Houston Half Race Report

What a difference 35-40* makes!!! ; As a compulsive type-A runner, I’ve been stalking wunderground for the past week to see if we would finally have some good running weather this weekend. ; Turns out, the answer was an overwhelming YES! ; It was ~45* at the start and only warmed to about 48* by the finish. ; I think I was smiling most of the race just over the weather alone.

The Houston Half is the first race in the Marathon Warm-Up Series and it’s where I set my 1/2 PR last year and is a single loop course following some of the marathon course- including the dreaded late race Allen Pkwy underpasses. ; After leaving the house around 5:45am, Batch and I had a little trouble with parking downtown this year. ; Last year, it wasn’t an issue so I’m not sure if the race is just more popular now or if taking a different exit really messed us up. ; It all worked out just fine and we headed to the start in time to get some business done and hand our stuff over to bag check. ;

B and I lined up semi-close to the front, but in the middle to use people to block the wind before we started running. ; (side note: Oiselle arm warmers are the bomb diggity- perfect for today’s temps!) ; B was in charge of pacing today- no mental games- aka psyching myself out. ; In the interest of my NOT knowing pace, every time we’d pass a checkpoint where they were calling out pace, he’d start talking and/or singing (lalalalala) so I wouldn’t pay attention. ; I had a general idea, but I tried not to think about it too much. ; A HUGE thank you to Batch for keeping my running strong!!

Miles 1-2.5 are a loop through downtown Houston. ; It’s good for spectators and is a nice flat start, but it’s terrible for the Garmin. ; You really have to know yourself and your paces in this section (B’s Garmin read anywhere from 5:55/mile to 11:00/mile). ; ; Around mile 2.5 you pass back through the starting area (again, good for spectators) and head on an out and back loop of Allen Pkwy/Memoral Park.

I had intended to take a Clif Shot around mile 4, but since I wasn’t carrying water, and I didn’t see the aid station coming, ; I missed this chance. ; I felt ok and didn’t let it worry me too much. ; When my stomach started grumbling around mile 6, ; I opened my gel and decided to start taking little “pulls” from it even without water. ; This strategy worked well and I was able to get take 1/2 the gel then get water from the aid station around mile 6.5. ; I took the rest of the gel around mile 8 which is also the “turn around” point.

I love that once you turn around, you only have 5 miles left- it’s not completely back the way you started. ; I started struggling a little around mile 9, but Batch just kept reminding me to breathe deep and slow and relax my shoulders. ; I also took this time to start praying- remind myself how much of a blessing it was to be out there running. ; I prayed for Monika (#MilesforMokie) and Ms. Sherry (Go Team Sherry). ; I prayed for those running MCM. ; When we hit mile 11, Batch asked if I was ready for the next gear. ; I told him no, but he just smiled and encouraged me. ; I truly struggled the last 1.5-2 miles. ; I really wanted to find that super extra gear and tear through those miles. ; It just wasn’t there today. ; I felt like I was giving so much effort and didn’t feel like my legs were responding. ; Turns out, based on the Garmin results below, they were. ; Not faster, but not slower either. ;

10.28.2012 hhmarathon garmin splits ;

Hello close to even, but slightly negative splits! ; I’m also VERY proud there are ZERO miles over 8min pace. ; When I ran this race last year, my avg pace was 7:56. ; I wanted a PR today, but wasn’t sure it was realistic. ; Last year, I was in 1/2 IM shape going into this race. ; This year, I still feel like I’m playing catch up from my injury. ; My work isn’t done by a long shot and I’m not going to get complacent, but WOW, this felt good!!!

TOTALS: 13.1 (13.3 Garmin)/1:41:25 (1:41:27 g)/7:44 pace (7:38 g)/13 of 233 AG

Final thoughts, I got my Oiselle Team racing kit yesterday!! ; Talk about perfect timing- I do think there was some singlet magic in today’s results. ; I also cannot tell you how awesome it’s been to feel the love from my tweeps all day today! ; THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! ; This community ROCKS!



About fashionablemiles

30-something runner, triathlete and wannabe fashionista
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17 Responses to Houston Half Race Report

  1. jenbigham says:

    Great racing!!! So happy you had a PR & negative split!! Woohoo! Congrats!

  2. Corey says:

    You are so, so lucky to have Batch as your running partner/husband/best friend! It is awesome that he is so dedicated to your goals. I love that. Congrats on a BIG PR! That is awesome. Also…those stupid Allen Parkway underpasses/long inclines are the devil.

    • thank you very much and YES, i’m VERY blessed to have him run with me. he keeps threatening to leave me in Houston this year, but after yesterday he’s convinced i can keep up in January (scary time goals). And seriously, Houston is pancake flat, why oh why, do they make race courses with “hills” in the last 2 miles?? just mean. BUT it did remind me i need to focus more on leg strength in training to power up hills. it’s also good to hear someone who does train in hills say Allen Pkwy is brutal. 🙂

  3. Laura says:

    Such a fantastic race for you!! You guys hardly looked tired when I saw you on mile 13… I’m so glad the weather finally cooperated. Congrats again!!

    • ah, i wish. seeing you was EXACTLY the distraction i needed at that point- so glad you were out there!! i was really struggling so distracting myself by waving to you was perfect. it was just a few seconds but it literally happened right after my few seconds of saying “help” with every step. i was very thankful my help came in the form of a friendly face! 🙂

  4. Terzah says:

    Holly, I read this last night and wanted to comment then, but my husband needed the computer and I just went to bed. CONGRATULATIONS!! That rocks. I’m so glad you finally got some good weather and a good day for your body. You deserve this PR!

  5. Congratulations on your PR!!

  6. Jocelyn says:

    Congratulations on the PR! That is amazing! It must be that Oiselle singlet 🙂

  7. Alix says:

    Congrats on the PR! I was also struggling a bit the last couple miles- I forgot about those stupid underpasses!- but managed a big PR too. I just didn’t have another gear at the end. It was nice to meet you at the finish, too!

    -Alix (the girl in the stripy tee and orange Distance shorts 😉 )

    • so glad we got to meet this time!! loved your Oiselle stripe/orange combo!! you were looking strong when you passed us on the course. allen pkwy needs to be on my regular run route so i become immune to it. what’s next on your race calendar?

  8. elizabeth says:

    congrats on a great race!! so glad the weather is getting better for you-it’s my favorite time of year to run.

  9. May says:

    Congrats on the PR! I am Laura’s (mommyrunfast.com) friend/fan May. I totally agree that running Allen Parkway underpasses is tricky, particularly during mile 24-25 of the Houston Marathon. I ran the half last Sunday as well. It’s amazing what dry and cooler weather will do. Again, congrats on the amazing splits and the huge PR! Happy Running and hope to run into you at the next race (maybe Houston Marathon?)

    • Hi May! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I am running the Houston marathon in January. I’m also doing the remaining warm-up series races (25K next weekend and 30K in December). Would love to meet you out there!! 🙂

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