Saturday, January 19, 2013

Houston Marathon 2013

First of all, I haven't written on here in months. Life never seems to slow down and I guess blogging just slipped away. Maybe I will try and keep up with it... I figured I had a little time today and I wanted to write a little about my experience in Houston.

I signed up for the Houston Marathon a while ago because I was going to see my sister and her fiance and I thought it would be great getting a winter marathon in. She decided she was going to enter the lottery for the half and she was accepted so she began her training! I was excited knowing I would be a part of her first race!

Since no one probably cares about my journey or the details behind it, I am just going to post a few pictures and move on to the race. Let's be real here... we don't have time for filler. The photo 'inserter' on here sucks, so pardon the lack of organization.

Light rail to the airport


Finish line... excited to be here after 26.2
RYAN HALL! (he was impressed with my beard)
Autographed bib 

'Wish' - The Mizuno Shoe Guy!

City at night

More city at night

 So, Houston is a pretty cool city. We checked out a few craft beer bars and one of the new local breweries. Hung out a lot and relaxed. We also had a lot of great food. I think I need my sister to make my pre-race pasta meal all the time! It was awesome!

Race day... something seems off here
Siblings! Running! Together!

Race day was here and it was time to head to the expo. Weather was raining and kind of cold. Not ideal. I had to be in my corral by 6:40 so that meant sitting in the rain for 20 minutes before running. I was thinking to myself that this was going to be the worst race ever and I was simply going to run it and not care very much. As I lined up in the corral I knew I would have to use the rest room one more time. I luckily found 4 outhouses near the front with no line. Whew! In and out and the gun went off and I was off.

Well, besides the rain, this race went fairly well. I had to tie my shoes twice (always double knot your shoes!) and dodge some puddles, but other than that I ran a pretty solid race. The course was pretty flat and enjoyable. Very scenic and for the most part I really wasn't too bored (even through miles 16-20... I hate those miles of the race). Here are my splits:

Avg Pace

The first few miles of the race I was trying to warm up and find my groove. It was cold and wet and I didn't want to overdo it and have a miserable 26.2. I'd say around mile 4 or 5 I was ready to go and I kept it pretty consistent. I kept looking at my mile splits and thinking that I should probably slow down, but that never seemed to happen. For the most part, my splits kept dropping and I felt good. I got to the half way part a few minutes ahead of my target pace (I was going for 3:15). I was happy knowing if I did crash I'd have bit of a cushion, but I didn't think I was feeling really good.

The next few miles I can't even remember what happened. 14-20 are always the miles I don't remember. I knew I had to get to 20. They had a 'wall' party zone at 20 and I was still feeling good. I was doing a lot of math in my head and the closer I got to the finish line the more I realized 3:15 was probably going to happen. Each mile felt great. I was passing people the entire time which really helped.
Miles 23 and 24 were a little slower and I don't know why. I think I knew I was going to reach my goal and I didn't want to push it until I knew I had enough energy. I hit mile 25, looked at my watch, and then realized that if I had a killer last mile I would break 3:12. My pace was slipping a bit and was thinking it wasn't going to happen. I got a little tailwind that swept through the skyscrapers and I decided I was going to go for it. This little push made all the difference. I managed to rock a sub 7 minute pace for the last portion of the race and I kept looking at my watch and then back at the finish line. I crossed the line with no more than 2 seconds to spare. Sub 3:12! Yah!

This was about 6.5 minutes better than my pr which was pretty exciting. Had the weather been a little better and if I didn't have to tie my shoes twice, I think I could have ran under 3:10 (not that it matters, because it still isn't BQ). However, I realize that my training continues to pay off and I might actually have a chance to Q for Boston in a year or so.

Big bling!

Congrats to my sister on her first half!!!

The Houston marathon was great! The city is great, the expo is great, the course is great, the fans are great, the gear is great, the food is great. Just an all around good marathon. I will definitely be coming back to run it again.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Ben, great report, and congrats again on your fantastic race and your shiny new PR! That is an incredible time, and there will no doubt be a BQ in your future. Awesome job!