Monday, January 18, 2010

Houston Marathon

Houston Marathon 2010
Family drove me into town that morning and dropped me off. Dropped off my bag at bag check and met up with Dan. We went to the restroom and then headed to the starting line. Stood around there and talked to my friends. Found Shaheen as we planned to start the race together with the 3:10 pace team. We got setup right by the starting line and we still had a slightly slow first mile. The plan was to go out with the 3:10 pace group for the first three miles and then pick up the pace.

Mile 1 - 7:34 Elysian
Mile 2 - 7:05 Quitman
After mile 1 we were running with the 3:10 pace group and they were trying to make up all lost time from the first slow mile. But it felt easy so no problem.
Mile 3 - 7:06 White Oak Dr.
During mile 3 I got an 8 oz water bottle and a GU from my wife. As I tried to take the GU it fell out of my hands because I still had my gloves on. I had a backup GU (Roctane) in my shorts so I took that instead after I tossed my gloves. This was my first of 4 GUs’. I also only drank the 4-8 oz bottles of water during the race. I drank nothing from the aid/water stations. So with spillage and throwing bottles away I probably only drank 20 oz of water the entire race. Never felt dehydrated and only had mild cramps after the race.
Mile 4 - 7:00 Michaux
During mile 4 Shaheen pulled away from me but I was feeling good with my pace and I knew she was faster than me. My pace was pretty strong thru mile 11.
Mile 5 - 7:03 11th street
Mile 6 - 6:50 Studemont
Mile 7 - 6:58
Mile 8 - 7:08 Montrose
Mile 9 - 7:05
Around mile 9 the half turns around so the traffic was all gone and we could run good tangents when we needed to.
Mile 10 - 7:06 Main St
At mile 10 I got my second GU and water from my wife. She said I looked very labored after the race at this point. I was probably pushing the pace a little too much thru these miles but it felt very easy.
Mile 11 - 7:06
Mile 12 - 7:13 University Blvd.
Miles started to get harder at this point. I was coughing pretty badly at this point. To the point that my ribs were getting sore. I did my best to stay close to the 7:10 planned pace. I felt like I was working from here to the end of the race. 1hr 50 min of hard work. I was hoping the hard work section would only be an hour long but the course was covered with supporters and I was going to give them all I had.
Mile 13 - 7:17 Weslayan
Started to hear rumors of a big hill ahead from the spectators. Really, I thought Houston was a flat race.
Mile 14 - 7:12 Westpark
Oh, hell. We hit a huge bridge and as soon as we hit it I was passing tons of people. I do my fair share of hill work so it was not too bad. Probably a little over a ¼ mile uphill. Maybe it took a little out of me over the next 2 miles but we were past the half way point.
Mile 15 - 7:14 Feeder off 59
Got my 3rd GU and water from my family. Wife said I looked stronger at this point. It was so easy to find them at each stop because we had more signs than anyone else. Not sure I could have run this race without all the support.
Mile 16 - 7:21 Post Oak Blvd.
More coughing. Please go away.
Mile 17 - 7:06 San Felipe
Somewhere around here I hit a big group of friends from Dallas that came down just to cheer for their friends. They really got me going again. For a second I thought if I could hold a 7:05 pace from here on out I could get the 3:08. I think I can, well not so much.
Mile 18 - 7:13 Woodway
Mile 19 - 7:11
Mile 20 - 7:13 Memorial Park
Mile 21 - 7:20
Got my 4th GU & water from my cousin. I was so tired I made him come to me. Felt like from here to the finish there were a lot of rolling hills. We kept going under all these overpasses. I felt very strong and even smiled at different friends and spectators as I passed them. When the race pictures come out we will see how fresh I looked. This is the first marathon where I didn’t feel my eyes roll to the back of my head. The pace dipped a little and I gave away a couple of minutes over the last 6 miles but no 8 min miles so I held on strong.
Mile 22 - 7:20
My ribs and back were starting to hurt during the next couple of miles. This is probably from all the coughing and a weak core. I need to work on my core and upper body more so I am not as worn down in these last miles.
Mile 23 - 7:17
Mile 24 - 7:25 Allen Parkway
Mile 25 - 7:34 Louisiana
Mile 26 - 7:30
Mile 26.2 - 6:46
Total - 3:09:38
1st half 1:33:50/ 2nd half 1:35:48 almost 2 min positive split so not perfect exacution but I was ok with the race as a whole. It is hard to know what kind of shape, health and day you will have till you run the race.
This race was within a min of my goal so I am very happy with that. It was a PR by 2 min 14 seconds on a course that is probably a few min tougher than St. George. Hopefully I can work hard and shave off a few more min by Boston. Houston Marathon was run very well, second only to St. George. I love having the convention center right there so you can go right in after the race and stay warm.


  1. Great report and race Nick! What a boost it must of been to have your family there along the way.

  2. Fantastic job, Nick! To thing you still had the vestiges of sickness and still managed to kick serious butt is wild. Love the photo, too. Can't wait to meet you in Boston!

  3. The Woodlands Marathon is coming back in 2012 in March! Have you seen this yet: