I arrived up at Southern Star around 7ish. It was already warm – 82! I needed to pick up my packet with my bib and timing chip so I took care of that business, went to the REAL bathrooms and then strolled back out to the car to put away the stuff I didn’t need. I had plenty of time to stretch, warm up, and mentally prepare myself.
At 7:45 they started getting everyone up for the race director to give a description of the course. The course map wasn’t published in advance, it was only described as through a neighborhood and gently rolling. This was a very casual race, but not disorganized. The Star Spangled Banner was sung and then we were off! It was soon apparent that gently rolling meant hilly! It wound through a subdivision that was across the street from the brewery and was pretty shaded… but, oh those hills!
There were quite a few hills… none of them I would consider “gently rolling”, especially for the flatland that is Houston. There was a water stop at about 1.75 miles and very well manned, and we ran past it again almost a mile later. I was carrying my own hydration (nuun), but took a cup to pour down the back of my neck both times, I felt it really helped with the heat.
I had a goal to run it faster than last year, which was 28:23, but my pie in the sky goal was to run it in under 28:00. The night before, I finally looked at a pace calculator for what paces I would need to hit, and I wasn’t so sure… especially in the heat. I made sure to wear my “she believed she could so she did” bracelet for extra motivation. I have to admit I found motivation in the “Team Beef” folks as well, I made a point to pass up as many as I could.
After crossing the finish, I was beyond pleased to see the finish time on my watch was 27:17!! I grabbed an ice cold bottle of water and headed back to my car to get my recovery drink, change into my Oofos, and stretch things out. I was parked not too far from the road to the finish, so I was able to cheer on some runners who were finishing up.
- Time Goal – beat my time from last year – 28:23.9 – achieved – official time 27:14
- Run reverse splits – not achieved, my splits were everywhere – 8:50/8:36/8:45
- Stay hydrated – achieved
- Be comfortable being a little uncomfortable – achieved
- Have fun … enjoy the race and the after party – achieved