There are lots of runners in front of me as we heard towards the starting line.
Except for needing some kind of mechanical lift to get me out of my office chair, I’m feeling pretty darned good after finishing my seventh Aramco Houston Half Marathon yesterday morning. As usual, my feet took a pounding from all the concrete, and my neck hurts from looking down so much as I tried to avoid tripping and falling.
Doing a faceplant in front of thousands of runners and spectators? Definitely not priceless.
Plenty of runners are STILL ahead of me as we come off the evil Elysian Viaduct.
Yesterday was a great day for running: 43 degrees at the start (plus Beatles music was being played; always a favorite); in the 50s when I finished. They call it a “no-excuses” day, but I’ve yet to meet a runner who doesn’t have a bagful of excuses ready just in case. Mine begin with “slow running DNA” and end with “didn’t train hard enough.” I seem to repeat those every year, unfortunately.
Fortunately, there were lots of noisy spectators, music, and some great signs along the course that kept us entertained as we motored along. My favorite posters read “Chafe now. Brag later.” (I did the former but not the latter.) “Run faster! He farted.” “Run a better race than Perry.” (Ha ha!) “I thought you said ‘RUM!’”
She told me she was praying for me during mile 11 . . . and I needed it then!
What really helped push me through the 13.1 miles along the uneven, hard Houston streets was remembering who I was running for: Sheri, Janet E., and Rob T. I mentally hoisted my gal pals on my shoulders right at the start, while Rob “joined” us at mile 10. Whenever I saw the prayer stations, I prayed for good healing vibes for my trio as well as others who I know are ailing. This really lifted my spirits!
It was an honor to run for my friends—they are true warriors. They made the pain bearable.
A medal is a great fashion accessory!
Of course, the finishers’ t-shirt and medal are great pain medications, too!
This year’s fundraising cause
Want to come along with me as I run the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 15? Help me raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
For the fourth straight year, I’m fundraising through the marathon’s wonderful Run for a Reason program. But this time, I’ve changed the recipient. In the past I’ve run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which is near and dear to my heart because too many of my loved ones (especially my father, stepfather, and cousin Lisa) have died from blood cancers. Plus now my friends’ kids have fought them.
Sheri when she had hair
But this time I’ve been inspired and motivated by a couple friends who are battling breast cancer. Sheri was diagnosed just this fall. We’ve known each other since our #1 sons were in the first grade.
Janet has lost her hair again. (Photo by Janie Picou)
Meanwhile, breast cancer has been a part of Janet’s life since 2001. She and I became buds through her sister Claire, whose #2 son is the same age as my older boy.
I’m counting on the motivation from these two lovely ladies to push me through those 26.2 miles. And I’m hoping that my readers will help those miles count by donating at this link: Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Let’s kick breast cancer to the curb! Thanks for all your help and for keeping Sheri and Janet in your thoughts.
Is that all we get? Half a t-shirt? (Olympus Stylus Tough camera)
One highlight of Houston’s annual marathon and half marathon is the expo, where we pick up our packets a day or two before the big event. As well as great deals on clothing and gear plus freebies and food.
We’re fortunate that the Chevron Houston Marathon is staged at the George R. Brown Convention Center, a great place to go before the start and after the finish. It’s also terrific for the expo.
Which one is Janet and which one is the mannequin?
My friend Janet and I have driven together to the expo now for six straight years. It’s become a ritual for us. We get to catch up on what’s going on with our kids (her daughter is the same age as my #2 son) and talk about our goals for Sunday’s race (she was running the marathon). It’s something to look forward to all year!
Got a proofreader?
One new expo wrinkle, at least for me, was that those of us who participated in the Run for a Reason program earned a special packet, which included a hat. I almost didn’t want to wait in line to get my goodies because of the “HEROE’S” mistake. Move that apostrophe in back of the S!
As always, Janet and I scored some bargains and a few cute freebies as we walked among the many booths and vendors.
Then we saw a new vendor that we just had to investigate. Marathon charms! What an interesting idea!! Well, until I looked a little bit closer at one of the “charms.”
Not so charming!
According to the website, the outhouse charm is “a fun way to remind you where you spend some of the time on the race course!” Yeah, right! Would any runner really want to proudly display a port-a-can charm on their bracelet?!?
Janet always says that going to the expo with me brings her luck. Did it work this year? Well, she finished the marathon in 3:50:54. She qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon!!
Looks like that makes me a lucky charm!
Posted in events, half-marathon, running
Tagged Aramco Half-Marathon, charms, Chevron Houston Marathon, expo, George R. Brown convention center, half-marathon, Janet, marathon, run for a reason, running