Happy New Year!
If you have read the blog lately, you can likely guess what my #1 athletic goal is for 2013 - the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile trail race - and preparation for it started 6 months ago. With a goal like that hanging over my head, I am not going to even think about goals for later in the year. It is definitely one step at a time around here!
To that end, I started 2013 by running 26.2 this morning at the Texas Marathon in Kingwood. When I signed up early last year it was on a whim and because I really wanted the race medal. See why?
This race competes with the Little Rock marathon for the "world's largest race medal" every year. This year's medal weighs in at 3+ pounds!
So, when I registered I didn't know what my goal was going to be for the race and as it turns out, I was able to use it as a training run for Rocky. I have not run a stand alone road marathon since 2009, so I was not sure what to expect in terms of time goals. We decided to run comfortably (conversation pace) and see where the cold and wet day took us.
The race was four 6.55 mile loops. The marathon started at 8 am and the half marathon started at 8:15. The course was only crowded for the first half mile or so, and had we attempted to move the front of the field for the start, we could have, but we were in "this is just a training run" mode.
The course was well supported with volunteers and the Kingwood Greenbelt is a great place for a race. The race directors, Paula and Steve Boone put on great races with nice swag. His pre-race emails have all the information you need to know and I love the smaller marathons - specficically, picking up my packet race morning and not dealing with crazy crowds.
I woke up at 6:15, left my house at 6:45 and arrived at 7:30 for an 8:00 am start. I picked up my packet, retrieved my timing chip, dropped my bag, hit the porta potty and still sang the national anthem. That sure beats getting up at crazy pre-dawn hours to make it to a race. Don't get me wrong, sometimes the fanfare of a larger marathon is nice, but generally, I think it is a headache.
Overall, it was a well run race and I definitely recommend it, if not for the medal alone! As for results, we came in #56 and #57 with a time of 4:09 or so in a race to the finish line that Mark halted at the last second to let me pass first. In addition to the awesome medals, we also got little squeeze mice with our race place finish that you can see in the photo below. These are fun to put on the trophy shelf!
We averaged 9:30s and I was happy with that. We had four or more bathroom stops between us, nutrition grabs and a slow start with the crowds. My PR is from the Houston Marathon in 2009 and it is 3:57, so running a 4:09 without a lot of effort on New Year's eve food, drink and sleep without a real taper was a win! It also tells me that if I raced a marathon I think I could shave some time off my PR. That might be a good 2014 goal to hit 3:40 so that I can qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon, I am waiting to age up! In the mean time, I am the proud ownder of this supersized medal!