It started on Saturday with the US Olympic Marathon Trials - both men and women for the first time on the same course, same day. Looked like a huge success from where I stood (cold but thrilled to see so many super fast runners zooming by) at the corner of Waugh and Allen Parkway. Tough on 4th place finishers Dathan Ritzenhein and Amy Hastings; hopefully better luck in 4 years time. Of course that is what makes the Olympics trials such a huge thing. They only come around every 4 years. You simply can't afford to run a bad race on the day. And as we all know, it happens sometimes due to circumstances totally beyond one's control.
On Sunday I ran the Aramco half marathon; part of the Chevron Houston Marathon. Despite growing numbers of participants, the marathon committee did a great job of improving the start corral layout and access. I breezed in from the west part of town, parked near the baseball stadium and jogged to the start; could have left the house 40 minutes before the start of the race. Even so it was fun standing in the half marathon corral and chit-chatting with a couple of other participants whom I had never met. Amazing how easy it is for runners to relate. Duh. Organization along the course, at the water stops and the finish line was nearly flawless. A bit of confusion just after the viaduct at about mile 1, when some half marathoners thought they had to switch over to the left side. Caused some near collisions and a few people actually ran back. No need for that, the two roads join up again just around the corner.
The run was a breeze: I took it really easy for the first ten miles (about 8:53 pace) and then cranked it up a couple of notches over the last 3 miles, passing dozens of people and brought the average down to about 8:35, for a finishing time of 1:53 and change. Way off my best half time but I was not really expecting much with this foot injury still hampering training.
The difference between the full and half marathon: minimal soreness today, in fact I will be taking out the dogs for a 4 or 5 mile jog later this afternoon!
Back soon with some photographs from the Olympics Trails.