Month: January 2015

Houston’s 12k of Christmas Race Report

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.

Splits:
9:57
9:41
9:20
9:25
8:50
9:11
8:46

Official time: 1:07:02.9
Pace: 8:59.5/M

Houstons12k2014Negative 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!!

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Dallas Half Marathon Race Report

I signed up for the Dallas Half Marathon in 2013, but the race was cancelled due to bad weather! We didn’t get refunds, but instead, got a discount on registering for 2014. Also, if we ran 2014, we’d be able to pick up our medals from 2013! No-brainer– I signed up as soon as they sent us the discount email.

Unlike the small race from the prior week, big races require waking up ridiculously early the morning of, but on the up side, they have race expos! I drove up from Houston Saturday morning (couldn’t skip Rascal Flatts playing at the company holiday party Friday night!) and in the afternoon, went to packet pick-up and explored the expo, picking up a few items. Also, I signed up for the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon in September at a discount!

IMG_1523Pre-race: I stayed at a friend’s place overnight in Lower Greenville, since it’s a much shorter drive from there than from Plano! The morning was going relatively smoothly, until I got close to the race and realized I had no cash for parking.  Shit.  I ended up finding street parking and did the Pay by Phone option, after coming up short on change to put into the meter. I waited until 30 minutes before the start to leave my car. I thought I would have plenty of time to go to the bathroom and then meet up with some friends, but I was wrong, lol. I waited in line for 15-20 minutes to go to the bathroom. By then, the corrals were so crowded that I wasn’t able to maneuver over to where my friends were standing!

IMG_1530Race: After running RunGirl 13.1 last weekend, I decided to take this one easy. Glad I had decided that, because turned out I was a bit dehydrated and had minor side cramps going on! Walked EVERY water station, and thus, the pretty varied paces in my splits. It sprinkled lightly during the race. Wasn’t too bad except that it made the roads a bit slick and I had to tread carefully.

Around the last 1/4 mile of the race, the first place marathon runner came running by! I was prepared– stopped to snap a shot before finishing the run.

dallashm14finishSplits:
9:55
9:19
9:31
9:18
9:22
10:08
9:32
9:42
9:04
9:53
9:49
9:37
9:09

Official time: 2:07:28
Pace: 9:44

IMG_1544Definitely much slower than last week’s race, but I’m not beating myself up over it! Picked up 2 extra medals after the race and then walked probably a mile to get back to my car! It was rather tricky getting over there with all the sectioned off areas for the race & post-race party! I headed back to my friends’ place, showered, and we went to True Food Kitchen for lunch, followed by much-needed coffee from Ascension Coffee. =)

RunGirl 13.1 Race Report

So, this was a bit unplanned but I ran with Kristin, and since she wanted to go sub-2:00, I thought, sure, why not?

Pre-Race: Gotta love smaller races where you can show up 15 minutes before the start and wait in your car until 5 minutes before the start to walk over! It was a cool morning at 54 degrees and a little bit windy, being next to the lake. There was a small crowd at the start, and it didn’t take long to pass the starting mat!

rungirl2Miles 0-10: Kristin and I ended up running the whole race together! As predicted, we were dressed appropriately for the parts where it was windy, but whenever we were further from the lake, there was no wind, and it felt a bit warm. In any case, I had only run up to 8 miles in the past few months, and it was pretty obvious today, lol. I was able to keep a pretty good pace for 9-10 miles! The start might have been slightly more congested, but it didn’t take long for the runners to spread out (see the background in the picture?). I also did grab water at every water station, quickly slowing down to sip, and then picking up right where we left off.

Miles 11-13.1:During that last 5k, my legs tightened up, unprepared for those extra miles! Luckily, Kristin started feeling good around mile 9 and kept us going the last few miles to hit our sub-2:00 goal. I seriously just wanted to slow down and walk, lol. On a side note, we tried to high-five for the camera a couple of times, but the photographers only got our first (failed) attempt!

In any case, it wasn’t bad for a last minute race, although that last 5k was tough! Oh yeah, we also stopped at every water stop, haha. I didn’t cramp up during the race tho, so I was pretty happy about that.

Splits:
8:34
8:49
8:50
9:01
8:57
8:56
8:46
9:02
8:54
9:07
9:17
9:06
9:01

My app recorded the run to be a little longer than 13.1, but that seems to almost always be the case.

Official time: 1:59:32.6
Pace: 9:07/M