I could write a book about this past weekend, but I won’t (you’re welcome). Many fun things happened because, let’s be honest, I haven’t been out much in the last few years. I mean, I just finally used my Uber app for the first time (Courtney will be proud of me).
So, instead of going through every single event this past weekend, let’s talk about some other firsts that happened in Houston:
First time perfect packing. I packed just enough of everything (only had extra socks left) and the only things I forgot were an extra hair tie (thanks Karen for for the hair tie loan) and bananas (thanks Ashley and Julie for the banana loan).
First time away from my kids overnight since they were born. This was scary for me, but it had to happen eventually. And guess what? They were totally fine and so was I.
First time pumping on the plane. I don’t even know if you’re allowed to do that, but I didn’t ask. I hate pumping, but the flight to Texas was long so that’s what went down.
First sinus infection!! Yay!!! No. Decided enough was enough and went to the doctor when I got home from Houston. So happy to be on antibiotics and not be sick anymore.
First time wearing new Willow Street AC team top. This Skechers Performance swift bra top was badass and perfect for the weather in Houston. I wore my Oiselle mini stride shorts on the bottom (not affiliate links, just sharing the links out of the goodness of my heart).
First time seeing the finish of an elite marathon in person. After my race, we found a good spot to watch the elite men and women finish. I also got to see Ashley finishing strong in the half as well as a few other Oiselle ladies I met this weekend! And huge congrats to Megan (one of my Oiselle teammates) for running 2:47 in the marathon in those muggy conditions. We met in the ADP corral before the race.
Okay, so about the race itself. I had missed a few key workouts in the last two weeks because I was afraid that my chest cold might turn into bronchitis or pneumonia if I pushed myself too hard. So on race morning I was a little more nervous than usual. The weather was another factor that kept things interesting (63 degrees with 97% humidity at the start according to this article from Runner’s World). I adjusted my goal pace to anything between 6:00 and 6:15, but planned to just run on feel and not be too concerned about my splits. I really had no idea how my breathing would be at race pace, so I was prepared to run even slower than that if I had to.
I warmed up to the race start and got to my corral in plenty of time, so I finished my warm up just jogging and doing some strides inside the ADP corral. We had plenty of space to run around and there were porto-potties there as well, so it was perfect. We got to see the “real” elites warming up as well in a separate area (kind of like they were first class and we were business class if you know what I mean). After the National Anthem we lined up behind the elites and the remaining corrals lined up behind us. Then the gun went off and we were on our way.
My first mile was exactly 6:00, but I felt relaxed and my breathing was fine. My next two miles were both 6:06 and then after that I stopped looking at my splits. Good thing, because each mile got slower and slower from there (race splits on Strava). I never felt bad, but I didn’t feel like I was on my A game.
I practiced positive self-talk to get through the middle miles around 7-9. Miles 12-13 felt like they went on forever and were my slowest miles by far, a long 2 mile straightaway into a headwind.
But as soon as I saw the finish line with .1 to go I was fine and finished strong, so I feel like I didn’t necessarily give it everything I had. So much of running and racing is mental and I’m still working on that.
I loved the course, and there were a LOT of people out cheering which was awesome. At some longer races there’s usually a few lonely spots, but I can’t remember any point in the race where there weren’t any spectators cheering for the runners.
Here’s a video of my finish from my Instagram (taken by Pete). And if you want to watch the rest of the runners finish, including the elites, here’s the official finish video from the Houston Marathon on YouTube (you can watch all the half and full marathoners finish). Shout out to Shawanna and Kelli for their strong finishes and solid races in those muggy conditions!
So, my body feels good this week but my head and chest are a mess from this cold and sinus infection so I’m probably going to take the rest of the week off and get healthy. Then, on to the next: Shamrock Half Marathon!