Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pre-Marathon Report: Houston Marathon Weekend

Sorry to have bailed on the running updates, for those of you who cared.  Training went well through race week.  Taper week wasn't as frustrating as I expected.  As it turned out it was much needed rest.  Wednesday night before the marathon I started sneezing, Thursday I felt a cold coming on.  I loaded up on water and vitamin C, but no luck, Friday morning I felt like I had been hit by a small car.  I was worried about the race, and started mentally making adjustments about my performance.  After going to bed extra early I still felt like crap Saturday morning before we drove to Houston.  I decided to let it play out and "pretend" not to be sick, put myself in the mental state of taking care of my body but not letting it drag me down.

Saturday Jennifer and I picked up (a hung over) Jenna and headed to Houston.  The ride down was easy, we chatted and gossiped most of the way.  We had a quick stop for lunch at Quiznos then went right to the Expo to pick up our packets.  The Expo was at the GRB Convention Center in Houston, which is also where the start and finish of the race would be held.  We had no issues parking or picking up our packets.  Then we looped our way around the Expo checking out the merchandise. 

After the Expo we managed to find our way to the hotel, no easy feat even with maps, navigation and phones to guide us!  We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott about 10 miles from the race start, but a couple blocks from the 15 mile mark of the race.  After settling in we headed over to Macaroni Grill for dinner.  Normally I would not eat at a chain when traveling, I'd much rather find a place unique to the area.  But marathon eve is not the day to try something new!   Bread, pasta, sauce, chicken and some veggies was the perfect meal.  About half the people at dinner appeared to be other runners with their family and friends as well.

We headed back to the hotel and Jennifer and I spent about an hour laying out our supplies for the next day, checking the weather and debating what time we needed to get up.  Final decision was 4:30!  We watched some terrible TV and went to bed at about 10:30.  I think I finally fell asleep somewhere around 2am.  I just could not turn my brain off.  But 4:30 came and we were up and about.  We left at 5am and Jenna dropped us off close to the start.  Jenna went back to the hotel and I would later see her at the 15 mile mark.  Jennifer and I went into the Convention Center, hung out for a little bit then went outside for a final potty stop before getting into our starting corrals.  It was 48-50 degrees at the starting line, perfect weather. 

Ready to go inside the Convention Center

With my training buddy Jennifer

At this point, I know that my "cold" from Thursday and Friday was really Cedar allergies.  I still have a runny nose, but the mental fog and other symptoms have gone away.  YEAH!  On one hand it sucks to have allergies, but I'm glad to know what it was and that it was not a major factor of my race in Houston.  What will happen next month for the 1/2 Marathon in Austin - I don't know. 

Next post will be the actual race review!

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