Sunday, March 29, 2009

Angie’s Half Crazy Half Marathon, Clear Lake Texas

This was the second edition of Angie’s Half Crazy. The first edition had a little more than 300 participants. This year’s race proved to be a lot bigger than anyone anticipated. I don’t know what the final numbers were, but I think there were around 900. That is a significant increase for a race from one year to the next. I expected to experience some negative aspects due to extreme growing pains, but I don’t have any real complaints.

My pre-race ritual was interrupted by several things going on around the house on Saturday, and this is what I had to say on another message board I participate in:
This is how you all know that I am really crazy... It is 11:36 pm, and I have my clock set for 3:30 am... I have to leave at 4am to get to Clear Lake by 5:30 am. Last year, this race had only 339 participants... It is approaching 1,000 this year, and the chips weren't in the race packets. I didn't pick up my packet early because I have been working 6 days a week, and couldn't make it to any of the scheduled pre-race packet pickups... So, there will be 1,000 CRAZY runners and walkers all trying to get their timing chips at the same time. Oh boy is this going to be CRAZY!!!

I was able to get up early enough to make it to the race site, University of Houston Clear Lake Campus, by 5:40 am, and park right along the finish line. It was a perfect day for a half marathon. Temps in the low 40’s for the start. Folks were getting ready for the 6am early start, and I didn’t have any trouble collecting my race packet and timing chip. Since I was one of the first 100 to register for the race, I got an extra nice tote bag and a coffee mug with the race logo. There was also some SPF 15 Green Apple lip balm. I thought that was a nice touch.

I went back to the car and waited a little bit for the RD to announce the early start. I went to cheer on the walkers and a few runners who wanted to finish early so they could make it to work on time. They started only a few minutes behind schedule. I went back to the car and ate my banana, pinned on the race number, attached the timing device to my shoe, and waited in the car until about 6:45am. Then all I needed was a trip to the porta potties and a short warm up and stretch. ROTC presented the colors, a young lady sang the national anthem, and we were off.

One of the Houston walkers passed me at the start, and he gave me the incentive to go ahead and race this one instead of take it easy. I only kept him in sight for about 3 miles, though. He is really speedy! I chose to try and do the half marathon with only GU, electrolyte and water instead of trying to eat Clif bars or other solid food. I took the first GU and mile 2 with some water, I drank electrolyte at mile 4, GU and water at mile 6, electrolyte at mile 8, GU and water at mile 10, electrolyte at mile 12, and on to the finish! I was passing back and forth with some Galloway run/walkers, and then one group got away from me. The other group was going at just about my pace, and it became kind of problematic. One of the ladies even cut me off at a water station. I was coming through, just grabbing the water and moving on, and she came to almost a standstill in front of me. I kind of laughed and said, please excuse me ladies… I have to keep moving. She was really nice and I think we both just took it in stride. My first 4 miles were all sub 12 minute miles… the next 7 miles were anywhere from 12:10 to 12:29. I thought there was no way for a PR, and then I finally really looked at the Garmin… It showed 2:13:44, and my dream goal was to finish in 2:40. I started feeling better; I only needed to walk 2.1 miles in 26 minutes. I put the speed back on and walked my fastest two miles to finish in 2:40:51 for 13.28 miles (this is the distance the Garmin registered). My Garmin shows an average mile pace of 12:06, I think the official chip time result will be about 12:17. I didn’t ask the timing folks to look it up for me; I will wait until the results are posted on the race website. The course was certified the distance, it is just impossible to follow any course that precisely. The temperature was only in the low 60’s when I finished the race.

The finish line chute was a little unorganized. I had to look for the person who was retrieving the timing chips, and I couldn’t find the medals. Then I heard someone say they had run out. That’s ok, I know the RD, and she makes my t-shirts for the fun run I host in December. As I said earlier, I don’t think she expected such a fantastic turnout for the second year of the race. My Houston walking friend came up to congratulate me, and I congratulated him also. He let me borrow his medal for a finish line photo, which the photographer insisted on due to my outfit. I was wearing a crazy looking getup, and that made the race kind of fun. My running funky polka dot tights were a hit, even when worn with a mismatched black, white and yellow top with a pink do-rag on my head. I got more comments on those tights than I can even begin to count. I gave lots of advertising!

I went to the car and got my non-fat quad shot iced latte. I just have to drink one of those quickly after the race is over. That seems to make a real difference in my recovery. I went to the post race snack table and ate some cookies and went to sign up for the massage. I heard that more medals had been located. So, I ended up with my medal today after all.

I had a quick massage; they only had a 5 minute time limit. Then I went to get my bbq plate. The post race meal was brisket, chicken, baked beans, potato salad and all the trimmings. Good times, good food, good fun for the day! Everyone stood up to cheer the last finisher in, and then it was time to head home. I was able to thank Angie the RD and congratulate her on a fantastic production.

My DH called me and asked me to get some bbq stuff on my way home. I had to go to Wal Mart dressed like this... When I got home, he had gone and bought the stuff, too. I was really pi$$ed. I don't mind going to a race in a CRAZY getup, but you all should have SEEN the looks I got at Wal Mart. Good thing I decided to go to a store where I don't know anyone.

My previous half marathon PR was 2:47:09, this one was (by my garmin) 2:40:51. What is that about 6:18 better? I think so. I am not sure how this works, but I am going to try to put a few pictures on the blog so you all can see my outfit and the awesome race stuff I got at the packet pickup.


  1. Maryann- It sounds like you had a great race with a new PR and a great experience overall. BTW, I love the tights! :)

  2. That's my walking partner! Way to go my friend!

  3. LOVE the PR and the outfit! Oh my gosh, those are the greatest tights! Will check out their website :)

  4. thanks a bunch, everyone! if you check out running funky, they have a sale page... that's where I found the polka dots.