Houston Half Race Recap

This past weekend I ran in the Houston Half Marathon.  I was signed up for the 10k last year, but the race was called due to Tropical Storm Patricia that dumped massive amounts of rain on Houston.   The organizers had offered a nice discount code to everyone that was registered for last years race.

Race day eve found me resting for most of the day, I was still exhausted from my minor surgery and the antibiotics.  I had my usual salad for lunch and made a pasta bake for dinner.  I got to bed reasonably early, only to have heartburn once I laid down.

Race day morning came pretty early! I woke up at 3:15 for my pre-race breakfast of a piece of toast with almond butter and half a banana along with a cup of warm water with lemon.  I showered, got dressed and was on the road by 5am with a cup of yerba mate for some wake-up energy. I jammed out to Green Day on my commute to downtown Houston.

[caption id="attachment_1784" align="aligncenter" width="300"]wp-1478094255509.jpg Flat Vicki ready to race![/caption]

It was a balmy 70 degrees with 94% humidity and lots of fog when I got to the race location... I was really hoping for cooler weather.  I used the port-a-cans in the dark, walked around and essentially waited for the race to start.  The hubs called and wished me luck (yes, he is still at the deer lease). I headed to the port-a-cans one last time and headed to the starting line.

At the start it was crowded, still dark and foggy!  There were about 4,000 people running the race.  I lined up near the 2:10 pacers. The Star Spangled Banner was sung, and we were off shortly after and on time.

[caption id="attachment_1789" align="aligncenter" width="300"]houston-half At the start... dark o-clock still at 7am![/caption]

The race course started near Sam Houston Park, went through downtown for a couple miles, then headed out to Allen Parkway, on to Memorial Drive, through Memorial Park and back to Sam Houston Park.  It was a relatively flat course, except for the underpasses.  There were water stops at about every 2 miles (it seemed to me that they were more frequent).  They were well manned and well stocked with Gatorade Endurance and water.

I started out at what seemed like a comfortable pace for me, I was a little surprised when my watched beeped at the 1 mile split and my pace was 9:34! Whoops, so much for a negative split race. At that point I felt good ... the pace felt comfortable ... I was enjoying listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack ... and the miles were seriously flying by.  I slowed down at each aid station for a couple sips of water.  At some point during mile 6 my hip started aching!  I opted to keep running and dig deep until the next water station where I would walk through it, take some Advil and start up again.

After my walk break, my hip immediately felt so much better... it still ached, but at a level that I could ignore.  Weird, maybe I had adjusted my form a bit after the walk break.  I kept going and maintained a comfortable pace for me.  As the miles went on, I noticed I was slipping into the 10's and I was ok with that.  The fog didn't lift during the entire race, but the miles seemed to fly by.  During mile 11, my hip started aching again... so I took another walking break. But once I got to the final mile, I tried increasing my pace and made sure to kick it in for a strong finish.

[caption id="attachment_1790" align="aligncenter" width="230"]houston-half-finish Finishing strong... even smiling![/caption]

I finished at 2:11:25 and managed to keep up a 10:00 average mile pace, my splits were all over the place (9:34/10:13/9:37/9:59/9:56/9:37/10:23/10:11/10:09/10:11/10:11/10:20/9:57).


After getting my medal, picking my bag from the bag drop, changing into my Oofos, and drinking my recovery drink,  I headed over to enjoy the after party.

[caption id="attachment_1791" align="aligncenter" width="300"]wp-1478115557961.jpg The fog finally lifted after I finished[/caption]

It was fun with beer from Karbach brewery (including my new favorite Octoberfest) and tacos!  I was pleased that they had black bean and rice tacos. I even ran into a couple friends from InstaGram @jenheartshouston and @run_pattie_run (blogger fail - I neglected to get a picture), it was very nice to meet them in person! There was a band rocking the tunes (A Sure Thing)... it was a very festive after party.

[caption id="attachment_1788" align="aligncenter" width="300"]wp-1478098075549.jpg mmm... tacos and beer![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1787" align="aligncenter" width="300"]wp-1478097955407.jpg Enjoyable band... played covers of many decades of rock[/caption]

After I found my car in the parking garage, I was pleasantly surprised to have FREE parking (thank you Smith Street Garage)!  I made my way home... jamming out to Green Day again (have I mentioned how much I like their new album, Revolution Radio?). I wasn't really hungry, so I foam rolled, took a shower and decided to rest my eyes for a bit... I woke up over 3 hours later! I opted to order Indian Food delivery for my reward meal - Aloo Gobi Masala, Garlic Naan, and my favorite Indian dessert Rasmalia - needless to say, I scarfed it down.

Bottom line - the Houston Half Marathon is a great race!  It is very well organized... packet pick-up is a breeze... great updates on social media. I seriously was amazed with how many volunteers were at each water stop. I would definitely do this one again, and recommend it to anyone looking for a fall half in the Houston area.

Like I usually do, I made some goals for this race... here's how I fared against them:

  • Start out slow... run a reverse split race - this didn't happen, not even close.

  • Be confident, trust in training - I felt confident, even after miles 6 and 11.

  • Time goals ... I have an A, B, and C goal.  C goal - 2:11; B goal - 2:09, A goal - 2:07- while I didn't meet my A or B goal, I did meet my C goal, which was still my fastest half this year.

  • Execute on fueling and hydration strategy used during training runs - nailed it.

  • Have fun! - definitely met this one.

I'm linking up Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday.

wild wednesday


Post a Comment


  1. Congrats! Hey a PR for the year is an achievement for sure, especially in such humid conditions.

  2. Congratulations on your half, you did an awesome job! I really struggle with running in the humidity, so kudos to you! Hopefully your hip is feeling much better.

  3. Thanks! Crazy, the hip pain hasn't come back since the race.

  4. […] Sunday – Houston Half Marathon – 13.1 miles.  Had a great time at this race, check out my recap here. […]

  5. Congratulations! Love your post race nutrition.

  6. Congratulations on a strong race! With that fog, it must have been very humid and very tough to run in!! You get bonus points for that!

  7. Nice! Congrats Vicki - you did amazing! That's a great time you finished in.
    That's a bummer about your hip. I hope it's feeling fine now. I admire that you managed to keep up such a good pace with a hurt hip.
    You rock, girl!

  8. Thanks! Tacos and beer are the best, right?

  9. Thanks! Thankfully the ol' hip hasn't hurt since (strange, but I'll take it).