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Houston Marathon Race Report

PR by 5 minutes –4:08:39…I won’t lie, I might have preferred to not PR if that would have been more fun.  I started out the race very strong, using my “don’t look at your watch” plan…as you might guess roughly mile 18 I imploded and the next 8 miles were a bit of a death march.
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SIGHTINGS
1 cat crossing the road – amazing he didn’t get trampled and we didn’t trip
1 Ronald McDonald red shoe car
5 Chick-fil-a cows
1 sign saying “Don’t poop your pants” which I find to be valid advice any time
1 Finish line that was approximately 26.2 miles too far away

COURSE
This wasn’t a scenic oh so pretty course, but it was fairly easy with only small gentle hills. The roads however really require you to watch your footing and definitely left a lot of us feeling sore ankles post run. Houston thanks for hosting the trials, but fix your roads.
 
Miles 1-17 I was averaging about 9:03 and just in front of the 4 hour pace group. My foot really hurt the whole time, but otherwise I had plenty of energy and nothing else was bothering me in any way.  About 14 David jumped in to run 1.5 miles with me, before handing me off to my good friend Samara who was there to see me start cussing about why they 4 hour group suddenly seemed so fast…yes things were going downhill from there.deathmarchhouston
My other friend Matt got to enjoy my sunny personality from mile 22-25. Ok fine I wasn’t really speaking at all, but truly the only reason I didn’t stop to walk for more than about 1 minute was because I knew he was there.  I’ve never had anyone run with me in a race before and now I totally understand how that helps people push through the tough times. I also tried to remember that there have been so many times when I was injured and wished I was running a race…so here I was.. it was my chance to push it out.
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My running crew!!! Matt, David, me, Samara
When I saw the 26 mile marker, I picked up the pace and started sobbing quite honestly. Every finish is emotional and there was go goal for me to hit, so I wasn’t upset just really overwhelmed at pushing through those final miles when so much of me wanted to quit.

Right now every part of my body is sore…I mean seriously I don’t remember running on my hands, but my arms, my boobs, my back…sore.  What is that?!

HOUSTON TIPS
1. The gear check was insane being inside it was hard to get to it and then back out
2. The roads suck watch your footing
3. The crowd support rocks
4. All the water stations are just on one side of the road which means lots of people cutting across all day
5. Volunteer support was amazing
6. Great finisher shirt and great food if that’s your selling point

LESSONS
First I kept in mind the simple wisdom of Running Coach Andrew Kastor…keep it relaxed, stay tall and keep the emotions in check un until mile 20.

Second, I knew my fueling strategy is poor and I wonder if that isn’t part of why I dropped like a fly. I was drinking Gatorade in sips about every other stop, but only took in one GU at mile 20 and a 1/4 of a banana at 12.  In the past I really felt strong overall without anything but I do think if I want to get faster I will need to figure this out…alternatively I could just stick to half’s!!
 razzyroo
Oakley Drizzle glasses that seriously don’t fog, Saltstick Electrolyte Capsules (seriously no calf cramps) and the only GU I have eyes for… peanut butter and my RazzyRoo headband!

My all important accessories…you’ll notice I did keep myself from wearing a hat and full ski jacket. I really wanted to wear my compression socks since my foot was sore, but I was concerned about doubling up with the compression from my pants.  My foot is definitely bruised, so I don’t know if the compression would have saved it…but while you are running everything seems it would have helped.

Certainly a weekend I will not forget anytime soon!
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Gratitude Journal
Jan 15
I am grateful for a body that continues to allow me to abuse it :)
I am grateful for friends running with meSignature
I am grateful for amazing support
I am grateful for compression everything
I am grateful for non-fog, non-slip glasses

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