I've run the Chevron Houston Marathon 3 times and I've loved it each and every time but this was the first time I was going to run the Aramco Half Marathon. They decided to change the course up for 2014 so I was excited to see a new view of Houston on feet.
My training really has gone to crap these last few months and ever since the "Love the Half Marathon" in Dallas my times have been getting progressively slower. It's a combination of a bad diet, low mileage and some lost motivation. So coming into this half marathon I was hoping to get my half marathon trending back down. Even though my training was crap I still had high hopes of finishing close to 2 hours.
The weather for Houston Half Marathon called for lows in the 50's all the way up to a high in the 60's. I'd love to have had it a little cooler but these were pretty optimal temps to run a half in.
I decided I would run this race with my GoPro camera but I forgot to bring my 32 gig memory card so I was stuck with 8 gigs and about 52 minutes of recording. Which meant I had to be smart about what parts of the race I wanted to video in order to record the whole race. So you can either read my report or watch the video or both :)
We get to the George R. Brown Convention Center at about 5am and head straight to the Catholic Mass that they provide for the runners before the race. After getting our feet blessed we find a spot to get ready and slather on body glide and put on the all important nipple tape. My bros are both running the full marathon and I'll be running the half. We then check in our bags and head to our corrals and wait for the race to start.
MILE 1 - 3 (9:55, 9:57, 9:22)
These are the fun yet dangerous miles. Why dangerous? Well you constantly have to remind yourself to not go out too fast especially with the cheering crowds and all the runners around you. The new route was actually a lot less congested as compared to previous years so it I was easily able to swerve around some of the slower runners.
MILES 4 - 6 (10:11, 9:52, 10:13)
Still running at a good pace and taking in my first energy gel around mile 5. Crowds are still cheering me on like I'm a rockstar. Mainly calling out "GOPRO" as I ran by. It was such a great day to be out in Houston running the half marathon.
Miles 7 - 10 (9:34, 10:19, 10:06, 11:26)
Around mile 7 or 8 is where the full marathoners split off from the half marathoners. It was kind of bittersweet seeing the split off because I've run the full 3 times previously but I knew there was no way I could run the full marathon. About mile 9 I see Clutch the bear from the Houston Rockets. He was running to bring awareness for organ donation. I read that he normally runs a 1:30 half marathon without the costume but in the full costume he was able to finish at about 2:30. Mile 10 is where everything starts falling apart and my pace slows down considerably to a walk at times.
Miles 11 - 13 (11:12, 13:35, 11:43)
5k more to go!!!! These were more tough miles with more walking than running. I cursed myself for letting my fitness go and promised that I would train more for my next run. Free beer was offered on the course and I though "why not?" so I gladly took a little swig. My knee started giving me problems on mile 12 which slowed me down some more. The GRB convention center is within sight but it seems sooooo far! Somewhere along the way another runner taps my shoulder and says "C'mon guy lets go! We can do it!" I thank him and dig deep and start running again.
13 - 13.1 (7:14)
LAST KICK! It's the end of the race and the crowds are cheering me and everyone else on. I tell me knee to shut up and push through the pain to sprint to the finish line and complete my 13.1 miles.
WHEW!!! That was a tough race for me but it was a good race. I crossed the finish line at 2:19:08 which is a time I'm happy with considering my lack of training. We will meet again Houston and I hope to do the full next year.
Of course me and my bro got our REFUEL on with some low-fat chocolate milk after the race! It's got the perfect ratio of carbs to protein to help us recover so we can go out there and do it again. It taste great too! For more info on the benefits of low-fat chocolate milk check out www.gotchocolatemilk.com.
Did you run the Houston Marathon? Leave a comment below telling me how ya did.