Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Houston Half Marathon

Finishers photo
This year I have suffered through the gamut of lower leg issues from breaking my toe, tearing my calf muscle, and my on again off again shin splints. Up until a week before the race all of my issues were gone except for the shin splints. Which luckily I had found on Dailymile someone had posted a video on how overstriding could lead to shin splints. Which I had been doing by focusing on a forefoot strike rather than a midfoot strike to spread the pressure of my foot fall and once I stopped the over striding I was back to running pain free and I was excited to run my 3rd Houston Half Marathon. With the goal of finishing under 2:30 for my first VFF HM.

My brother and I arrived at the event at about 6:20 and were lucky enough to find parking right at the start line as we entered  downtown. As soon as I crossed the street a guy came up to us calling my name and it was Chris S. a fellow Dailymiler that I knew was going to be at the race. We chatted and walked some until he told me he was going to go warm-up for the race (He would later go on to place 7th overall in the HHM with a time of 1:12:08). We checked in our bags and did our usual pre race rituals and then headed to the starting line to wait for the horn. SO MANY MOSQUITOS were out that morning that it looked like the crowd had all started to do some kind of weird dance that involved slapping your arms and face and wiggling their body parts to get the bugs off of them. After a few minutes of that, off went the horn.

With my brother Will
Miles 1-5
We shuffled to the starting line and then we were off! Willie zoomed out pretty fast but I stayed back as I wanted to keep it slow at the start so I would have enough energy at the end. My garmin had trouble keeping my pace as the first few miles had us go a loop around downtown and the buildings were interfering with the satellites. But once we were out of downtown my garmin stopped acting up and I settled down to try to keep a 10 min/mile pace.

Miles 6-9
I was feeling pretty good through 6 miles and was pleasantly surprised by a tap on my shoulders with a runner saying "Jeremy?" I turned to see that it was another DMer Julia T. We ended up running together for a mile or two. At the turn around I sped up some and was passing a lot of runners even 2 or 3 VFF runners which gave me some extra motivation.

Miles 10-13.1
I probably ended up running a bit too fast after the turn around as these miles were getting tougher. We were back on Allen Parkway and those little dips or "Houston Hills" were now feeling like mountains. I found myself  walking for a bit but would quickly go back to a slight run. My form was suffering as well I noticed I was landing on my heels a little and the bottoms of my feet were starting to hurt causing me to change my form even more. But after seeing some photographers and then the finish line with the crowds I found the energy to give one final sprint to the end.

Splits: 9:33, 10:02, 9:40, 10:15, 10:12, 10:09, 11:00, 10:23, 9:31, 9:27, 10:18, 11:00, 10:57, 8:17(0.30)

GTS Group from Beaumont
Extremely happy with my time considering the weather and the fact that I'm just getting back into training for distance again. I finished in 2:15:22 which was my 4th fastest half marathon out of the 8 I've completed and 9 minutes slower than my PR. Would I run in my Vffs again? I think I will and hopefully I can increase my mileage in them so my form won't suffer in those later miles besides I can hardly run in anything else but them anyway before my aches and pains come back.

After the race I had set up a DM meetup at Canyon Creek Cafe. Wasn't sure who would come but there ended up being a lot of DMers that I've been following that had made it out. Great food and drink with great people.
DM post race meetup


  1. Ok Inquiring minds really want to know more about these "usual pre-race rituals!"

  2. Haha they usually consist of hitting up the port o johns a few times or finding a bush and discreetly going there and then some light stretching to act cool as im waiting for the race to start.