Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Houston Half Marathon ✔

On Sunday, I popped my (racing) cherry when I completed the Houston Half Marathon. This was all to prepare for the upcoming Houston Marathon in January 2020. I've never participated a road race before... 5K, 10K, anything... so it wouldn't have been smart to have the full marathon be my first one.

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 ran jogged 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 ran jogged 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 ran slowly jogged.

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.

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