Houston Marathon Race Report


Smiling & Waving (Mile 15)

I'll get right to the point... Finishing time - 4:39. I missed my goal by 40 minutes.

I was so late (road closures!) to the start that I ran for blocks and blocks to the start area. Since my wave had already started and the race people kept saying that the first wave runners needed to start, I left my place in the second wave and made my way up to and across the start line and began the Houston marathon alone - in a race of thousands!

It was a nerve-racking start, but it was the 65° right from the start and high humidity that did me in. I hadn't even run an hour and I was boiling even though there was a soft rain. When I saw that I was going to miss my goal by a long-shot, I wondered how bad it would be to get my first DNF. Soon, my goal was "to finish".


Dropping Off Camelbak (Mile 21)

I saw my husband at mile 15 and again close to home with Zoe, who some marathoners pet as they ran by. : ) I was happy to have my Camelbak for the first 21 miles. During the race I ate 4 Gu gels (2 were Roctane) starting at mile 6, 2 cups of Gatorade Endurance (handed out at fluid stations) and didn't finish my 50 oz. Camelbak of water.

I hardly walked today, but at mile 25 when I stopped to walk, a man saw my name on my bib and said, "Tina, you've run 25 miles. You have about one mile to go and you will certainly finish." I started running again and didn't stop until I crossed the finish line. 

My first 6 miles were on pace, but I gradually slowed until I hit the last 1/2 mile when I found my speed again. New at the Houston marathon: chocolate milk at the finish. It's the little things in life!

Post updates: I've added details since I first posted this: how hot I felt, my race fuel...

Comments

  1. Oh Tina, I am so sorry you had a rough start to your race! Was your time due to the late start or just to an off day? No worries, though, there is always the next marathon - today just wasn't your day. Hey, at least you had a big smile on your face and a nice wave to the fans along the way! :-) Glad Eric and Zoe could cheer for you along the way!

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  2. I don't know what happened. All I can think of is the high temp and humidity. But, thanks!

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  3. I'm glad you had such great supporters! I'm sorry you missed your goal, but you should be proud that you finished strong!

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  4. Tina- So sorry about missing your goal time! I can't imagine running that much just to get to the start and then to miss your wave.

    And the weather....what can you do? Nothing. I am glad that you shifted mental gears.

    Do you have a potential second race that you could consider after all the work?

    Great work persevering in the tough circumstances.

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  5. Are you drowning your sorrows in chocolate milk?
    :-)

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  6. Hi Tina,
    A brave effort in certainly less than ideal condition and a malfuntion at the start...the fact you DID finih shows just how tough you really are! Congrat on another spectacular marathon...no doubt you'll get that illustrious 4-hours next time! Glad you got some great chocolate milk at the finish, too :).

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  7. Tina I was tracking you this morning, and after 15k the site showed you as on pace for a 3:40! In fact, if I remember right, your 5k split between 10k and 15k was 22 minutes! Was that right? Maybe an unintentional burst of speed which may have affected you later? That unplanned running at the start I'm sure also affected you. Based on your training, I'm sure it won't be long before it all comes together and you break 4 hours again - it just wasn't your day today!

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  8. Great job on finishing strong - I'm exactly the same way, when I come to that point in a race when i realize I'm not going to make my goal - I REALLY wanna quit. Great job on pushing through.

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  9. Tina, sorry about the rough start!!! Glad to see that you finihed ANOTHER marathon though.... You are a rockstar!

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  10. Chocolate milk at the finish was worth all the humidity suffering I bet.
    You should be proud of yourself for finishing. I know I am.

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  11. Chocolate milk at the finish is no little thing! I've been there where my goal changed to just finish. (Actually it was Just keep running at this snail pace and finish!) Congrats on finishing.

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  12. oh wow, that time (TO ME!!) is still soooo awesome!! i'm sure the heat and humidity were a factor. it's not like it's been that way this winter during training! feeling late to a race is a stressor! but, nonetheless, congrats on finishing your 9th marathon!!!

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  13. Hello Tina - sorry about the race day conditions. It was NOT a good day for a marathon. I'm sure the heat and humidity had a HUGE impact on your time. (I know it hits me hard) I hope you are proud that you finished, and THAT is a good day.

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  14. Tina I say GREAT JOB!!! you finished. I know it wasn't the goal you had in your heart but I also know the conditions were tough. I couldn't believe how humid and warm it was. I had several issues that slowed me down. I think you did great considering. You have it in you to reach this goal, it's just going to happen at a different race.

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  15. Everyone, thank you for rooting for me!

    Small Town Runner, I don't have any future races planned now, just rest and getting back to running at Memorial Park soon.

    HappyTrails, chocolate milk after crossing the finish line and cocoa during my cool water bath!

    Trevor, my husband saw the same thing about my speed. That must be a mistake. My Garmin shows a gradual slow down. I updated my post after your comment with a bit more on my pace.

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  16. Oh mercy, I am sorry you missed your goal. Me too. Weather conditions were ROUGH! But the entire city of Houston seemed to have some out to cheer. Y'all really know how to spectate a race - boy howdy!

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  17. oh yikes! i would be so stressed about being late. you definitely pulled through well and handled it though. kinda cool to get your own start! sorry to hear it didn't go as well as you'd hoped but you still ran 26.2! an accomplishment in itself :) congrats!

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  18. Humidity is just the worst! Coupling that with having to run for the start makes for a tough day. You should be proud of your time- it's still a great time and after tough conditions, you should give yourself a big pat on the back. I hope conditions are better for your next race!

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  19. Congratulations on finishing your ninth marathon!!!!

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  20. WOW! What a rough start but you kept putting your feet ahead of the other and pulled it through! I think you did a really good time, but i know it was far from your goal time. :O( One of my friends ran that same race. I stared into the photo of the runners, burt didn't see her. :O) Congrats to you!!! It's still a huge accomplishment!!!!

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  21. Congrats on your solid race, Tina!

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  22. Being late to a race b/c of road closures is my personal nightmare. Sorry that happened to you. But, congrats on powering through!

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  23. Congrats on finishing Marathon Number NINE!!!!! I so know what it feels like to realize you're missing your goals for whatever reason over the course of the 26.2 miles. It can feel so defeating but you made the best of your circumstances and crossed the finish line! It's a HUGE accomplishment to cross that finish line and receive the medal you worked so hard to earn! Humidity is the worst! Great race report, love the details about how you felt and how you fueled. Yum about the chocolate milk too!

    And sorry for my very late read and response about your race.

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