Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Woodlands Half Marathon Recap

The Race: Woodlands Half Marathon, 3/1, 7AM

This was my 7th half marathon and the 2nd year I've run this race. Here's last year's recap.

Results: Chip Time: 2:10:36 (9:53 average pace) 

Course: Mostly flat course with some gentle hills.


Weather/Clothes: 67 degrees, overcast, humid, Skirt Sports Women's Adventure Girl Skirt (lots of pockets!), 
Nike top and hat,  Asics Gel-Nimbus shoes, Experia Thorlo socks 

Pace Group: I didn't run with a pace group. I planned to start near the 2:00 pacer, but because I was a little late I started near the 3:00 pacer. Towards the end, I saw a pacer ahead of me. I tried to guess who it was: 2:00? Nah! 2:30? Probably. When I saw that it was the 2:15 pacer, I was happy and I had a new goal: get ahead of that pacer. And I did! 


Spectators: The few that are out there are especially appreciated on a quiet course like this one. I heard my name called out a couple of times (our name was on our bibs) and caught a high five, too. 

Fuel Pre-run: Pancakes with maple syrup and peanut butter, 1/2 banana 

Fuel During Race: Powerbar gels at mile 4 (berry blast) and 8 (tangerine), Gatorade (2 gulps)

Post-race Food: After I nibbled on the huge plate of food they offered and drank the chocolate milk, I went to a Mexican restaurant (Lupe's) for a chicken tostada, rice and beans. 


My "Oh!" Moment - I Found My Husband

How I Need to Improve: I need to arrive at the race earlier next time. I left home at 6:05. At 6:42, I had to hop out of our car and slowly run to the start with a stop at two porta-potties (the first line was too long so I gave up and ran to a second porta-potty area). I made it to the start at 7:05 and crossed the line at 7:11. 

My husband finally found a parking spot and ran to what he thought was the start since there was an announcer talking to a huge group of racers. Then he realized that he was at the finish line so he missed seeing me start. We both had "tales of woe" to share after the race, which probably made it more fun!

Race Needs To Improve: I ate a gel and ran to the mile 4 water stop where I had to wait for the water to get there. I gave up and ran to the next water stop at mile 5.5. Not a big deal, but this happened last year, too. 


Mile 13 Happiness - First Time to Spot My Husband on the Course

Expo: It was a small expo. I picked up my race bib and my shirt and walked through the expo hall twice in less than 30 minutes. Here are some of the expo freebies I was given: a running hat, a granola bar and lip balm. Packet pick-up was better than last year.

What Went Well: I liked how close the race is to my home (within 1/2 an hour's drive), the gentle hills to provide a change on the course, the ease of packet pick-up and the post-run food (includes Chick-fil-A sandwiches and Borden's chocolate milk).


Since my pace has recently slowed down, my goal wasn't to PR. Instead, I worked on negative splits. It didn't work out perfectly, but it was a good goal to work on out there.

Having my husband there to drive me (so I didn't need to stress about parking) and at the finish to take 130 photos (really!) made the race more fun than it would have been without him.

Just before I saw him on the course, I was going through a strange "I think I'm going to vomit" feeling after running by a couple of stinky buildings. When I saw him, I forgot about it and I sped to the finish with my fastest pace of the day. It was a fun race day!

41 comments:

  1. Yay! You made awesome time! I was thinking about you today!

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    1. Thanks for thinking of me! It was a lot of fun to be racing again. Before this, I hadn't raced since October in the St. George Marathon.

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  2. Glad you had a good time. Looks like you had a stress free race and sometimes it is good thing to just go with it and beat yourself up over the time! Great job!

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    1. It was a good day to work on being flexible with my running goals and to practice not stressing out over little things! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I thought about not signing up for the race. I could just run 13.1 without paying to be in a race and having to drive there, but it was a lot of fun as every race I've ever run has been and I'm glad I made it to the starting line - a little late, but better late than never!

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  4. Yay! Congrats on the race and I love your pics of your hubby finding you :)

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    1. When I asked if he took any race pictures, he said he didn't get many so I took a boring one of the finish area so I'd have at least one for my blog. I didn't need it, though - he took so many that he even took a few of me taking that picture!

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  5. good job on the race. love to have my husband at the race as well, he is a great bag holder, cheerleader and photographer. he always makes me feel like a professional athlete :)

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    1. Yes, like a pro athlete! You reminded me that my husband carried my plate of food back to the car for me, too, while I talked his ear off.

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  6. Well done on another half marathon Tina, and nice to 'meet' you in the pics that your husband took! That post-race food looks good!

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    1. It's the day after the race and I still haven't finished that plate of food. There was so much!

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  7. Great job! Bummer on no water at mile 4 two years in a row, but negative splits are always a great accomplishment! It is nice when someone drives you and you don't have to worry about parking!

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    1. Thought of you when I saw runners in Team Beef shirts during the race!

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  8. Great job Tina! That's rough you had to wait for water. Sounds like they could benefit from a few more volunteers. Love the pictures. :)

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    1. Thanks, I had a fun day! My tip for next year's runners - carry water!

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  9. well done! and i liked the format of this race report. :-)

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    1. Thank you! It's kind of long, but I guess I was feeling chatty. I'm afraid of how long my recap would be if I ever do an ultra!

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  10. I like how you do all the analysis, I'm sure it helps you improve. I can see why you were tempted to show up without a lot of extra time given how close and convenient this race was. 67 degrees! Nice that you aren't experiencing all the cold weather and snow and ice challenges of a lot of the other runners I know.

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    1. I've had to hop out of the car and run to the start line twice now - both races were very close to home! Yes, I'm so glad I wasn't freezing out there!

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  11. Congrats on the race! Cute little video clip/series of shots!

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    1. Thanks! I was surprised/happy/tired/glad I was done running/happy with my big plate of food - all at the same time!

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  12. Love the recap!! Sounds like a fun race (minus the late getting there, port-a-potty lines and no water at the first water stop)!!
    Love the gif of you spotting your husband!!!

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    1. Ha, ha, yeah minus all of that! Fortunately, the good outweighed the bad and the bad wasn't a big deal, which made it a good race.

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  13. Yay!! Awesome job!! Your short sleeves make me wish we were still in Texas. :)

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    1. Thanks! Sounds like you need a vacation to a warm location!

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  14. Great job, Tina!! That chip time is AWESOME! Wish I could have run into you before the race, but sounds like you must have gotten caught up in some of that traffic. We left our place around 5:35 AM and were very surprised when we saw the huge line at the Woodlands exit off 45.

    BTW, did you get a finisher shirt after the race? I saw a few people wearing them but didn't see them anywhere. Or did you have to buy them at the expo?

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    1. Yes, we were in that traffic on the Woodlands Parkway overpass. Since I ran the half marathon, I don't know where the marathon shirts were supposed to be but I do believe you should have received one right after finishing (at no extra charge) unless they ran out - I hope they didn't.

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  15. I like the negative split goal idea. I have a half coming up and am not sure what my goals will be.

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  16. Congratulations on the run! I love that video clip where you break into a smile on spotting your husband too :D

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  17. Way to go! I love the clip of you "oh, I found my hubs!" I'm always in a fog after a race so I'm guessing that's how I look too!

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  18. Congrats on a good race. Such a cute clip :)

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  19. Great summary format. Congrats on your half!

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  20. I love races that are close to home, and to have you husband there is such a bonus! Way to go!

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  21. Congrats to you! Love local races. Great pics....always nice to have some support with you.

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  22. Great job, Tina! I love the detailed recap and photos - that smile you have when finding your husband is priceless. My husband always supports me at my races and it makes everything so much easier (and better!). Cheers to an awesome race!

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  23. Way to go! I'm glad you had a great race day :) I love how seeing a familiar face cheering for you in the crowd gives you a boost, especially towards the end of a race! That's a cute clip :)

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  24. What a great race!!! Awesome finish time, too! I just LOVE it when I see my hubby along the course! It's a huge pick me upper! I didn't even run this race and I give it an A+ just for having chocolate milk! ;)

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  25. Way to go, speedy!!! I'm your newest follower. :)

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  26. Congrats... I enjoyed your recap!

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Thanks for commenting and for keeping it family-friendly!