The Rodeo Run is a favorite of mine. I love all the people and the energy in downtown Houston. When I ran it last year, it was my very first 10k. I had a goal to finish in under an hour, and I missed that goal by 1:33. My goal for the past year has been to run this year’s race in under an hour.
I created a training plan for after the marathon, with a focus on speedwork and a hope to add some hills to my training. One of my biggest downfalls at last year’s race was that I was unprepared for the hills of the rodeo run. My training did not go as planned, though. I started out well for the first few weeks, but only ran 4 times in the month of February leading up tot his race.
There were a few things that contributed to this. First, I hurt my ankle, and was out for almost a week. Second, work has been busier, and it’s been more difficult to make time for running outdoors before it gets dark. Third, I’ve started doing yoga. And I love it. More on the yoga later, but I’m currently going to two studios. I bought a year-long unlimited membership to one studio, and had a Groupon to another. I love both, so yoga has been my go-to fitness option lately. Although I’ve only run 4 times in February, I’ve gone to 13 yoga classes.
I wasn’t as excited for this race, because I felt like there was no way I would finish in under an hour. I was worried I wouldn’t even beat my time from last year, considering how much I put into training. I figured it would still be a fun run, though. My sister is in town, so she and another one of my friends were going to run the 5k, and I ran the 10k with Maggie.
Like last year, we lined up between the 9:00 and 10:00 pace markers. Maggie’s Garmin wouldn’t turn on – similar to my experience at the Disney Marathon. Although mine turned on, it seemed to be very off. When the race began, it said we were running at a 4:00 pace, and beeped the 1 mile mark at 8 minutes. I knew we were running a little fast, but there was no way we were going that fast. This was confirmed when we saw the first mile marker closer to 9:45.
I was feeling pretty good through the first two miles. It was the third mile that we hit the first of the hills. I only remembered two hills from last year – I must have blocked the rest from my memory. After we conquered the first hill up the bridge, I was feeling pretty excited that we were done until the turn-around. Then I saw the next one coming up. Then the third. I was feeling the hills, but felt pretty good as we charged up them, passing other people as we went.
We finished the first 5k in 30:05. I felt pretty good, but wasn’t sure I’d be able to do a second 5k in less time. I took a vanilla gu at the halfway point, and was glad I did. Last year I just ran out of energy, and I didn’t want that to happen again. We charged on and made it to the turn-around.
As we came up on the hills again, I was determined to run up each one of them. I had no idea how we were doing on time because my Garmin was so far off. I told Maggie even if we didn’t finish in under an hour, at least we could say we ran up every hill. And we did.
When we hit the 6 mile marker, we had exactly two minutes to make it to the finish line. I was exhausted and wanted to walk, but was really excited – we just needed to hold a 10:00 pace to finish in under an hour! We crossed the finish line at 59:51. I ran a 10k in under an hour!!
Unfortunately, I don’t have my mile splits because my Garmin was so far off. I think it said we had run almost 7 miles. We ran the second 5k in 29:46, for an average pace of 9:37.
I also forgot to take pictures after this race. I’m hoping to get a few good ones from the race photographers. We walked around to pick up free food and drink samples (the rodeo run has the best!), a free race coffee mug, and then headed to the family meet-up tents to find my sister and our other friend. To celebrate after the race, we went to Ziggy’s Healthy Grill for brunch. It was a very successful race day!