I finally have time to sit down and right my review for the 2019 Houston Marathon. This was my 9th time running that marathon. Did I plan to run Houston that many times? No. Why do I keep doing it? My friends are running it and I train with them so might as well. Plus it is Houston, I live here so it is a convenient location. They always( well mostly) on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.
This is the day the expo opens. I am however at work. I do not take off early or anything like that. Instead I work the full day. That night though is different. The girls I run with have a tradition of having an Italian Girls Night. My best friend hosts and we all bring something like bread, salad, dessert, etc. So we have some type of pasta to do our carb loading. We all sit around, talk, catch up, etc. It is always a lot of fun.
This is the day we go to the expo. Even though my husband hasn’t run the race in years, he still likes walking around the expo. The expo has different companies that come out with products and some races come out to get to people to sign up for their race. They also usually have fun booths like photo booths or giveaways. The sport teams are there too with little things for the kids. This year I was really hungry during the expo so I only ended up buying these headbands that I like called Sweatybands.
That night I did something differently. I slept over at my best friends house. In the past, I have driven myself, driven with my husband, taken a taxi or carpooled with a friend. This year we decided it might be best to sleep at my friends. That way I don’t wake up my family super early in the morning and don’t have to worry about my car.
Woke up and got ready and debated what to wear for awhile. Basically it was like 33 degrees at the start but would be about 50 when we ended. I decided to go with crops, long sleeve and gloves(free from the expo). I also texted my husband to bring me a tank so I might switch later in the race. It was going to be sunny so I have my new running sunglasses with me.
We get to the race and the race meeting place is inside at the GRB Convention Center, same place as the expo. It is really nice because you are stretching and putting your bag away but are inside so protected from the elements. We saw all our friends, hugged and said good luck to everyone. Then it was time to go to our corral. This is going to get a lot of we. My best friend (and training buddy) and I were in C Corral. C Corral was a mess. I have never seen it like this. Basically a lot of people couldn’t get in because the corral was too small for the amount of people in the corral so they were sending people to the back of the D corral. We got in but we still didn’t start the race until almost 40 minutes after the race had started.
We were running with a woman who was running the half marathon and after two miles she said she was going to try to run with us until their turn which is mile 8. We said sure. She asked us if we finish every race together and our answer was no because we usually split before mile 19. So this year we decided we would run the whole race together. I didn’t have a time goal but my friend wanted under 5 hours because she hasn’t done that in awhile.
My husband comes out and cheers with my son every few miles. He is at mile 3, mile 6, mile 10, mile 15 and mile 21 plus the finish line. He did forget my tank because I did ask for it at mile 21 but I was fine. I gave him my gloves at mile 21 and then just rolled up my sleeves. My friends parents were out there 3 different times with food. They have peanut butter filled pretzels which are just so delicious when I run. We also had our friends husband who we only saw once but he always has treats too.
Once we got to mile 18, we really realized that we could finish the race together. We talked the entire time or complained whatever. She had a lot of people on the course cheering for her (her work is on the course so coworkers came out). We saw a couple of friends cheering and I was just so excited to get to the mile 24 beer tents to see my favorite brewery Karbach and hear their loud cheers (it helps that I know some of them).
One thing I do is I have a list of names and I dedicate a mile to different people. Mile 25 to the finish is always dedicated to my dad and I normally cry a little and this race was no different. It was real quick and then over it. My friend and I were getting to the finish line and we had come up with a plan for the finish at mile 2. I asked if she was still game for it and she wanted to double check if I could do it and I told her I could, I felt great. So a little bit from the finish line, she jumped on my back and I ran the finish line. It was the perfect way to finish the race.
One you finish, they give you water and your medal. You go through a maze of getting your picture taken plus little food like bananas and chocolate milk(which I loved at the finish). Then you go get your shirt and beer mug. I then always go get my bag and head to the food line to get something. Then I go find my husband and son. This part takes away because you always run into friends and they want to take pictures. I also saw my former student and her mom volunteering so I went to them and talked to them.
Once I left and found my family, we went to the little store that had deep discounts and I bought a hat and bought my son a shirt that he can wear in like 5 years. We went home so I could shower/bath and then it was time for all the food.
It was such a great day with the best weather!