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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Boring running stuff...

Regina's just been blogging away without me and I didn't even know it. I guess it's becuase she's putting up pictures of the "big" me and she didn't want to tell me.

Since we were going to Houston to see Annie last weekend, I decided that I would run the Houston Half-Marathon. I'm sure Regina will tell all about the fun weekend in another post, so I'll just focus on the boring running part...

WOW! Was it ever crowded! There were 17,779 runners between the 5k, Half and Full Marathon. I didn't head to the start line early enough and I didn't really know the layout as well as I should have, so I ended up close to the back. It took me 4 minutes to get to the start line. I ran in 1:48:41. I was a bit disappointed that it was slower than my White Rock time, but I've been fighting allergies for a few weeks (including race day) and I don't think that helped. Hopefully, the cedar will blow through before the marathon. I think the crowd had an affect, too, since it took a while before I could get into kind of rhythm.

The first mile was extremely crowded and, since I started way at the back, I was weaving in and out of people the whole time. I'm not all that fast, but I do run at faster than a walking pace. It really took 4 or 5 miles before things spread out at all and I really didn't have much elbow room until we made the turn that separated the marathoners and half-marathoners close to mile 9.

They have some really cool tools that give graphical representations of my finish. (But make sure you mouse over the image headings so you can see my place according to chip time, which makes me look better.) And you can watch my little yellow dot travel the course if you click on the MapTrack link on this page.

Update: Here is video of me crossing the finish line. I'm way in the back in yellow and come across about 15 seconds after the clip starts (when the big clock is at 1:52:41).

Another update- Pictures! (warning- somewhat scary. Look at your own risk.)

At least I beat the governor. I guess his info is blocked for security reasons, but his start time was before me and Drew saw him finish on TV at about 1:55, and I was at 1:52. I didn't see him when I passed him, though. I guess because there were a thousand other people around, too. (Update: You can see his finish and TV interview after the race. He came in about 1:55. Funny how they let him cross the marathon finish line by himself. That's probably why he doesn't have a time.)

The race starts and finishes at the GRB Convention Center which works out well so that they can have all the food and bag check and stuff indoors in case it rains. If my body can handle the current marathon, maybe I'll go back next year and run the full. Once again, I didn't have knee or calf problems. Thanks to the modified stretches my trainer-friend showed me and the glucosamine I'm taking, I haven't had any problems. Maybe I don't need the glucosamine anymore, but I'm not going to find out until after the marathon.

For those that really care, here are my splits, which were all over the place:
Mile 1- 8:47 (among a huge crowd)
2- 8:01 (I think I followed someone part of time who was fast, but clearing a nice path)
3- 8:26
4- 8:05
5- 8:43
6- 8:25
7- 8:46 (I finally gave in and stopped at a port-a-can during this mile. Note to self: fill up on water, but stop drinking 45- 1 hr before the race.)
8- 8:11
9- 8:16
10- 8:13
11- 7:28 (I tried to pick it up for the last few miles...)
12- 8:38 (but then I hit downtown and got the wind tunnel effect among the tall buildings right in my face. Really windy.)
13- 7:47 (picked it up again as I emerged from the main downtown area.)
last bit- 0:47


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