before the race. We had signed up for the Bank of Texas Team Challenge specifically for the use of the private port-a-cans before the race (and after as well). We were all thankful that there was NO line for those while the line for the regular port-a-cans was crazy long. 🙂
We left the convention center to head out for corral A and apparently didn’t leave soon enough because by the time we got there the corral closed one minute earlier. 😦
We scurried over to the next corral and made our way to the front. Not ideal for the start or my mindset, but I was trying to put that disappointment away and move on. My strategy had been to run with the 3:40 pace group, but we found our way to the 3:50 pace group, thinking I would do my best to stay ahead of them.
The race started off smoothly. The crowd support was amazing! I loved seeing all the people, interesting costumes, signs, and even musical groups along the course. Their enthusiasm was contagious. The first half of the course was very flat. I took a Huma every 40 minutes and sipped water every time we passed a water stop. One time I grabbed a cup of Gatorade. I kept up a good pace for that half. Then around mile 14, I hit my first hill of an overpass. Then, a mile later, there was an underpass that went uphill. A few other hills, but the course was really nice and went through some really pretty sections of Houston. Memorial Park was really pretty. I kept sub-8:30 for the first 16 miles, and then started to slow down a little, then slowed down a lot. The weather was ideal, but I could feel the tiredness start to get my legs. My second half was a lot slower, with my final miles in the 10s. I was ready to be done. The picture below was right after I finished. Final time: 3:55. I was happy to get sub-4 for my second and so soon after the first one.
When I got home, the kids had gotten me flowers! They were so sweet and showered me with hugs and kisses, telling me how proud they were of me.
The race was a lot of fun. In the future, I won’t do back to back marathons with the idea of racing both, especially around the holidays. It’s too hard on my legs, and I can’t underestimate the time it takes to recover after one. Considering that up until 2015, I SWORE I would never do a marathon and had absolutely no desire to run one much less two marathons, I’m very happy with my results. Some day, I hope to better my PR of 3:48, but for now, I’m resting and relaxing before I get back to running!