The Woodlands Half Marathon Recap
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!