Race Recap: Chevron Houston Marathon

An overview from a runner with a prior DNF coming back for a PR.

My History:

2014: Los Angeles: 4:37:39

2015: Los Angeles: DNF

2017: Houston: 4:08:43


I finished my second marathon last weekend. After the first, LA 2014 I swore I’d never do another. I could barely breathe by the end, and my whole body was a mess. Within 48 hours I had changed my tune and planned to do the same race again the following year. In the 2015 LA Marathon, I grabbed a DNF after breaking my ankle in mile 5. I knew I had to do at least one more to redeem myself, but was sure that would be my last for a long time. Now I want to do one every two years or so, and I think I’ll focus less on my time, and more just on creating the base to enjoy a run through whatever city or landscape I’m in.

My Attitude:

This is one of my favorite race photos of all time. I’m really curious what I was thinking about. Probably breakfast.

This was not my mindset even as I finished the race on Sunday. I didn’t want to do a marathon for quite awhile. It wasn’t because of the pain of the race, either. I felt better than I did after most 5k’s. It was because of the training requirement, in time. I like long
runs- I just don’t like long runs every weekend. During my training for this race, I actually became scared of them. I had an amazing 15 miler followed by a demoralizing 17 miler, so the rest of my training looked bleak. Shame on me for giving into negativity so easily! I kept on procrastinating my 19 miler, which was so dumb. That one day I did 17, I must’ve just been tired or a little sick or something. My 19 mile training run was again, fantastic. I kept pace, kept my energy up, and had no residual soreness. That was my longest training run. A week later I was in Australia doing some long trail runs, up to three hours, but I scrapped my last official long run, which was going to be 21-22 miles. The trip was a good break to remind me what I enjoyed in the arena of running, and what I found bleak and taxing.

My Timing:

I ran a 4:08 this time around, for an average pace of 9:30, and that didn’t wear me out too much. I realize this is a darn good time for the effort I put into training, and for marathoning in general. I chalk it up to being relaxed and open to what my body was telling me at each moment in the race. I don’t think I even knew how many miles I had

There’s the appropriate facial expression for the marathon: Trying to smile but actually grimacing.

run until I spotted a mile 8 sign. I negative split with my pace until the almost the end, when I had to walk out some seizing/locking feelings in my left knee for a bit. I was able to run the last mile though, again with a negative split. With a few moves back and forth, I trended to decreasing my pace throughout the race, from a 9:45 for the first 5k to an 8:45 for the last mile. I’m amazed that I dropped under 9 minutes per mile for the last 10 miles or so- that should have been hurt locker time. Up until mile 22 I fully counted on running a sub 4 hour marathon, but alas, my knee had other plans. I tried to ride it out and keep up some semblance of a “running” pace, but eventually stopped to walk. The amount I walked dropped my pace by just the right amount of time for the right amount of distance to add 8 minutes.My Brain: 

My thought process when I decided to walk was this: I can push through whatever pain, I knew that, but I have big plans for running this year, and I don’t want to stress or tear anything that will take me out for a long time. In walking the amount I did, I gave my body enough time to adjust, and was able to clip back into a sub 9 pace for the last mile. So wins- I can still run and I managed a PR. Stuff to work on (because I refuse to call a 4:08 a loss): figuring out what happened. Stay tuned for a blog post on self assessment and correction- aside from what I felt, I’ve been looking at my race photos and they give away at least one pertinent piece of information- who can find it!?

I got my breakfast: Chilaquiles three ways at Cuchara in Montrose/Midtown. Amazing.

Author: shestherun

Quasi-neurotic runner with addiction to coffee and cookies. I occasionally stop moving long enough to do a craft project or read a book.

2 thoughts on “Race Recap: Chevron Houston Marathon”

  1. Good write-up and it looks like you lost the middle tab from your race bib. I think that was the tab for free beer, so you must have stopped somewhere along the way for a nice, cool refreshment.

    Liked by 1 person

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