I was happy to learn that Houston’s 12k of Christmas race course changed this year. Last year, we ran 3 loops through Midtown. Despite being at the peak of marathon training and running with Kristin, the race just felt AWFUL. It was also unusually warm last year. We wore Santa hats and it was definitely too hot for that. This year, the run was 2 loops down Allen Pkwy– still loops, but I don’t mind so much. It does, however, have more “hills”. If you’ve ever run in Houston, you know that it’s completely flat, so the hills are simply bridges or inclines/declines on the road, lol.
I was exceptionally excited for the race because Gloria was running– it would be a distance PR for her. She had run 6 miles a month or so ago, and I told her that if she could do 6, she could do 7.5, for sure. I also agreed to run with her and make sure she would make it to the finish!
I picked up her Saturday morning and we found street parking roughly 2-3 blocks from the Start/Finish. It was cloudy and 51 degrees to start. Not bad for race weather.
Official time: 1:07:02.9
Negative splits, FTW! We started off a little slow since we were at the back of the crowd to start. We gradually sped up into a comfortable rhythm and I was impressed that Gloria was comfortable with the pace. There was 1 water station that we would run by twice during the race, and we stopped both times for water. Gloria commented that she was getting tired with less than a mile to go. I offered some encouraging words, and we ran together until maybe that last 0.25 miles, when I pulled away to speed up. The Nike app tells me that the last 0.2miles was downhill, and I went between 6:48-7:02 pace, picking up speed for a strong finish. Maybe a little too strong because I thought I was going to throw up right after I crossed the finish, lol. Gloria finished shortly after– so proud of her! I was pleasantly surprised to later find out that I beat my time from last year (1:07:53) by 50 seconds. I also came in 14/63 (last year, 21/97). Definitely not bad considering I went into this with just the goal of making sure Gloria would get to the finish!
In the spirit of Christmas, I wore my knee-high red Yelp socks for the race. That probably wasn’t the best idea, lol. The thick socks gave me a huge blister! We strolled around the post-race party, picking up a few free items, and left to meet her fiance at Paper Co. Coffee. More exciting news– Gloria decided that she was up for training for a half marathon! :) As of last week, Gloria, Mark, and I are signed up for The Woodlands Half Marathon on February 28, 2015! I love encouraging others to run!!