Yesterday, I ran the Houston Heights 5K for the 1st time!
My hubby convinced my nephew, Stephen, to run the race with me and it was great to have him there. Stephen ran track at his high school for the 1st time this year and has really enjoyed running, but this was his 1st street race. The night before, I gave him a run down on how the race works - the water stops, the route, the finish line, etc. He informed me that he had run a 3-miler at school in about 23 minutes, but that he hadn't run in the past month, so he was not going to "push it". I had to laugh...even not pushing it, I knew he was going to finish much, much faster than me.
On Saturday morning, we arrived early enough for Stephen to register for the race. On our way back from putting Stephen's t-shirt in the car, we joined Pam for a little warm-up jog on the jogging path. When we returned, we met up with Kay. Kay and I had agreed to meet at the chip pick-up, but when Stephen and I arrived, I discovered that this was not a chip-timed race. Luckily, Kay usually runs in a bright, very hard to miss baseball cap, so I figured finding her would not be a problem. We headed over to the start and met up with Bob, who introduced me to fellow blogger and Houston Running Bloggers President, John Walk. I just recently joined the Houston Running Bloggers, so it was great to meet him in person! Stephen decided to move a little closer to the front of the group...I figured he took a look at all of us "slower" folks and decided he needed to be up near the faster, younger folks.
When the gun went off, it took me about 20 seconds to cross the start line and it took a few blocks for the crowd to thin out a bit. I did notice that the route was, for the most part, nice and shaded. I am terrible about remembering to catch my splits with my watch, but I remember that according to the gun time, we finished our 1st mile in about 10:40. At about 1 1/2 miles, I started getting pooped out and took a quick walk break. Until then, I was running with Kay - who still looked strong and kept on truckin' it. At mile 2, the gun time was 21:35, so I knew I needed to pick up the pace a bit to at least beat my time from the Astros 5K last weekend. I did take another walk break between mile 2 & 3 and finished (according to my watch) in 32:21. That's 10:47 mile/minute pace, so I am not really to pleased with that. I will have to work to beat it at the 4th of July race in uptown park, although I know it will be pretty hot by then. This weekend, I remembered that my PR of 29:50 was accomplished on a wonderful February day when the weather was perfect - around 50 degrees, no humidity and not a cloud in the sky. Then, I wondered if I would ever beat that in the heat of the summer. I know it's possible...tough, but possible!
The afterparty was nice. There were breakfast tacos, juice, fruit and the usual stuff. I had more time to catch up with my running buddies and enjoyed meeting a few new folks too. Houston has a great running community! Oh and Stephen finished in a little over 30 minutes...he did admit that he walked a lot of the last mile. He said his hip was bothering him a little. He did say that he had a good time and may even try to run the 4th of Juky race with me.
Finally, I had a great time watching the kids run their 1K. I hope my kiddo is interested in running when she is that age. I would love to cheer her on in a 1K, 5K, 10K or maybe even a marathon one of these days.
Run long and Livestrong!