Saturday, January 23, 2010

Houston Marathon Race Report - Part 2

Some final notes on the Houston Marathon. My picture is shown below in front of the marathon background, and Faith Ann is shown in front of the Half Marathon background (excuse the "too cheap to pay for the real thing" watermark).

I liked the stats they provided to go along with the marathon. Check out this cool page below. Based on the way I fell apart over the last 3 miles, I'm surprised something calculated that I passed over 200 runners over the last 7.5 miles, while being passed by 69. If those stats were over the last three miles, they would look a lot worse.

Here is the chart produced by my Garmin during the race. On the far right of the chart, those blue lines over the last three miles don't show that I failed a polygraph test; they do show how I combined running and walking to end the race. I didn't wear a heart rate monitor for the run, so no readings for that. The green line indicates elevation - not sure why it got wacky near the end. A few longer blue streaks along the chart indicate where I slowed down to get water. I don't think there were too many of these where I would have walked for more than thirty seconds.

Speaking of water stops, the marathon offered a service where you could be weighed before and after the marathon. My weight after the marathon was five pounds less than my weight before the marathon. Apparently this is on the high side, and I was a given a pamphlet on being careful about this. The only water stop I skipped during the marathon was the first one after the 20 mile mark, so I was surprised to see this. I do tend to sweat a bit, and I have thought for a while now that I need to have something in the marathons for sodium or electrolyte replenishment. Gatorade tends to bother my stomach during a long run, so I try to not drink it very much. Before my next marathon, I'm hoping I'll have a better handle on the whole hydration thing.

Other things ...

  • While I do need to work on handling hydration during a marathon, I'm quite certain I won't be taking in any beer while running one. There was some being offered near the end in Houston, but I passed on it.

  • George Bush Sr. (pres. #41) was cheering on runners around mile 19, after his church service that morning ended. If he was there when I went by, I didn't notice him.

  • Speaking of church, a priest at one point along the course was throwing holy water on runners. Lots of it.

  • For quite a while in the race, I was behind two guys who were wearing the same colour t-shirts. On the back of one of the shirts it read "I'm a Dad". The other shirt was worn by a guy just ahead or beside him, and written on the back of his shirt was "No Dad Left Behind". They crossed the finish line together a couple minutes ahead of me.

  • Nova Scotia native Eric Gillis, who I mentioned in an earlier post, finished the race 8th overall in his first marathon, in just a little over 2 hours and 13 minutes. See his race report here.

  • About 20 miles into the race, I came across a runner who literally looked like he was dying. He was flat on his back, passed out, with a handful of people over him, including one woman who was trying to resuscitate his heart. A guy to my right yelled "Hang in there buddy!" to him, and a minute later an ambulance was approaching from the opposite direction. It was a scary scene, but he turned out to be ok. For a video report on him, check out this link.

  • As a final bit of excitement, there was a "disturbance" on our plane coming from Toronto to Fredericton that resulted in four Mounties boarding our flight to arrest somebody before we were allowed off.
To finish up our trip, Sunday night after the marathon we took in some great Texas barbeque at Goode Company Barbeque, and Monday we hung out at NASA for a while. I do look back on our trip with happy thoughts. However, I know if my training was "good", I could have put in a much better performance in Houston. I'll use that as motivation to train well for Mount Desert Island next fall. For the time being, I'm gingerly walking around the house so as not to bother the new incision I got in my mid-section last Wednesday!


  1. Thanks for the link to Eric. Good luck with your recovery and training in the spring. It seems to me you have the marathon bug!

  2. Thanks for the link to the story about the man who had the heart attack. I saw him falling down and I'm happy to see how well he looks now.

    But I did not see Pres. Bush. Next time!

  3. Wow, it sounds quite an experience. Congratulations on completing the race -- sounds like you really dug deep for those final 3K!

  4. Sorry it has taken me til now to offer congratulations. Well done for hanging in there at the end. It seems you will take away some valuable learning for future marathons.