Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Houston Half Marathon


Details Official: Official Results
Details (Garmin Connect) : Half Marathon
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

I ran the Houston Half Marathon this weekend and had a great time. It was a bigger event than I imagined it would be. There were well around 4500 runners. Here are a few pics of the meeting grounds early in the morning:




It was a nice cool day, but quite humid. The race started around 7:00 and I finished in 2:04. My overall pace was around 9:30 min/mile which I'm pretty happy with as it's my best ever pace on a long run. It was tough to maintain my run walk rhythm as there were very few people using that strategy. When I would stop a huge number of people would run past me and then I'd start again and as my run pace was pretty quick, I'd pass all of those same people, only to repeat the pattern again and again. It's probably silly to let that bother me as I finished pretty much dead center in the pack of 4500 which great for my first ever long distance race, but I may see if I can start to switch up my strategy to longer run intervals but at a slower pace. I don't know. We'll see. Maybe I shouldn't mess with something that seems to be working for me.

The event was a lot of fun. There were people lining the streets for almost the whole length of the course. They weren't thick, except at the beginning and end, but they were pretty much everywhere. Everything was handled extremely professionally and well organized. The race volunteers were terrific. I was impressed. The course we ran was, for the most part, quite nice. We started running through the tall buildings of downtown, and then headed west to, and through, Memorial Park. The only downside was that because most of the first half of the course slightly downhill, most of the second half was slightly uphill. That was a little brutal and the second to last mile before the finish was, by Houston standards, a not insignificant uphill grade. I would definitely have preferred things to have been the other way around. Still, we're talking about Houston here, so none of the hills were terrible.

My achilles held up just fine. No issues at all.  The humidity was a little high so I sweat like a son of a gun and thus got a little chafed but that will heal. I am going to have to figure out some of this chafing stuff as my weekly long runs are just going to get longer and longer. I don't want to go into detail but I'm not chafing or blistering in the normal areas like thighs and feet. Anyway, I'll get it all worked out somehow. The sweat is also taking a huge toll on my shoes. I have no idea what to do about this. I can wash them every week, I guess, but there's just no way that's good for them. Oh well.

Here's a picture of my sweat soaked self after the race:


When I started the running group training program, a half marathon was a legitimate option for the "final" goal. I'm super pleased to have already reached that milestone this early, and, if my achilles holds up, I'll have the full marathon to look forward to at the beginning of February.