Monday, October 27, 2014

Bill and Dave's Excellent Adventure: Houston Half


Some of you know that I am interested in going back to New Orleans to run the Crescent City Classic 10K and relive some old memories in 2015.

My goal for today was to run fast enough to qualify me for an elite master entry.

But about six weeks ago I hurt my back and pinched a nerve.  No running at all for four weeks and I knew that I was going to just run this easy and try to not hurt myself.

Saturday:  Drive downtown to pick up my packet at Luke’s Locker even though I live only two miles from the Luke’s Locker store in the Woodlands.

Sunday:  Since I-45 South was going to be closed, I discussed my trip with Bill. The theory was to drive down the access road until I could meet him at Cypresswood.

Unfortunately the Texas Department of Transportation had other ideas and had the access road closed on 45 at the new Exxon campus, so a BMW, a taxi, me, and two other cars all turned towards Exxon. It was the only direction we could go.

And we drove, and we drove.

At some point we all realized that we could not get to any road that actually got us to anything except back to the freeway.

Dave (calling Bill):  “Bill, I’m not going to make it. I’m going to turn around when I can.”

Bill:  “Go back to the freeway and see if it opens up.  You still have time.”

When the car-train rearrived, the two pickups blocking the road with DOT workers just looked at us and moved away and let us through.  Hmmm ...

The 10K Race

The half marathon started at 7:00 but had far too many runners for the course and runners were still starting until two minutes before the 10K started.

The 10K started at 7:30 with a 2-mile loop downtown first – then the rest on Allen Parkway.

Dave's all smiles:  Sign of a happy runner
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
I went out running the pace that I hoped to run – 7-minute miles – which was slower than I wanted to run a few months ago but that sounded pretty lofty to me today. The pace felt tough but I kept grinding them out and noticed by three miles that my times were gradually getting faster per mile.

At that point, I was starting to catch some of the elite women and eventually passed all but one – finishing in 42:51.

It was fun. Not too warm. The pace felt good. I got a bit psyched at five miles and pulled over thinking that I was going to quit, and didn’t.  It happens to everyone.


I was second overall master and first in my age group, but more important than any of that was the time, bonding, and companionship that I experienced at the race.

Tie-dye and more smiles!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
My buddy Bill and I had a great morning out.  Talking with friends each of us knew from the old days.  Meeting new friends.  Drinking free beer.  Watching people in the crowds.  Listening to amazingly loud music.

10K’s are special races.

I know that everyone loves marathons because they think those are special, but take it from me:  a well-run and organized 10K run hard and properly trained for can be just as special.

It doesn’t beat you down. And if you run it hard enough it will sort of squeeze that marathon effort spread out over 26 miles into an intense six miles!

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