Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Woodlands Marathon Race Report

I finished my 16th marathon on Saturday! Yesterday I ran the The Woodlands Marathon, in Texas, after running The Woodlands Half Marathon in 2013 and 2014.

Expo: It was a small expo, but at least runners wouldn't be tempted to spend too much time on their feet there!

Volunteers: As a volunteer before the race, I organized the volunteer shirts into bins for the water stations. At the water stations, they seemed to have plenty of drinks and volunteers this year - an improvement over previous years. The volunteers were very encouraging - I must have been looking good out there... Ha, ha!

Parking: My husband and I left home at 5 and we parked our car at 5:20 in a free parking space in the "green" lot.

Weather/Clothes: In the 40's all morning with wind and a little rain. Waiting inside the warm Marriott hotel before the race was the best! I wore a North Face running skirt, short sleeved top, homemade arm warmers (just cut off the feet and top of some tights), Brooks Ravenna shoes and a 2 bottle Nathan hydration belt.

Course: Mostly flat with some rolling hills. Water stops served Gatorade Endurance and GU gels.

Spectators: Many of them called out my name (written on my bib). I nearly got shoved over by one strong and eager high-fiving 5 year old. It was one of the last miles and I was weaker than I realized!

video


Fuel Pre-run: I ate lots of carbs for breakfast and I increased my carbohydrates for three days before the marathon. Next time, I'm going to focus more on protein instead of so many carbs especially because I was low on energy (miles 21-23) and loading up on carbs might not even help.

Fuel During Race: I ate 7 GU gels: miles 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19.5, 22.5. I drank 20 ounces of water (I usually drink more, but it was cold and I didn't want more) and I took a cup of Gatorade Endurance 2-3 times (not at the same time that I ate a gel).

Post-marathon Food: I had chocolate milk and Raising Canes chicken fingers, but they also offered Chick fil A food, breakfast burritos, muffins and fruit.

The Finish: I finished in 4:04 and 15th out of 44 in my age group of 45-49'ers (I'm 49)! Although I didn't get the 4 hour finish I needed for a BQ and it was hard to see the 4 hour pace group ahead of me, I never gave up and had a fun race day. Watch the video to see me catch my first sight of my husband after the finish. It feels great to have given my all even if it's only for a little 26.2 mile run around The Woodlands!

36 comments:

  1. Sort of cold for Houston!! Great job on that race - sorry you didn't get the BQ.
    Fun to see you spot your husband after the race!!!

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    1. I was shivering pre-race and I'm glad I hung onto my arm warmers. Glad you liked the video!

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  2. Congratulations! I'm glad to hear it went so well for you! I thought of you as I raced too. The Phoenix Marathon was a great race and I will have a report up soon (spoiler - PR and BQ!)

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    1. That's good to hear and I'm so happy for you! I hope you share your tips!

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  3. Congrats on a great race! I can't believe you drank so little but it obviously worked for you. : )

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  4. What an awesome time!! Congrats on a great run. You look so happy in your picture.
    I just want to do one lol You should do a post about how different some of your marathons have felt to you - or maybe felt similar ?

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    1. I write a short post on my first 5 marathons (http://gottarunnow.blogspot.com/search/label/5%20Marathons), but that's a good idea, too. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  5. Great race! I'm hoping for a 4 hour marathon this year...my BQ as well. Were you disappointed you were so close? Glad you had fun! That's really the goal for me, every time.

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    1. Sure, it's hard to come so close when I think about my goal to BQ, but there will be probably be other chances to give it a try. Plus, I still had a lot of fun yesterday - chatting with runners, being cheered on by spectators, crossing the finish line...

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  6. "A little 26.2 mile run" - spoken like an ultramarathoner :) Congrats on a great race! I remember reading about this race last year when you ran the half, and it sounds like such a great small-but-not-too-small local race. You gotta love being home home (as opposed to RV home) the night before a race. Sorry you were so close to the BQ but missed! That's tough. Still, it looks like you had a great day!

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    1. A little 26.2 mile run... When I wrote that I guess I was kind of toning down the distance - a lot of non-runners think anything over a mile is crazy-talk!

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  7. Great job Tina! My friend Lauren did the Woodlands 5K on Saturday which I assume was part of the same race series!

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    1. Yeah, there was a half marathon and a 2K, too. Lots to choose from!

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  8. Congratulations! Running a marathon is always an accomplishment no matter what time you finish!

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    1. I agree! In fact, I heard the 4 hour pacer say how hard it was for him to pace a group that ran something like a 5 hour marathon. They're all hard - and they're are all accomplishments.

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  9. Congratulations! The image of the little girl high-fiving you at the end made me laugh. 16 marathons is very impressive! Great that you never gave up & had a fun race!

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    1. Thanks! I kept hoping I'd be able to pick up the pace like I did in training. Maybe next time!

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  10. Congrats on #16 Tina!! Never know what to expect on race day and I guess that what brings us back. You didn't make your goal but sounds like you had a good race experience, which I think, is most improtant!! Nice work.

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    1. Reminding myself that I was running #16 helped me to keep my spirits up. Thank you!

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  11. Sorry you missed the BQ time by just a few minutes. I hope you are still very proud of your accomplishment though. 4:04 is a FANTASTIC time!!

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    1. Thanks! Before the race, I told my husband to expect me anywhere from 4 to 5 hours later and I'm glad I came so close to 4 hours.

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  12. Congrats Tina! 16 is a lot of marathons. Great job. You are so close to the BQ I am sure you will hit it!

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    1. I really hope so! I just wish I didn't have to wait so long to give it a go again!

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  13. You look happy in the video and that's what it's all about! There is always another race to nail your BQ. And, 16? Holy cow already. That's not much to drink. Did you feel dehydrated after?

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    1. After the race, I only felt relieved to be done, sore and cold. I think #17 will be my BQ race!!!

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  14. Congrats on the finish! Marathons are always a huge accomplishment even if you don't get your ideal time.

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    1. Thanks, Jan! After the race, I heard one of the top runners say that her muscles didn't warm up because it stayed cold during the race - something I could relate to!

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  15. Congratulations on #16! That's so awesome. Loved the video! Have fun recovering!

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    1. Thanks! Recovery has gone well so far... After only walking for a few days, today I ran (4 days post-marathon). After the first mile, I felt good enough to keep going so I ran 5 miles.

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  16. I love the exuberant high-fiving 5 year old! Such a funny image.

    I felt the same way after running a half where 5 to 8 year olds were handing out the medals. I nearly stumbled right into the one holding out a medal to me.

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    1. Ha! Sometimes we're a little wobbly at the finish!

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  17. Oops, I think I made an error on my comment, it's supposed to say "congrats on finishing....

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  18. Awesome congrats! I love Texas! I lived in College Station for a few years while my husband went to A&M. I miss it during the winter months!

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    1. Thanks! Today is such a beautiful day here with blue skies and temps in the low 70's at lunch time. It's my running rest day, but I'll go on a nice walk and soak up the sunshine.

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