For me, the Houston Half was to experience the process of a race... to see if there are any issues that might arise... to see what works. Here's what I did and the lessons I learned.
|Race day gear.|
- Got up early. At 5 a.m. to be exact to give myself plenty of time to force feed myself breakfast (which I normally skip), find parking, gear up, and warm up. Glad I did this because traffic was crazy due to the road closures and everyone coming in for the race.
- No pee breaks. Forget about going to the restroom, those lines were ridiculous. I'm thankful that I never needed to go but who knows for the upcoming marathon. Maybe wear a urinary catheter?
- Stomach issues? I've read that people might have GI issues during the race due to their gels and/or Gatorade. I took at Huma gel every 45 minutes and water/Gatorade at each water station and was fine. Will stick to this same strategy for the marathon.
- Don't blow your wad. I purposely
ranjogged at a certain heart rate (HR) to make certain not to burn my energy stores too quickly. I train at a max HR of 141 and ranjogged this race at HR 140-160. Only towards the end did I go beyond my threshold (>160). I went the entire race without walking (except to grab the water cups) and felt perfectly fine after the race. Then again, my pace was extremely slow.
|The course that I |
My official results:
- Time: 02:32:42
- Pace: 11:39 min/mi
- Overall: 3118th place out of 4078 finishers
- Average HR: 153
After seeing my results, I was a bit disappointed. I know I could've gone faster but was super disciplined with my HR running strategy. I stuck with it because I didn't want to risk injury/a long recovery... I still need to be able to train for the real test (full marathon).
But now I'm contemplating about doing another half marathon, to see how fast I can go if I really pushed myself, since I treated this last race like a training run (but a bit faster). Or I'll just continue to keep training the same way but when it's marathon time, I'm really going to push myself.
|My support group.|