This past weekend, I had the honor of running the Houston Half Marathon in memory of two special men – my Paw Paw Bernard and my Uncle Tommy. Last Fall, I raised money for the American Heart Association as part of the Run for a Reason program with the Houston Marathon.
My goal for the race was to run with a smile on my face because that’s how I remember my grandfather and uncle – always smiling and joking.
I was lucky to be able to reconnect with Ashley, a fellow Oiselle birdie who I met when we both lived in Nashville. Ashley is the sweetest, and she is super speedy (spoiler: she finished 2nd woman in the half marathon). I was blessed to get to spend some quality time with her.
Our hotel was 10 or so blocks from the hotel so we walked over to the expo Saturday morning. I cannot express how amazingly well run this race was. Packet pick-up was a breeze, the volunteers were incredibly helpful, there was signage everywhere to know exactly where you were going and the support was second to none. This was definitely the best big race I have run.
photo from Megan
Meb told us to be patient with our races but be quick. He also said to run the second half faster than the first. He was incredibly nice, and I can’t wait to read his book.
We spent the rest of the day Saturday just hanging out and grabbing an early dinner at Flying Saucer. We tried another Italian place downtown but it was booked solid so a quick pizza at the bar did the trick. Our #flystyle was working its magic in our favor as we were offered free beers by two sets of random strangers. Thankfully, we were well hydrated with lots of Nuun so no beers were necessary!
Race day was made easier with our hotel location. We ate our breakfast, donned our singlets and headed to the convention center. Bag drop was super organized and soon enough it was time to head to the start line.
I really didn’t know what to expect with the actual race. My running had been so lackluster for the last few months that the longest training run I did was maybe 5 miles. I ran steady and made a promise to Chris that I would not injure myself. All the race mojo aligned correctly because I had 13.1 miles of pain-free running in 2:08:09. Better yet, I was smiling the whole time. I saw my best friends Sarah and Rob at mile 2, and the rest of the course was lined with spectators all the way.
If you are in the market for an amazing January race, I cannot recommend the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon enough.
What an amazing weekend! Full of Oiselle love, full of rekindling my passion for running and full of lighting the fire for some serious racing for this Cajun in 2014.