5th time's a charm. Despite the rain, the wind (20 mph gusts), and the cold (41 at start), I successfully navigated the streets of Houston and crossed the finish line under my own power. A really nasty run. Windy and cold at the start and, just when they fired the starting canon, it started pouring. Rained hard on us for the first 1/3rd of the course, then let up for a while only come come back harder on the second half of the course. I was warm, if not soaked. I dressed in layers with an inner shirt, some arm warmers and gloves. No ear muffs, just a hat to keep the rain out of my face. Wore my disposable rain jacket for the entire race. Was going to ditch it like a lot of people did along the course but it cut the wind and the rain came back out past mile 7. A lot of the elite runners were running in singlets and shorts. Made me cold just looking at them.
So, in spite of these challenges, how'd I do? While I didn't bring home any trophies, and I didn't train as much as intended, I was happy with my final time. 2:21.55 Tied for PR. I may not be as fast as some of you serious runners, but not too bad for an old fat man. Typical run for me - started out with a 9:50 pace and lost steam on the back half and wound up with an overall 10:50 pace. Would have like to pull a 10:00, but I'll live with it. Maybe next year? Not sure if I am going for number 6. My legs and I are not on speaking terms right now. I'm feeling every bit of 55 right now (sore & stiff), but otherwise ok. The real test will be how I wake up tomorrow.
It's all about the shirt
Now, let me say that I am not a very biblical guy. I could never quote scripture from the bible verbatim. So what's with 1 Corinthians 9:26? When running that distance, you tend to look for distractions (I do) to take your mind off the course or the rain or the cold. Listen to music. Read the road signs for encouragement. Listen to the different bands. Throughout the race, I try to find someone close to my same pace. I would match pace with someone only to have them slowly pull away. There was one young lady who held the same pace as I throughout the entire race. We must have passed each other at least a dozen times along the course. Normally, I don't pay attention to my fellow runners (too much into my own world) but this woman had this particular passage stenciled on her running pants on her backside and, every time she passed me I would see it again. They say if you see or repeat something three times, it gets stuck in your head and this one did. When I got home after the race, I had to Google it just to see what I was reading for 13.1 miles.