Throw back Thursday post – it is so fun reminiscing about previous races that I have done. I thought since I am running my first postpartum half this weekend in Houston, it would be fun to reminisce about running the Houston Half Marathon 20 weeks pregnant last year.
I absolutely LOVE the Houston Marathon/Half Marathon. I have run the half or full marathon five times and this year will be my sixth. It will be really hard to top last year’s experience as my husband and I ran it together and had an absolute BLAST.
We arrived in Houston on Friday evening and got there early enough to go get our packets that evening so we didn’t have to deal with fighting the crowds on Saturday.
We were able to quickly get our packets – I love that you can save your confirmation in your passbook on your iPhone – it made it easy to show my confirmation and it was one less thing to keep track of over the weekend.
We quickly browsed through the expo but I was tired and hungry and didn’t really see anything I was interested in. The expo would be the only thing that I am not 100% impressed with with this marathon. I haven’t ever really found anything exciting and the race gear isn’t anything that is incredibly cute. I did stop and take a picture with the giant Kara Goucher on display (she is my fav!). Skechers has been the apparel sponsor the past couple years and it looks like they are again this year.
Saturday we spent hydrating and visiting with friends! We had a pasta dinner Saturday night and then woke up bright and early Sunday morning to race. I was excited to run in my “running for two” tank with Oiselle distance shorts and arm warmers. We easily found parking that morning and headed over to the convention center where bag check is and did some last minute race preparations and got to hang out inside away from the cold weather – another big plus about this race – not having to be cold for hours before the start.
About 30 minutes before the race we headed over to the starting line – they have the race divided into corrals based on your predicted race time and are very strict about enforcing them (unless you want to move back). This makes for a smooth start (another point for Houston!) – typically your first mile isn’t super slow which is really nice. They also tend to have plenty of portapotties to use before the start which is another positive about this race.
Since i was pregnant at the time, Jim had told me we would go at whatever pace I wanted and could stop as many times as I wanted/needed to. We
started off at a 9 minute pace and slowly started picking it up as we went along. I had a secret goal of finishing under 2 hours but knew it was important to listen to my body and not concentrate on time. It was SO fun not having the pressure of running a certain pace in the back of my head. By the time we hit mile 12 we were both getting sad that we were almost done because we were having so much fun! The crowds are great in Houston as well. We ended up finishing in 1:55 which I was pumped about!
After the race, you get to go back inside (woot woot) and pick up your finishers shirt (and mug if you do the full marathon).
They also have a HOT breakfast sponsored by HEB that is absolutely delicious! This was the first year I was actually able to enjoy it since I didn’t race, I actually felt good at the finish and wanted to eat. We enjoyed eggs, sausage and a biscuit with gravy. They also had chocolate milk, coffee and water! After breakfast we got our bags from bag check and then hit the road to head back to Dallas.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this half (or full) marathon and can’t wait to go back and run it this weekend!