Monday, February 25, 2013

Rodeo Run 10K Recap

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo has officially started in Houston, TX. Even though the concerts and rodeo part actually starts today, the weekend was crammed with events. On Friday, March 22, 2013, the trail ride rode through our city shutting down major freeways and roads. It is a staple for us down here in the South and something we cherish. We can always tell who is a new person, because they are the only ones angry with the traffic that the cattle drive causes. It is also a day where everyone dresses up in cowboy boots and hats and outfits to work in which we refer to as Go Texan Day. Another weekend event is the BBQ Cookoff on Saturday where teams compete for the honor of the best barbecue in Texas. But really it's just a big party. To combat the drinking and eating for that night and well the next few weeks, a 5k/10k run is scheduled for that morning through the downtown area called ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run.

So, when my friend Sara told me that she had signed up for the 10k, I couldn't resist. It's been awhile since I've ran a 10k. I guess I have just been stuck in a 5k holding pattern. I wanted to break that and go for the 10k. I felt good about it...until the actual day happened.

This was another hard week for me, which are now hitting me more often than not to start out 2013. My ex husband who was a big part of my life passed away on Tuesday. Even though we haven't spoken in forever due to the divorce and what nots, it was still a rough time for me. I was thrust in to the connecting point for everyone and I'm not sure how I got through it, but I did. Consequently, I was scared about this run. I hadn't slept much, I ate awful all week, and I drank more than I should have. And I'm not even including the fact that I haven't put foot to pavement for a run since the Sunday before this happened. But I was determined to go. So, I sent Sara a text warning her that I'm not prepared and I will be slow.

I went to pick up my packet the day before at Luke's Locker and ended up buying new shoes (Brooks Cadence) and some new clothes. I did get a free T-shirt, which I decided to wear on race day.

Aren't they so beautiful? My first minimal shoe with some padding. I only wished I could wear them on the run.
I even did something out of character for me mainly because I hardly get my packet ahead of time. I actually picked out my outfit and got it ready to grab the next day. I only wished I found my ipod the night before instead of scrambling to find it at the last minute before heading out the door.

My new blue Thoro socks to match my new shoes, new black Nike Dry Fit Capris (LOVE THEM) with a back zipper pocket , old Asics Nimbus, and my free T-shirt.
After some mumbles of frustrations trying to locate my ipod (not sure why I brought this) and Jim wishing me good luck on my run via Skype, I headed towards downtown. I had a vague idea of where to park, but somehow I ended up on the other side of 45 due to a wrong turn. I parked really close to the start line and near the entrance to the freeway. I just hope it wouldn't be blocked by the parade.

Parade you say? Yes, this run is followed by a parade with all those people from the trail ride and other people representing something of Houston. We even get to see them lined up on our run route. Also, we get a pretty decent crowd cheering us on because of the parade.

I met up with Sara, Kris, and their friend Erica right by the start line. These are some of the pictures I took.

The cowboy boot sneakers were very popular. Why didn't I think of this?

I'm not sure what to say about this guy. I thought it was fake at first, but it was not. Too much bronze?

I couldn't help not getting a picture of me by the big boot.

This girl was just too cute for words.

Kris, Sara, Erica, and I by the boot.

So, I finally got set up to take this picture. I was in perfect position. I waited for everyone to get out of my way. As soon as I took the picture, this guy to right got in the picture to stand right next to the Marines. Thanks Douche!

I had to run for this shot.
It was a madhouse getting to the start line. It was so packed and I began to worry that this would be the Turkey Trot all over again. However, they did start the 10k people before the 5k people. We were literally next to the starting line on the sidewalk without really moving, but the starting line was set for those runners that have ended the race before you make it to the turnaround point. It wasn't meant for our group. So, we pushed our way through the crowd when the whistle blew and just went with the 8 minute mile group. We just moved to the side as quick as we could to get out of there way.

This was right before the race...literally.

Heading to a normal start position. Yeah, I instagrammed it!
On a side note, I thought it was rude that the wheelchair start occured before the National Anthem was completed by the Marines. I have never seen that happen at any sporting event EVER. It was bad enough you couldn't hear them very well and everyone was talking, but to start the event before the song was done...well, there really isn't any excuse.

Back to the race. I put my ipod in one ear and had it playing low. I brought the thing only because I thought I would end up running this race alone. This was not the case. Sara stayed by my side all the way and there were lots of bands playing throughout the route, including university and high school bands practicing before the parade. In all actuality, the ipod was a hinderance and I stopped using it completely around mile 2. The wires kept hanging down low and the ear phones wouldn't stay in my bra. I spent some effort fixing them on a lot of the walk breaks.

Another technical difficulty was the back pocket on my new capris. Well, they aren't built for phones. It felt like I took a dump in my shorts weighing them down. Consequently, I was digging in to my back pocket early on (which I'm sure it looked worse to the spectators and runners behind me) so that I could just carry my phone the whole race. Maybe the running belt is still a good idea.

Sara and I decided to run five minutes, walk one minute, but run the first mile. This was a faster pace than I'm used to, especially with low levels of energy and shape and exercise and everything. But I kept with her. We started out pretty good. She kept track of when to start and stop since I started my watch earlier than I was supposed to and my watch times were off. Somewhere in the middle of the race, we changed it to run four minutes, walk 1 minute. I just couldn't keep going for an extra minute. This worked out so much better. If we came up to a hill (there were four total, plus one that snuck up on you), we would run down to the flat part even if we hit the four minutes and then walk up the hill.

The trail ride and parade route lined up ready to follow us.

These were some loud spectators that you just had to love.

Why didn't I think of an outfit like this?
I started to get slow and many times, I lost Sara. I always kept an eye on her and she would pull off to the side when she noticed I was not in her view anymore. I would stick up my hand to wave to her that I'm coming. I kept telling her leave me so she could get a good time, but she didn't. Somewhere around the fifth mile, I noticed the time. I started to flash back to my other 10ks and realized something...if I make it under 1 hour, 10 minutes, I will have a personal record (PR). That basically fueled Sara as my cheerleader to keep me going.

Then, I saw the finish line. I was so excited. I'm going to PR. And then Sara said, "No, that's the 5k finish line." WTF?! Lots of curse words came out of my mouth. What kind of sick joke is the race organizers trying to pull on us 10kers? In fact, I think they hated us, but more on that later. After that soul crushing tenth of a mile, I relinquished my dream of getting a PR. I didn't even see the finish line. So, now...I focused on finishing. I couldn't stop; I had to keep going. We crossed the finish line at 1 hour 11 minutes on the timer. I still wasn't sure if I got a PR. I searched my blog later that evening and saw that I got my 10k PR in 1 hour 12 minutes. The race results finally came out...
Chip Time
Gun Time
First 5K
Second 5K
Pace per Mile

I FREAKING GOT A PR!!! Holy moly. I was SO NOT expecting that at all and I have to thank Sara for it. She was awesome and I probably would have finished this well over an hour and half if it was not for her. Yes, I ran it, but she encouraged me, especially at the end. I'm super freaking excited about it, but after two days, I'm still so very sore. You can watch my finish video (which is pretty cool that they have) here.

Sara and I after the race. Look...I'm not dead yet.

Of course we had to get our picture with the Chic-Fil-A cows. Yes, I know the chain is controversial right now, but we weren't thinking about whether we support gay rights or not. It's cool cows that can't spell chicken. Read later about how I didn't get my fudgesicle.

What a cool shot of Houston in the background. Although, we aren't sure what that fenced area was. A cemetary?
Now, to my complaints. As I stated earlier, I think they hated the people doing the 10k. When we finished, we didn't even get water right away. It was on the other side of a fence. The part where you can go on the other side of the fence was at least a half a mile from the finish line and then you had to actually get back to the water. Granted, I could be exaggerating on the distance, but it was far and I was tired. We eventually reached over the fence to grab the warm water. Then, we saw Kris and Erica with water for us (still on the other side of the fence). I saw fudgesicles everywhere. I was on a mission to get one. However, because it took forever for us to get to the booth, they were out. The 5k people immediately got dumped in to the action and early whereas the 10k people had to walk and walk and walk to get to any of the action. Everyone had these bags full of goodies. Yup, was that at the finish line for the 10k people? Absolutely not. I was quite peeved. I plan to write that in the survey of how they can improve things.

But all in all, I'm happy I went and I got a PR. The walk back to my car had an interesting view.

These cowboys yelled at me in a good way.

These cowboys and cowgirls were blasting the Tejano music. The horse jumped and pranced to the tune of the music. It was nice ending to my run.
On another side note, my parking spot was awesome. I was just out of reach of the parade and easy access to the freeway. I will remember that for next time.

Next up...The Color Run on March 24, 2013, with Morgan, Kate, and Jules as The Color Giants. If you want to join us, just sign up.


  1. So it turned out great afterall !! Great pictures too !!!! YOU ROCK !

    1. It did turn out well, but boy was I worried about it. Thanks Jules for your support on everything.

  2. Congrats, on your PR, whatever the hell that is! That was so cool of you to be determine to do this even though you had not run competitively in awhile, and with all that has happen over the week. You have persevered and that always makes one stronger to tackle the ups and downs of life.

    For someone who was born and raised in Houston, TX, and is a true native Texan and Houstonian, its called, "TRAILRIDE" not "Cattle drive." And, yes, I know that it originated from bringing the cattle to market.

    1. Personal Record...PR.

      Ha! What's so that I wrote cattle drive and thought it was wrong. But that's the only name that stuck in my head. I should have checked and almost did, but was lazy about it. So, you are right. I will fix it. It's been a long week.

  3. Congratulations on a PR! Super cool ... even without that well-deserved fudgesicle! I would have been beyond bummed out watching people on the other side of a fence eating fudgesicles ... I commend your composure!

    1. Thanks Amy. Oh it was hard seeing the glimmer in their eye with each bite...I'm not going to lie.

  4. Congrats on a PR - take it where you find it! And given that you had a less than ideal week beforehand (seriously - I am so sorry for your loss. However complicated this must have been for you, it must have been super difficult to handle) this bodes well. Can't wait to see you in Yorkshire this autumn!

    1. Thanks Petra! I really appreciate the things you say. I can't wait to see you in October.

  5. Kristi, I'm so sorry for your loss. Some things are never easy, and you wouldn't want them to be. It sounds like you made the most of the event and the day, however. I'm psyched you PR'd! Keep up the good work. You are inspiring and amazing!

  6. Thanks Dawn. I am doing better now. I am super excited about that PR and have plans to break it again...some time.


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