I ran in the Houston Half Marathon this morning. My goal was to run an 8:30 overall pace and I ran the race at an 8:29 overall pace. I ran the first half in 55:56 and the second half in 55:11. My official finish time was 1:50:57.
I woke up at 3:18AM, long before the alarm was supposed to wake me up at 4:15 (not only did I have to get myself ready, but I had to take care of our dogs, too), and finally got up and ate a banana and as many fig newton cookies as I felt like - 4. I drank some water and finished getting ready for the race.
We left home at 5:15 and probably made it to downtown Houston around 6:15. I picked up my chip, talked to some friends and ran 1/2 a mile to warm-up a little. I raced in shorts and two short sleeved shirts and that was just right for the cool morning temperature in the fifties. They had water set out already, which was nice, even though I had brought my own to sip on before the race.
When the race started, I had one thing on my mind: keep the 8:30 minute per mile pace. As I ran past the mile markers and my pace was called out, I was sorry that my pace wasn't 8:30, even though my Garmin showed that I was doing alright, until I realized that the volunteers calling out our time were going by gun time.
There were more hills then I remembered from last year. Signs along the way inspired us to keep going, though. One volunteer at the Shepherd turn-around was especially encouraging.
I drank water when I felt like it (usually I have some sort of plan, but it's usually really hot and it wasn't today) and made sure to take two water cups around mile 5 or 6 when I ate my tangerine Powerbar gel, not that I got all of that water in my mouth!
The race was a loop race where we could see runners on the other side of the road most of the way and it was fun to spot friends and wave along the way. My lips were so cold that it was hard to yell.
I had planned to speed up at mile 12 so I started running really fast - too fast. I couldn't keep the pace and had to slow down and then I felt terrible. I thought that I ruined the whole race trying to go too fast.
So I decided that I could run slowly until I made it to the top of some hill or around a bend in the road and once I finished that, I had to just "Go!" I was able to speed up and then I knew I was close to the finish line. All of the people were cheering and I ran as fast as I could. I made it across the finish line where we we were given a colorful medal and Superwoman (it's almost Halloween) took my chip off of my shoe.
I went to find my husband and then I went back to cheer friends and anybody, really, towards the finish. I even saw one runner I know.
After the race, I drank two chilled bottles of orange juice and ate half of a bagel, a banana and a chocolate peanut butter wafer cookie.
On the way home, I told my husband how I really blew it in mile 12 and 13, but then I saw what my pace was on my Garmin. It shows that I finished 13.16 miles in 1:49:45 which is a little faster than chip time, but I can use the paces as a guideline. Plus, I saw that I ran miles 12 and 13 a little faster than 8:30 after all!
I'm so grateful that I made it to the starting line and finished, too. It was a good day!
Here are the times from my Garmin:
Mile 1- 8:23
Mile 2- 8:35
Mile 3- 8:30
Mile 4- 8:15
Mile 5- 8:20
Mile 6- 8:38
Mile 7- 8:14
Mile 8- 8:27
Mile 9- 7:53
Mile 10- 8:20
Mile 11- 8:24
Mile 12- 8:13
Mile 13- 8:11
Mile .16- 8:02
Average Pace - 8:20
~Gotta Run Now