Houston, TX is one of those cities I’ve never wanted to visit. If it weren’t for the OT’s, I’d have been more likely to avoid Houston, for fear of stumbling into someone else’s memories of their life there. I’d imagined a visit to Houston like walking through a spider web: you can’t see the strands until you’re already draped in its crepe-y, creepy weave.
The Olympic Marathon Trials forced my hand. As I’ve already explained, the Trials pack such a strong punch of motivation that I would have traveled to see this race no matter where it was being held–even New Jersey. Last summer, a couple of my relay teammates suggested I make the trip a two-fer and race while I was down there, and there it was: I had a game plan. Houstonians, I apologize in advance for my cluelessness. Please treat my New York City Girl routine with amusement.
So now here I am, actually looking forward to a weekend in a state that is as strange to me as Eastern Europe. Luckily, I have a trusty translator and guide, my Twitter buddy @tejasrunnergirl. (She also has a blog, you know. Go there as soon as you’re done reading here.)
The next few days are going to be the ultimate combination of inspiration and perspiration. I can’t fucking wait.
INSPIRATION. I want Ryan Hall to win again. And I want Desi Davila to live up to her end of the dare that she threw down in Boston last year. Predictions? I don’t have any, other than to say that I believe the women’s race is going to be much more exciting than the men’s. No matter what, it will be the best possible mental set-up for my race the next day. There isn’t anything else that could so effectively get me pumped to race the hell out of my own distance event. My only wish is that I had a better camera.* My crappy point and shoot takes terrible action shots, and I can only get in one click of the shutter before the runners have thundered past.
PERSPIRATION. I’m staring down 1:45 for this half-marathon. I. WILL. NOT. EXCEED. IT. Not only that, I will race for as big a gap as possible between my finishing time and 1:45. As in, minutes. Can I do it? The ever-faithful @tejasrunnergirl tells me I’ll finish in 1:40. That’s a 7:37 average pace–ain’t she a funny one. When I put my 15k PR, ran a month ago, into the McMillan Calculator, it gives me 1;45:01 for the half-marathon, which I think is funny for quite a different reason. I have tried to explain how my confidence begat my ambition. This is still true. I’ve been feeling strong and ready all week. Dropping five pounds doing Organic Avenue’s five-day *LOVE Fast juice cleanse last week means that I’ll be racing on legs that were trained to run while carrying more weight than they will have to on Sunday. The big difference between this taper and every other taper I’ve ever done is the subtle conviction I feel. That’s a new feeling, and I am grateful for it. No matter what happens on race day, I won’t have any regrets. I know I won’t, because I have had so much fun getting to Houston. I also know I’m more prepared for this race than I have been for any race prior.
If you know my name, you can track me on the Houston Marathon website. If you don’t, you can get my updates by following three of my friends on Twitter. @BklynRunner , stationed in Coney Island, NY, will be tweeting my splits as they come through the computer, and @tejasrunnergirl and @grapevinerunner will be live tweeting TK sightings from the curb in Houston.
*if this is my only wish, then life’s pretty darn good. Amen.