Houston Marathon Race Report

2013 Houston Marathon

Today I finished my 13th marathon and my 8th Houston Marathon. It was fun!

Race/Date: Houston Marathon January 13, 2013

Results: 4:00:29, 13.1 mi split 1:57, about 7000 runners finished

Course: mostly flat

Weather: low to mid 40's, wind gusts 20-25mph, rain

Fuel Pre-run: 1 1/2 English muffins, jam, banana, Gatorade, & later, a non-caffeinated Powerbar gel

Fuel During Race: 
Tangerine caffeinated Powerbar gel at mi. 3.5, 8.5, 13, 17, 20 miles w/H2O

Post-marathon Food: ice cream sandwiches (that's like chocolate milk, right?!) & Gatorade

Unplanned Occurrences: 
On my way to the start line, I realized that I had just eaten a gel and forgot to drink water with it, but I didn't have any stomach trouble. Then, I took a gel a mile too early during the race. No problems with that either. 

What I Liked: 
  • Chatting with other runners made the miles go by more quickly 
  • The encouraging volunteers and spectators 
  • Eating 5 gels
  • Many goal marathon paced miles in training - a confidence builder!
  • I remembered that the Maine Marathon had been in the rain. More confidence building!

To Improve: 
I ran most of my long runs at a maximum of 16 miles and only ran one 20 miler. Next time, I'll probably do more runs that are longer than 16. At mile 18, my legs were tired. That's to be expected, but maybe longer runs would help. Not running in the wind would be a plus, too!

I ran in a rain poncho for exactly one mile. It kept me dry when it rained especially hard at the start, but it wasn't exactly aerodynamic!

Maybe you noticed that I missed a 4 hour finish by 29 seconds? I sure did! Everyone was complaining about the bad weather and there weren't any world records reached. That helps. I really wanted to get in under 4 hours at least, but I'm trying to put this into perspective. It's only 29 seconds! 

Photo Info:
Taken near the finish. I didn't see the big screen when I ran by because I was kind of focused on the finish line, but I must have been up on that big screen.

Tina's Houston Marathon Splits

Finish Net04:00:2913:0409:116.54


  1. Congrats! An ice cream sandwich is totally like chocolate milk.

  2. Congratulations on another successful marathon finish. Sounds like a rough weather day, but you toughed it out!

  3. Great job on the marathon!

  4. Yes, ice cream sandwiches are completely equal to chocolate milk for recovery, no doubt. :-) Very happy you had a good day. 29 seconds is just over a second per mile..... you did good!

  5. Way to go, Tina! So glad you had a good race! And thanks for sharing what you learned.

  6. Well done! Too bad that weather wasn't better. Don't worry about those 29 seconds, you had a very good race!

  7. wow! that is an awesome time!! and in the COLD WIND and RAIN! way to go tina! those long runs in the rain are really tough. the best part of reading this is how you had FUN! so now you've run 13 marathons - that's so awesome!!

  8. Congrats on a great race in really tough conditions!

  9. Congrats Tina!!!! With those conditions you should be very proud of your time. Awesome job!!!!

  10. Well done, Tina! It is tough to run in wet weather for a race. You were amazingly consistent.
    I was really hoping to read that you were sold in keeping it to 16 milers. Darn!!
    YESSS you get as many ice-cream sandwiches post marathon as you like!

    1. After the 16 mile mark, I couldn't help but think about the fact that most of my long runs were "only" 16 miles long. Also, maybe I'd be less sore today if I had run more longer runs. It's hard to pinpoint where to make improvements, though!

    2. I would have been thinking the same thing..But each race is an opportunity to experiment. :)

  11. For some reason I though you were aiming at a BQ, that's why I sent you that tweet shortly after the finish. Looks like you had a good race even in those weather conditions (reminds me of my marathon in Stockholm), well done!

    1. You're right! I needed 3:55 for a BQ and 3:54 for a PR. Either would have been great! Next time!

  12. Well done! That is really awesome! A great time with the weather like that. You did extremely well! Enjoy some good rest!

  13. Awesome job!! I only did one 16, one 18 and one 20 for my first marathon, and my legs really suffered for the end. I felt stronger this time, but that wind was tough! Congrats on a strong race in those conditions!

  14. Congrats Tina! Considering the conditions you did awesome, but I can imagine there was a little frustration at being so close to a BQ. You definitely have the right attitude though...next time! :)

  15. Congrats, sounds like a well executed race. I like your summary-format race report, makes it very easy to read! I agree that you need more runs around (or even over) 20 miles. Makes a huge difference both physically and mentally in those latter stages when you're sooo tired!

    1. Thanks for letting me know that my race report format is easy to read. Helpful info!

  16. Congrats to you! Your paces look great, especially in rougher conditions, pretty consistent!

  17. Congrats! I was looking for how many finished yesterday and ran across your blog.
    I was a tad behind you (but hey, I'm old)
    I saw the ice cream sandwiches and thought that was kind of funny given the conditions we ran in
    good job...
    Sub 4 is right around the corner

    1. Thanks for letting me know how you found my blog! I'm always a little curious.

      The GRB building is so big that I ate 1 1/2 ice cream sandwiches before making it outside where I walked a block to my husband's truck with chattering teeth. Brrr... But I love ice cream sandwiches!

  18. Anonymous1/14/2013

    Congrats!!! 4 hours is an amazing time!!! Very proud of you!!

  19. Congrats on Mary #13! Houston puts on a spectacular race - despite the history of cruddy weather.
    Way to race hard in less than ideal conditions!!!

  20. Congratulations! Great race and in those kind of gusts? You HAVE to be pleased with your run.

  21. Congratulations, Tina. I jogged to my kitchen on Sunday in honor of you.

  22. Wow! What an achievement to run 13 marathons!!! Congrats on another one with a great finish time!

  23. I'm sorry that I'm late in congratulating you. Looks like you had a great race!! So happy for you!


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