Tag Archives: Hometown

Run to Win

16 Feb

So, if you know me, you know that I generally don’t place anywhere in the “winning” range with I run events! So what’s with the title here tonight? We’ll get to that 🙂


Beating my phone to the finish is often a huge win for me!!


So, I got home from Disney on a Monday night, picked up the Phred and finally slept in my own bed! Just so I could get up Tuesday and do laundry and repack to head to Houston on Thursday!

Last January I was registered to run the Houston Half Marathon and the 5K the day before. Since I was having some pretty bad leg and back pain issues I ended up deferring the half and just walking the 5K. Which means that I didn’t have to go through the lottery to get into the Houston Aramco Half Marathon this year!!  I also registered for the 5K again!

I dropped Phred back off at his Nanny’s on my way to the airport Thursday morning. I was very happy that I got upgraded on my leg from Newark to Houston — it was nice and cozy and I had a yummy lunch! Pops was waiting at the airport for me, as usual and we ended up just heading out later for dinner.

The plan for Friday was to meet my Best Friend after she got off of work and hang out at The Grove at Discovery Green – right outside of the convention center. I was planning to do my expo-ing before then

Now, last year at this very same expo is where I purchased my first pair of Skecher Performance GoRunRide shoes.


I will confess that I bought them solely because they glow in the dark 🙂

Anyway, as Skechers is one of the major sponsors for the Houston Marathon, I knew they’d have a booth and of course I had to pop in and see what was new! Well, what was new was that they had a new version of one of my favorite running shoes – the Houston Marathon version


So..I looked but thought maybe I’d have to come back tomorrow (Spoiler – I did come back tomorrow and they were now 20% off! SCORE!!) While at the booth, I wanted to get my picture taken with Meb Keflezighi…luckily he was hanging around waiting for just such an opportunity!


I grabbed my bibs and shirts for the 5K and the half and wandered around a bit – and in a rare event of perfect timing, I was winding down when this guy stepped up to give a short speech:


Meb Keflezighi speaking at the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute EXPO


And here, my friends, is where the title for this post comes in. When asked what advice he would give to people running over the weekend, Meb replied with (and, I’m paraphrasing since it was a month ago!!) basically – I just tell runners, you need to run to win. And, winning doesn’t have to mean finishing first. Every time you toe the start line winning could be something different. So you need to run for your win that day, whatever it is.

He also shared the story of his win at Boston last year which really gave me goosebumps!

When the Q&A finished up, I walked off to try to call my friend. I wandered back to the stage area (actually, to the ladies’ room!) I noticed a crowd/line and saw that Meb was taking pictures and signing shirts and bibs….so I got in line.

And then this happened:


Yeah…hoping some speed rubs off me….


And this!


This bib is a keeper!!


Ended up meeting up with my friend, and The Grove was closed. So we headed to a newer place called Cook & Collins and had a yummy dinner!

Saturday morning it was up early and heading down to the 5K with Pops! After struggling to find decent parking we walked over to the start corrals (Pops went over towards the finish line to wait for me!).


Gorgeous view of part of the Downtown Houston skyline….


It warmed up pretty quick and I managed to keep to my intervals. Considering I had just done Dopey the weekend before, things went pretty well!


What’s that #Skippy? 12 minute pace??


I found Pops near the finish line and herded him into the expo — I grabbed my shoes and ended up losing him along the way! Eventually I found him and we headed home. No big plans the rest of the day – we had dinner out…somewhere…I’m sure. Or maybe we ate in!

The next morning was up early again – this time I drove us downtown and then turned the car over to Pops for his adventure! He always likes to try to find me out on the course in a couple of places.

I headed into the convention center to use a potty and check my bag and generally just organize myself! Then headed out to the starting line to find my corral


You get a start letter, then get to corral yourself!


Took off maybe 30 minutes after the starting gun and again, worked on the intervals all the time keeping my eyes open for Pops. Turns out, I missed him, but he saw me – and apparently was yelling and screaming at me…but I heard nothing 🙂 Must have been in the zone!  The course has changed a bit from the last time I ran, and I think I might like this new course better!

As far as my timing went — I’m still hovering just over that 3 hour mark and need to get back down!!




About a minute slower than my 5K pace…


But I”m not unhappy with the result. (my time differs from the official results because I stopped my app when I stopped at a porta pottie 🙂 )

Post race, Houston does a GREAT breakfast back inside the convention center, sponsored by the big local market HEB (I love HEB!) and staffed by their employees!


And of course, free bananas….


What’s a Half Marathon without a banana or two….


But, the breakfast…


That chocolate milk might still be in the freezer at Pops’….


After eating the Noms, I then started on my “finding Pops” mission — and was eventually successful, after some frustration on both our parts I’m sure!  While I was looking I ran into this athlete!


I was so excited to see that this aid doggie got his very own medal! As well he should!!


Headed back to the house to shower and relax before heading out to dinner with my Sister-in-law (turns out my brother and nephews were off camping on the long weekend…). We had a fun dinner at Texas Roadhouse – which I love on account of fried pickles and warm bread 🙂

Oh, yeah….the goods 🙂 At Houston you get a cotton t-shirt for the 5K and the Marathon/Half-Marathon


And of course some bling for the 5K…


and the half…


I got an extra one for doing both the 5K and the half!


And…a finisher tech shirt, provided by Skechers!


It was an early day, again, on Monday since I had an early early flight home….but it was a little worth it for this view…


I’m thinking that for 2016, I’m going to try out the full — I figure I should do it at least once, right? But first, there’s Paris on the horizon!!!


Legends Were Born Here!!

11 Apr

Exciting to see these signs when I was out walking Phred the week before the race!

This weekend, I was really proud of my adopted hometown.

First off, I have to say, that I LOVE the little town I live in. We’ve actually been voted to have the most romantic Main Street in America. I can’t attest to that but I can say that it’s a really great Main Street!

The race – the Hartford Marathon Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon and Legends 4-Miler (phew!)0 was a late starter (11:30 I think!) and when I got to the end of Main Street where packet pickup was taking place there was a really festive atmosphere. I learned late last week that runDisney coach Jeff Galloway would be joining his old college roommate Amby Burfoot and Bill Rodgers in the half marathon so I was kind of excited to say hi!


Running Legends and Wesleyan alums

Picked up my bib, found Meg and eventually Kim, and we went over to the tent to see the Legends! Now, lately I’ve just been tossing my race bibs (if they aren’t from Disney) but I had Jeff and Bill sign this one, so it’s a keeper!




And, I committed to #Dopey15 out loud to Coach Galloway so…I’m committed!!

On to the actual race. There was a 4-Miler and a Half Marathon. I live here, so I knew about the hills. And the half had lots of extra hills! So I picked the 4-miler!! Oh…there were hills in this one too. In fact, within the first quarter mile we hit one of the biggies!



Big crowds, big hills!

It was really a pretty course (but I knew it would be!) and there were some folks out watching and cheering. Once we left “downtown” we hit roads that I use for training so it was all familiar terrain. There were a few more pretty significant (to me) hills and I admit that I was was thrilled to get back into town and hit the final downhill. The finish line on Main Street was a welcome sight! Once I crossed and got my medal, I grabbed some snacks (and said hi to Kim who was serving snacks!) I hurried back to the car. My plan was to head home, grab Phred and go cheer on Meg and Sara who were running the half – and the 8 mile mark was right up from my house! Traffic was kind of not great but once I got close to home things opened up and I actually had plenty of time before I saw them heading up the street! Then it was back to the house, hop in the car and back to the finish line!!


Meg and Sara in the distance!!

And ya’ll know I’m all about the post-race goodies, right?! Well, they did it right this time! NoRa Cupcakes, Eli Cannon pulled pork, Mondo pizza, tasty little baguettes!  In addition to the actual race provided snacks for runners, there were also food trucks lining the street next to the park (we didn’t hit any of those but they all looked really good!!)

Eventually it was time to say good bye to my running pals after another really great weekend! But we’d definitely be doing this again. And again!!



Another Kim Markey original photo!!

Overall, I think this was a great event and I do hope it comes back year after year! There was really a sense of excitement along Main Street, it is a beautiful (but hilly!) course, and the post-race snacks were amazing. PLUS having the Wesleyan Legends there was amazing!! The only thing I think I would change is making sure that someone is monitoring the street closures – LOTS of cars were going around barricades and ignoring speed limits which put runners in danger. I know that the Hartford Marathon Foundation was looking for volunteers as late as Saturday afternoon so hopefully there will be more excitement around this next year and the volunteers will flock to help out!!


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