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Houston 2010 Cheveron Marathon Experience

Yesterday I participated in the Houston 2010 Cheveron Marathon. My third time for Houston. I did pretty well and improved my time significantly over last years time.

2009 – 5hrs 17min
2010 – 4hrs 23min

Not bad eh? That’s a P.R.* in my book! This year’s marathon differed from the two prior in several ways. One of the main differences was my ability to have brought more “awareness” of myself, the run and my surroundings more than I have in the past.

It is without a doubt that my awareness has been heightened lately, partly because of a refocusing on it as witnessed with the latest blog posts here, as well as the recent interactions I’ve been having with my parents and a very nice new young lady I have recently meet. These exposures have been leading to more insight, which I am working out here on the blog.

So what did I noticed this year on the run?

  1. The start song to the second wave was Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills. Totally rockin’ song, but totally not the best song to start with, except for the lyric refrain of  “Run toooo the Hilllllllllllllllllllllllllllls! Run foooor your LIIIIIIFE!” The song is actually about Native American’s attacking the white settlers. Maybe they were referring to a revival of the KARANKAWA INDIANS to the area?
  2. I was MUCH closer to the start line than I have been in years past. I had expected to take up to 20 mins from gun start to actually crossing the start line! Not so this year, it only took 2 mins.
  3. I was witness to 1 person falling and saw one person already downed. Plus I heard several ambulances AND ran by a patrol officer calling in another! Wow. It was a lot of accidents for perfect running conditions.
  4. Starting closer up to the front had me placed in with lots more people around me while running. This was good and bad. Bad: all the people irritated me. Not at first, but it did get irritating after a while. Especially since I could get my actual run pace at the beginning of the race. I was REALLY looking forward to the Half Marathoner’s turnaround point so the crowd would THIN out. Not so much, because I was running much faster than years prior AND I had started much closer to the start line, I was in the PACK of people. I think the prior years I was so much slower I was simply among the last of the runners! In short, it wasn’t til much further in the race, past the 13 mile mark, did it “thin” out from the people. The Good: Having that many people in the beginning, actually kept me from starting TOO fast in the race. This ends up assisting me to have  the negative split for the race. First half run slower than the later half. I enjoy thinking of myself as the “negative splits man”
  5. I really need to remember, use bathroom before starting the marathon. I don’t think I need to say anything else about this.
  6. It was really great seeing many of the coaches & assistant coaches and friends from HoustonFIT Yellow group out along the course. Running with them or having them cheer me on, friends help out alot! This of course goes without saying how wonderful and supportive it is having my support team of my Mom and Dad out on the course meeting me at the designated meet up spots. They rocked it for me.
  7. 5 G.U.’s and a little bit of some sticky nut trail mix, doesn’t make for a good fuel on the course. BUT I did participate in the weigh in prior to the race and then weighed after the race. Only lost 2 lbs!  I must have been doing SOMETHING right!
  8. I ran this race quite solo. My “training” partner of two years, didn’t run this year and I never really buddied up with anyone from the training group. It was quite lonesome there at the starting line. But it was good. I was focused on “what am I doing” mentally. Still stark comparison from years prior. I wasn’t even with the Yellow group. I think they were behind me at the start line. I dunno, just that I started the race “alone” this year. Not a bad thing, but I definitely noticed it. I think that this was a major reason I was able to notice all these things this year. Not too many distractions.
  9. Speaking of distractions, I was totally expecting to be preoccupied in my thinking about a person, but ended up not as much.  Partly to the forcing of my surroundings, but also because of an article I had read the night before about Managing Stress Through Mindfulness by Catherine R. Barber, PhD. In the article it talked about being in the present moment with the activity at hand. Maybe it’s because I was running, but it was actually kinda hard to be lost in my thoughts outside of the marathon! 4 1/2 hrs of mindfulness!
  10. I noticed when I really “dropped the hammer” on the running around mile 18. My vision focused and I became much more singleminded about my running form. I began to take more much narrowed attention to my actual running. People around me had less focus, although it was during these last 8 miles I saw the most people I know!

All in all, juicy stuff. Certainly a memorable Marathon. I am certainly thinking about running it again. But after that, I’m not so sure. I feel like I have a sub 4 hr marathon in me. With a running program that carries me through out ALL year long, I’m sure that next year this will be possible, bar any accidents or injuries. The question is, after that, what next? I don’t think the next level of physical challenge is what I will really be looking for. Not sure where this will lead me.

* P.R. = Personal Record

Crazy busy weekend

Just trying to get it all sorted makes my brain hurt. Is all this activity just nervous energy or some desperate attempt to keep from being lonely?

11/6 Friday:
Got off from work
Drove over to Fleet Feet for my Packet Pick up for Sundays running race.
Then off to the Coffee Groundz to check out the pre party for Colori Photo. Also to hang with some twitter peeps. Mandy, David, Meridith, Elaine. Also dropped off 3 polaroid cameras for Elaine (ENJOY!)
Then it was off to D’Amico’s for pasta loading dinner. Joined with Marcy. We consumed pasta and it was good. Stuffed fresh ravoli with wild mushrooms and walnuts and goat cheese.
We were then joined by Karen and Bob across the street at the Gingerman. I had a delicious Marasous 8.
Went home, made a martini and played Battlefield 2042 for couple of hours.

11/7 Sat:
Replaced my kitchen faucet.
Replaced my dishwasher’s plug.
Worked on replacing the outlet for the dishwasher under the sink.
Replaced the light switch in the bathroom. For some reason caused the outlet to fail. Vent fan still not working. Gonna have to go to the attic for that one.
Friend Jack came over and we Rye Seeded my lawn. Front and back.
M&D visited. Dad hasn’t seen the place since I finished painting.
Afterwards we went to Antidote coffee.
Drove out to Manvel, TX to pick up my RED 12 cup KitchenAid Food Processor, for $100, from the craigslist seller. (awesome!)
Went to Lowes to return somethings and get new stuff for house.
Dropped off keys at friends house who I had house sat several months ago.
Worked on dishwasher outlet some more. still not working.
Watched netflix movie of Mutant Chronicles. (meh)

11/8 Sunday:
Got up early to go and race in the Houston Classical 25K race. PR’d with a 2:20:45. A full 16 minutes better than last years time! Woop woop!
Came home and napped.
Went and did a load of washing at laundromat. Brought it home to the dryer.
Went to Lowes for more stuff for house.
Stopped at Kroger to get lunch stuff for work
Filled air in car tire, got gas. Realize I have a not so slow leak in my tire. Will need to change on Monday.
Worked on Dishwasher outlet some more. Still fail.
Came home, freshened up and got ready for Oyster Throw Down.
At Oyster Throw Down from 4-9:30pm. Consumed mass quantities of oysters and met lots of really nice people. The new Stella Luna location, the old Bedfords, is going to be awesome. Can’t wait for it to open so I can see it’s menu.
Came home, a bit drunk and full, watched the almost 3 hr movie, The Watchmen.


PR’ing my 25K and beating my record by 16 mins.
All the raw oysters I could eat, with no waiting line!
The “Smitten” at Stella Luna, created by Bobby Hugel of Anvil, was awesome.
Met  David Buehrer from Tuscany Coffee. Awesome dude. Amazing espresso.
Getting a $325 KitchenAid Food Processor for $100.
Amazing pasta at D’Amico’s.

Too long gone…

Now it’s just a shame that I haven’t been here in too long. So much has happened since my last real entry.

First off, I did complete the MS150 back in April. Unfortunately, the first day of the race was rained out! The entire halfway point campsite got washed out! I luckily hitched a ride with Bayou City Outdoors and camped out with them. The following day they took me and quite a few others to the start site and we were off! It was not my best ride, but considering that I didn’t get a chance to ride the second day LAST year, it was a nice new route to me. Tons of people were out there. Still an amazing event. Total money raised for MS, around $1700!!! Thank you to all my sponsors, ya’ll were tremendous!

After the MS150, I took a break from much of my Athletic activites. I finally found a new place to live and have moved! I spent about 2 months getting the place fixed up. New coats of paint, new outlets, switches, closet shelving, etc…there is more to do, but I am now living in it. And that’s a good thing! I need to get some pictures up soon.

Back at the Marathon training. I’m training again with USA Fit, Houston. They have graciously made me an assistant coach in the yellow pace group. That’s been great! I made registration for the 2010 Houston Marathon. Lucky, considering that the full marathon registration list sold out in 48 hrs. I also am registered for the MS150 ride again. This time I got early registration priority due to having raised over $1000 from last year. Hopefully I can do that again this year!

So now, I’m up to CURRENT events…
Today is my birthday day. Nice even number of years at 38! Humorously, my scale in the bathroom has been set to 38 for over 6 months now, because I forgot I was 37! I was wishing my life away!!

Yesterday was the Houston Half Marathon. 13.1 mile around the Allen Parkway loop. Me and about 3000 other people. In 2007, my first year to run it, I finished in 2hr and 22mins. In 2008 I finished in 2:13. This year, I finished 1:59:49! A new PR!! Definitely awesome time!  Today after work I’ll be going to go and get a massage at my fav body work place, Kinetic Bodyworks. They do amazing work! Afterwards my sister and I will head on over to the Grand Luxe for some dinner, if it still isn’t raining too hard tonight. Sounds like a good day.