Houston Aramco ½ Marathon


2010 Houston Aramco ½ Marathon, 1/17/10 - Pictures

I am starting off this year with a lot of gratitude. With the help and encouragement of Becky Ryder and the Pine Belt Pacers, I accomplished a goal I never thought or dreamed was possible – finishing a Half Marathon. It's hard to express the appreciation I feel for each of you all the encouragement you have given me, even if it's just a thumbs-up as you pass me on a run. Coincidentally (or not), this race took place on the 2 nd anniversary of the date my divorce was final – one of the primary catalysts that got me into running in the first place. God has brought so much good from something I saw as a hopeless situation.

Becky waited patiently for me to finish up with triathlon season before she hammered me (I mean so generously endowed me) with an aggressive running plan. As Jenny Maul would say, “Awww, her toe weet!” Toes (as in toe NAILS). . . . now that's a subject we'll discuss later. Hhhrrrmmpphh. I had about 10 weeks to get ready. Up to this point, the farthest I had ever run without stopping was 4 miles. :O Yikes! Thus, my goal was to finish the race in the upright position.

I was in the Black Corral for the ½ Marathon, so we were the last ones to start. I was pretty much in the back 1/3 of the pack. There were thousands of people there of all ages and sizes. It was encouraging to see others, like me, who do not have the elite athlete look. . . . . Yet!! I had planned to try to maintain a pace of 13:00/mile for at least 10 miles since that's the farthest I ran in my training program. I knew I could at least get that far without walking. My fear was that they'd start opening streets back up before I got to the cutoff point. I was able to maintain that pace (give or take) for the first 8 miles. Then, according to my Garmin, I slowed down a bit. : ) Gatorade never tasted so good. I ate a GU at mile 5 and mile 10. I got Gatorade and/or water at all the stops between there and the end, only walking a few steps while I drank. As I got closer to the end, especially after mile 10, I wanted to walk so badly. I kept telling myself I could walk after I finished the next mile. Then, I realized I may be able to break the 3 hour mark if I kept going at the same pace. So I kept going. And going. And going. Till I finally finished. My official time was 2:55:26. Out of 10070 runners, I finished 8090 th . In my age group I finished 424 th of 571. Of the females, I finished 4355 th out of 5828. I was/am sooooo happy! Not only had I finished, but I finished in less than 3 hours. It was an extraordinary feeling. I kept remembering what Donna said, that you only get ONE first ½ marathon, so enjoy it. And I did. I also thought about all the other encouraging texts, FB messages, and Forum messages I got before the race. Thanks all.

They had different bands as entertainment along the way which helped keep things interesting. I was in a crowd of people the whole way too. That was different. I'm used to starting out in a crowd and finishing solo. I felt happy for all the people who were running with me in the race. It was a wonderful experience. I collected my medal and t-shirt and hit the door. My daughter and son-in-law were with me and I didn't want them to have to wait while I got whatever food they were offering. Instead, we went out to eat.

I'll probly do another half, but not sure when. At least I know for sure that I can do it.


Susan Davidson