I had my second post-baby half marathon experience today. Fortunately, I have a great story to share!
The Race: The 2014 Houston Half Marathon. I signed up while I was on maternity leave as a way to motivate myself to continue to run and to keep moving. I also knew that I would want to improve upon my February half marathon time. Mission accomplished.
Training: I followed a Hal Higdon twelve week training plan. For the most part, I did my runs when I could, but they usually occurred during lunch (short runs) or very early on Saturday mornings (long runs). I did almost all of my long runs outside along Bray’s Bayou in Houston. I only skipped one run – a twelve miler – due to crazy travel logistics while in Santa Fe.
The Course: The half-marathon course is a giant loop and starts in downtown Houston. The course winds its way up to, and through, Memorial Park, then makes its way back to downtown. I kept things steady and never walked during the race.
Race Amenities: This is a great race with lots of course support. There was plenty of water and Gatorade along the course, along with an army of volunteers and terrific crowd support and signage. There was also a great deal of security and I never once worried about my safety. There was a food village after the race, but I was eager to get home and skipped it. Besides, the park was very crowded and I did not want to wait in line for food/drinks. The medal is pretty neat and the race shirt is a usable dri-fit technical shirt.
Fueling: I was in a rush before the race (I fed George before dashing out to downtown Houston) and didn’t get a chance to eat beforehand. I did manage to down a Gatorade Prime on my drive over though. Thankfully, I had a bag of Honey Stingers in my fuel belt and ate one after crossing every mile marker. I chugged water and Gatorade all weekend and felt very hydrated during the race. I consumed water at every offering during the race too.
My time: 2:00:47 — a 9:13 pace. This is almost 14 minutes faster than my time from earlier this year! I’ll happily take my new PR!
My Support: I did this race solo – John and George were at home sleeping and resting. However, these two supported me throughout my training and are always there for me. I am a very lucky woman.
Running the Houston Half Marathon was a great way for me to continue on my running journey post-baby. I don’t have another half marathon scheduled until February 2015, so I am going to enjoy running with George in the Bob for a few weeks.