On Saturday, I ran the ABB 5K race in Houston, as part of the Houston Double. Running this race plus either the half or full marathon the following day would earn me an additional medal, so of course I had to do it. Actually, Cary was the one who discovered this, and she talked most of our JFR Crew into doing it. She's kind of like the Tom Sawyer of our group...I wouldn't be surprised if we end up whitewashing her fence soon!
Front of the race shirt.
Anyway, as I wrote on Monday, we were up very early for this race since we had to drive to Houston (it's about an hour and a half away), plus we had to do packet pick up as well. We waited for the race to start at Discovery Green Park, where (naturally) we had to take some pictures:
Julia, Brian, Cristy, Cary, me, and Jeff - Day 1 for the JFR Crew!
Me and the sisters!
This is my "too impatient to wait in line for the official backdrop" pose - Julia was my accomplice in taking this picture.
What's with the BEEF shirt, you might be wondering? Well, as of 2015, I am now part of the Texas BEEF team...as a provisional member, or Beef Tip, as they call it. I need to wear their official shirt to at least three races this year, and then next year, the BEEF team will partially reimburse race entry fees for any BEEF approved races that I do, from a 5K on up. The shirt is pretty crazy and I'm not thrilled with the placement of the word BEEF across my bustline, but hey - it's only three races this year. And maybe next year they'll have a new shirt design.
Anyway. Somehow I thought there would be 600 people running this race, but it seemed like there were a lot more waiting around. Imagine my surprise when the announcer said there were 6,000 people running it! Oh. Guess I missed a zero.
Jeff ran with Brian, Cary and Cristy, while Julia and I ran together. We did 2:1 intervals, and although we said we were going to take it easy, we ended up feeling really good so we kind of went for it. We finished in 40:57! That was not the intention, but hey - sometimes running just feels great. Our splits were really good:
Mile 1 - 12:06 (holy moly!)
Mile 2 - 13:13
Mile 3 - 12:47
Mile .25 - 2:51
Average pace: 12:35. And I actually hit 39:XX on my Garmin at mile 3.1, which is a 5K - unfortunately, I wasn't at the finish line when that happened. Julia and I had to run zig zags around a lot of people/kids/walkers, and we added to our mileage. So even though I've had a goal of breaking 40 minutes for a 5K race, I'm not officially counting this as having done that. I'll get it, and soon, I hope!
Coming in for the finish - photo thanks to CC
Finished and feeling exhilarated:
This is the first medal I've ever earned for doing a 5K.
After the race, we went to the food tent for bananas and muffins. We were all pretty hungry at this point and scarfed everything down. Then another group picture:
Julia, Cary, Brian, Jeff, me, and Cristy, with our first medals of the weekend!
CC wasn't registered to run this race, so she ended up being our sherpa:
This was the bag they gave us at packet pickup - it was crammed with our jackets and extras, and CC lugged it all around during the race for us!
I'm glad I did this race because it was a great way to ease into the whole Houston half marathon weekend experience. Having such a good time running it was a sweet bonus. I don't normally run 3 miles the day before a half marathon, so I don't know if, by doing this race, it affected me for the half - yes I hit a wall, but maybe that would have happened anyway? Who can say for sure? Any case, it was really fun.
After the race, we went back to our hotel rooms (hurray for super early check in!) and quickly changed into dry clothes, and then met up for second breakfast. Hey, when you have been awake since 3:00 am, your hunger cues are a little messed up! Cristy was craving breakfast tacos, so Cary found a place on Yelp and we had a little adventure walking to it...let's just say it wasn't in the best part of town, but it was hugely popular (long line out the door), and it was good.
CC posing by the giant lady at the restaurant. I was jealous because she'd stopped at the Starbucks in the hotel lobby for coffee; I love coffee and ended up having none all weekend! Something was wrong with that...
Because we did this race and the half marathon, we got an extra medal on Sunday:
Sweet! After the race we were clanging around like Mr. T with all of our medals.
This was a fun race; I'm planning on doing it again next year for sure.