Houston Marathon Miles 17-21
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I ran 16 miles, partly on the Chevron Houston Marathon route on Friday. I ran through Memorial Park and ran miles 17-21 of the marathon twice and then ran back into the park. There was a downhill section that I hadn't noticed before and miles 17-19 felt shorter than I remembered so it was a good training run.
I missed a turn and went through a couple of extra intersections that I didn't need to, bringing my total number of intersections that I ran through to 12 - running through them and over the buckling sidewalks on Woodway were the only negative parts of the run.
Here's what the marathon portion was like. Let's start at mile 17 at San Felipe and Tanglewood. Turn right onto Tanglewood, a shady street with big trees and big houses that might distract you from your exhaustion just a little bit, I hope.
During the marathon, there will be people standing outside of their houses and sitting in lawn chairs cheering you forward. One year a family handed out cold water bottles.
Make two right turns and run down Woodway. Enjoy the gentle downhill section. Don't forget to look to the right to see the large church building - a pretty sight.
Once you run under the freeway underpass, you'll have a couple of gentle uphills (they aren't fun, but they aren't as bad as the bridge in the Denver Marathon around mile 23 that we ran over twice and they're nothing compared to Big Sur). These are not the kind of hills where once you top them, you'll soon be coasting downhill because you won't be, but at least the road does flatten out. You want the truth, right?!
Once I got into the park, I turned off the marathon route and ran on the park path. I picked up the pace and was feeling great. Getting home and seeing my pace for the last five miles (marathon pace!) didn't hurt either!
Speaking of hurt, I skipped the ice bath because I was cold when I got home. The verdict: I didn't notice a difference from the times when I do torture myself with an ice bath, but maybe that's because 16 miles isn't too hard on my body, unlike a marathon.
The next day, I enjoyed dressing up and going to Jones Hall, just a few minutes from home, to see the The 5 Browns, a sibling group of five pianists who played these five grand pianos. Fun!