When I woke up for the Race, I could hear thunder in the distance. Knowing the Houston weather, it would either pass quickly or not even be thundering in downtown Houston (a whopping 9 miles away!). I got dressed and headed out. As soon as I walked out the door, the warmth and humidity hit me. I was a teeny, tiny bit relieved that I wasn't doing a LR this morning, as I hate running in these conditions.
I pulled into the same surface parking lot that I've parked in years past, only this time there was an attendant there. Imagine my surprise when he told me it would be $10 to park. Ugh! I never carry cash, so I had $9 and some change...he took it. I met a couple of Houston Fitters while waiting for the traffic light. We proceeded to the chip pick up tent, which was a bit chaotic - the signs showing which numbers were where were down low, so no one could see which line to get in. I really wasn't even going to bother with the chip, since I am not really supposed to be running. But, I decided that at least I would have a record of the race, so why not? Besides, with 29,000 other people, it's not as if anyone runs this event for a PR! After getting my chip, we headed over to the start to meet the other folks from Houston Fit (who had just finished 6 miles of the scheduled 9-miler). After chatting for a few minutes, I headed to the back of the sea of people. If I wasn't going to really run, there was no reason to be in the front. About the time the kids K was starting, the heavens opened and it rained hard for a few minutes. I think most of the crowd was happy to get a little relief from the warm temps.
I knew that there was no way I was going to walk the entire course. That would be way too boring. And, I really wasn't supposed to be running....so, I compromised. I set my intervals for 2/2. I decided I would walk 1/2 and slow jog 1/2. That was better than nothing. So, off I went. The 2's of jogging did bother my back, but the 2's of walking were fine. It wasn't as bad as it had been a few weeks ago, but definitely not 100%. Anyway, here are my slow splits...
Mile 1 - 12:33
Mile 2 - 12:40
Mile 3 - 13:20 (mostly walking)
0.1 - 1:11
Total - 40:14
During Mile 3, I hit the sloping hills of Allen Parkway and decided that running up or down them may not be good on the back, so I walked both. Then, I ran into one of the Houston Fit crew who had bonked from the 6-miler earlier that morning, so I walked a bit with her as well. I finished mile 3 in 13:20 and the .1 in 1:11, with a total finish time of 40:14.
Even with all the people, I love doing the Race for the Cure. It's definitely not the place to worry about your time, but it's great to be able to celebrate the victories over breast cancer and remember those whose lives were cut short. It's a cause near and dear to my heart!