Monday, January 28, 2013

Food Trucks & I Moved

Tina & the PB&J Truck

The Maker Faire came to Houston. My husband and I saw robots and a lot of talented and creative artists and scientists. For lunch, we ate at the food trucks.That's me standing by the PB&J food truck, wishing I hadn't already eaten peanut butter for breakfast! I ate half of a chicken in a waffle sandwich (funny combo, yes? yes!) and half of a good Bernie's Burger Bus bacon cheeseburger. Then I had a yummy carrot cake Zeapod cupcake on a stick (like a push-up popsicle).

This weekend, we moved from Houston to a smaller town north of Houston. I'm exhausted from packing and unpacking, but I really like my new house. I'm no longer just a few blocks from Memorial Park, but no worries... My new backyard backs up to a great park with running trails! In fact, the park is one of my favorite things about my new house. I'll share pictures later.

It's been two weeks since the marathon and I've only run once to try out my legs since then, until today. My Weimaraner and I ran 4 miles on the gravel trails. I saw a blue heron and many Cardinals. It felt great to run!

Monday, January 21, 2013

After the Marathon

After the Houston Marathon on 1/13/13, I was very sore. Once that was over, I caught a mild cold and a cough. This is common after a marathon, but it's a first for me. After 13 marathons, I can't complain! Here are some marathon recovery tips in case you just ran a marathon, too.

I haven't run since the marathon (recovering and resting!), but I'm excited to begin half marathon training for The Woodlands Half Marathon. March 2 is race day!

Hills & Shooting for a PR: Nick-Arciniaga Video: To prepare for the Boston Marathon, run 6-8 mile or 1.5 mile repeats running downhill as hard as possible. Run an alternating 15-18 mile tempo run that is broken up by maybe a mile at 10K pace and a mile at goal marathon pace. Nick mentions taking Gatorade and water during races and sometimes Powerbar gels, too. (I'm not running Boston, but this video has tips for all runners.)

Photo: Taken from our hotel room in San Pedro, Belize on a recent vacation.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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

Monday, January 7, 2013

Houston Marathon Tips

Memorial Park, Houston
The Houston Marathon takes place on 1/13/13, in less than a week! This will be the 8th time I've run the Houston Marathon.

Keep the speed! Drop the miles! This is taper week. I ran about 9 miles today with 6 miles at about 9:00/mile pace, a little slower than my goal marathon pace.

Know the race course! I lost a few seconds last year when I wavered at a fork in the road (mile 1.5). Turns out, we could go either way! Check the map for fluid stops. I nearly missed my planned stop at mile 5.5 because I didn't see the tables coming up. At first, it's crowded.

You will be treated like royalty! I love that there will be wonderful spectators and volunteers who will encourage you and yell out your name along the way - it's on your bib. Let me warn you, though, about the lady on the side of the road who will tell you that you are almost finished, even though you are only at mile 13. Her heart is in the right place. Just smile!

You can check out my 2012 Houston Marathon Recap and my other previous Houston Marathon race recaps for more info. If you're running the race, too, I wish you the best!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

In the past week, I have run 6, 12, 5, 7, and 16 mile runs. When I ran the 12 and 7 milers, I worked on speed - hard, but fun.

Yesterday, on my 16 miler, I averaged a 9:27/mi. pace. I ate Clif gels since they're handed out at the Houston Marathon that I'm running, but my stomach cramped up so I'll just bring my own gels. I ran through the cramps by telling myself that the other runners out there had even worse cramps than I did, but that they kept running anyway. Mind games! Fortunately, it only lasted about two miles.

I ran around and around the three mile loop at the nearby park about a million times (!) so I guess I'm mentally prepared for running a marathon where there will be no back-tracking over the same old, same old - except that I have run this marathon 7 times before. I don't run it because I love the course, but just because I live here. A lot of people like the flatness of the course (don't forget the bridges and underpasses), but it isn't Big Sur or Kona!

There are less than two weeks until the Houston marathon and I can't wait to see how it goes. Hopefully, the 2401 miles that I put into running in 2012 will lead to a decent marathon time. If not, I quit. Just kidding!

Since it's January 1, I need to mention goals, right?! Actually, I have a couple. I'd like to PR and to read through the Bible. I'm traveling through Exodus now.

Photo: walkway at the Belize hotel where we stayed recently
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