Monday, January 14, 2008

2008 Chevron Houston Marathon

The weather was perfect for a good marathon. Andrea, Jakeb, Gwen, Matthew, Mike and I parked and went to the George R. Brown Convention Center to get out of the cold. We saw a few people we knew. Wes, Jenny, Jay and Laura were right inside the front door and we hung out with them most of the time before the race. We saw Brenda who was running the half and a good friend from Arkansas Ronnie who was running the full.

After some stretching and standing in porta-potty lines I left the family to go stand in the cold until the race started. I wore shorts and a short-sleeved shirt and no gloves. I decided I would gut it out in the cold until the start. It wouldn’t have been too bad were it not for the wind. After I started running I was comfortable.

The first mile was crowded as usual but runners spaced out pretty well in the second mile and beyond. I ran too fast through 10k and decided to slow it down to a more reasonable pace for me.

I ran at an even pace through 20 miles and then slowed a little. At mile 22 my legs started cramping and I walked some but then I thought “This is not happening to me again” and started a slow jog that I could maintain. My legs loosened up and I picked it up a bit … but not much. Most of the rest of the race was a mental battle to keep running rather than run/walk.

At mile 23 the guy next to me looked over and said, “Our goal is to beat the Super Heroes.” I ran most of the day near these two guys who wore Super Hero costumes. One dressed as Flash Gordon and the other dressed as Superman. I got sick of hearing “Look there’s Superman! Go Flash!” I guess that is why they wore the costumes.

At mile 24 I was walking through the water station and as I grabbed a cup of water my stomach seized up. It was like someone was inside of me squeezing my stomach like ringing out a wet rag. I ran to the side of the street and dry heaved three times. Then as fast as it came on it went away. I’ve never experienced any kind of nausea during a race. I hope this isn’t reoccurring. I got back out on the road and headed into downtown.

I felt much better running into downtown knowing that the race was almost over. Near the finish Jake and Andrea yelled at me but I didn’t have it in me to even look over at them. I finished in 3:55:13 and beat the Super Heroes. I found the guy at the finish who told me his goal was to beat the Super Heroes and I said “You did it! You beat Superman!” And he laughed and said “Yeah.”

I finally broke four hours in a marathon. Now what?

My plan is to work for the next couple of weeks to lose 10 pounds and if my legs will let me I will start training for the Ouachita Trail 50 Miler.

Andrea and Gwen walked the half and beat last year's time by 13 seconds. That is a one second per mile improvement which is good considering they thought they would finish much slower this year.

Overall it was another good day at the marathon.

1 – 9:08
2 – 8:25
3 – 8:34
4 – 8:48
5 – 8:33
6 – 8:35
7 – 8:43
8 – 8:33
9 – 8:39
10 – 9:09
11 – 8:27
12 – 8:59
13 – 8:53
14 – 8:42
15 – 8:37
16 – 8:48
17 – 8:46
18 – 9:03
19 – 8:57
20 – 8:47
21 – 9:32
22 – 9:45
23 – 9:20
24 – 10:07
25 – 10:16
26 – 9:09
26.2 – 1:53
Total – 3:55:13