To kick of the new year, I have been posting about some of the adventures I have had recently to get me motivated and off to a good start in 2017. This week’s adventure is a recap of my running the Chevron Houston Marathon last Sunday. By “run”, I mean run/mall walk. 🙂
I will kick off the post by sharing one major piece of advice. TRAIN FOR IT! With my work schedule, training for a marathon just never happened. The result was me winging it last Sunday with the goal to simply finish. As a lawyer, let me start by giving a disclaimer. Do not try this at home folks! Everyone warned me about the potential negative impact on my body and the serious consequences of running 26.2 miles cold.
The Houston Marathon is one of the most organized (and flat) marathons in the US. For people like me who hate running, it is an ideal place to start. I kicked off the weekend by attending the running expo looking for some motivation to make it through…
For those of you may be wondering, yes, I was channeling my inner love for Sherlock, Moriarty, in particular. It was pretty funny hearing loads of random Houstonians cheer for Moriarty while chuckling. Seeing the names of the over 27,000 runners who joined me on Sunday was pretty amazing. Pretty sure it took me 20 minutes to finally find my name.
I always manage to find any excuse to do some shopping, so I figured why not snag some new running shoes. I must say that I haven’t purchased anything by Sketchers in years, but I could resist the limited edition Houston running shoes. Sketchers is one of the lead sponsors of both the Houston and Los Angeles Marathons, and I have to give them kudos on these shoes. They really are comfortable!
That being said, eeing all of the really fit people at the expo actually had the reverse effect I was looking for. All I could think was, “What did I get myself into?”
Just like with travel, I am a terrible over packer.
I made the mistake of reading loads of posts on marathon running for encouragement, and all I kept hearing was to train with the things you will use on marathon day. Too bad it was too late for me. So what did I end up bringing with me on the run? Just my bib. With the weather in the high 60s creeping into the 70s with 96% humidity, I was not about to carry any additional wait on me. I was told the most important item in the photo is the Body Glide for women (aka the pink deodorant looking stick). Chafing is real, friends. TMI, but seriously, that is the one effect I’m still feeling from Sunday.
I nervously took this picture as I approached the starting line along with thousands of other nervous runners. It seemed like the longest walk, and it took nearly 37 minutes for me to cross the starting line! With no game plan, I decided to stalk the 5:30 finish pacing group and play it by ear. Some of the ladies with me had lost over 50 pounds while another lady was running for her mother who suddenly passed from lung cancer. Inspired by the motivated group of women, I painfully managed to finish.
Now for the elitist runners out there, you may be thinking this doesn’t count as marathon “running”. I certainly sped walked for quite a bit, but I willed myself to finish having done 0 long runs and having a hip and back injury. It is amazing how much your will can push you beyond what you are capable of accomplishing. And that is the positive message that I want to share with everyone, and it is something I needed to be reminded of.
From belly dancers to what looked like a beer party, there were loads of random events to try to help distract the runners. At one point, one gentlemen went down, and immediately runners went to his aid and performed CPR. It was a reminder to me of just how delicate marathon running can be, and as I write this, I’m hope he is resting. Houstonians are pretty amazing people, and I saw loads of encouragement, support, and goodwill from countless men, women, and children who came out to support.
After 5+hrs, I crossed the finish line. As I was crossing, the first thing I thought was, next year I had better prepare in advance. When it comes to work or school, I have always been one to prepare in advance to avoid stress. Definitely need to apply this to running. It was an experience that I am certainly glad is over, but it was a great way to kick off getting fit in the new year. Anyone down for doing the Disney Princess Marathon next year?!?
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