Same medal as last year, but with this year's date.
Race shirt - same design as last year, but it's in white instead of black.
We had our long-awaited Houston trip last weekend - we had so much fun doing these two races last year that we decided to do them again this year, except that we took what we liked and made it even more fun. For starters, we decided to arrive on Friday, so we didn't have to wake up at 3:00 am on Saturday and drive to Houston for the 5K race. Boy howdy was that ever a good decision! We hit up the expo and had time for a nice lunch at Pappasitos, which was conveniently located inside our hotel (once again we stayed at the host hotel, the Hilton Americas). I had a fabulous salad:
I could live off salads like this - but in full disclosure, I'd really like someone to make them for me.
Jeff had a quesadilla and a taco:
Taking a picture to send to his foodie co-workers.
Julia joined us as well, but she did not take a picture of her meal - what a weirdo, right? Haha. Later on the rest of our crew came into town, and we had our long awaited pizza and game night, but not before Jeff modeled his new hydration belt for everyone:
We ordered from Frank's Pizza - not only was it really good, but they delivered right to the hotel, so it was perfect. Well, if we'd thought to bring paper plates and napkins, it would have been perfect, but we managed:
Our efficient way of putting Parmesan cheese on the pizza, LOL. Also, yes - you are seeing a roll of toilet paper next to the pizza. Improvised napkins!
Cristy and Cary...
Loretta and CC...
Brian and I...we all were in our comfy sweats and it was awesome!
Julia brought a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread from Blue Baker, which made for a yummy dessert. The fact that we didn't have a knife to slice it did not stop us...nope, we just passed the bag and pulled off a hunk:
Cary with the bag o'dessert!
We played Cards Against Humanity. Now, I can't say much because we took an oath to leave everything we said/played in the room, but Loretta's face pretty much reflects the laughter that went on during the game:
Lots of inappropriate giggling happened - this was the perfect game for our group to play together!
We finally called it a night because we had that little race the next morning. It started right outside our hotel, and not until 8:00 am, so it felt like we could sleep in, which was so nice and a rarity when it comes to running and racing.
We met in the lobby for our traditional pre-race group picture - the lighting was pretty dim so it's not the greatest quality shot, but here you go:
Diane, Jeff, Julia, CC, Loretta, me, Cristy, Cary, and Brian.
We walked to the corral and honestly, we didn't care too much about where we started, so we were way in the back. We run this race for a lark; you can't (well, most people can't) RACE race a 5K the day before a half marathon. Being in the back gave us more time for the all-important selfies:
Loretta and I - she is injured and has not been released to run, so she walked this race with CC.
Me and Julia. If it looks like were in a construction zone it's because we were - holy moly, there's a lot of new stuff going up in downtown Houston!
Julia and I ran together. We ran the first half mile without stopping, and then we switched to her intervals, which are 3:1. Weirdly, this felt harder than doing the half mile without stopping! We tried to not push it too hard; mostly we just took in the sights and enjoyed the cheering spectators along the way.
Our finish time was 41:56 and according to my Garmin, we ran 3.15 miles which is amazing - rarely do you come in so close to the actual course distance. Our splits were:
Mile 1 - 13:03
Mile 2 - 13:39
Mile 3 - 13:32
Mile .15 - 1:41
Our average pace was 13:20. I felt a little winded toward the end but knew that I'd be fine about five minutes after the finish, and I was. This is a sweet race and it's a nice way for people to participate in the excitement of the Houston marathon weekend, even if they're not ready for that kind of distance. I think it's great that the race organizers include this as an option for everyone.
Once everyone was in, we threw on our sweatshirts (a cold front was blowing in and the temperature was dropping) and we walked to the same breakfast place we went to last year, Brothers Tacos. This time, it didn't take us nearly as long to get there, nor did we feel like we were in danger of getting mugged. I think I managed to get pictures where everyone had their mouths full of food (my friends are very tolerant of my papparazzi shots):
Their food is excellent, but I had a bottle of TruMoo chocolate milk that was out of this world delicious! I'd bought a bottle for Jeff as well, and he thought the same thing, so Diane ended up getting one for herself (and another one for Jeff).
On our walk back to the hotel, we came across a really cool graffiti wall, so we took some pictures. I know I said I couldn't talk about what happened when we played Cards Against Humanity, but I can tell you that one of the cards said "vigorous jazz hands," which is why this awesome shot happened: