Happy Healthy Me
Running from zombies & a giant banana for the Health Museum
Some 450 runners, walkers and strollers participated on Saturday in the Run For Your Life Race, benefiting Houston’s Health Museum. It was my first 5K of the season, and my only race before the Dallas Run the Rock Half Marathon I’m participating in on Dec. 5.
Being a health and fitness writer, I appreciate that the Health Museum is a great place for children and families to learn about the human body in a fun way. This was the Museum’s first-ever race, and based on the success, it looks like it will continue to grow in years to come.
Coming just a week before Halloween, costumes were welcomed at the race, and I saw men dressed as princesses, lots of masks and fun outfits, some which could not be deciphered. I hope the woman wearing the banana costume covering her head and body had a successful run.
I treated the morning like a dress rehearsal for the half-marathon. I ate one piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and raspberries, coffee and water. The night before, I laid out my clothes, Garmin watch, shoes, race bib, water bottle, hat and runner’s tape so I would not forget anything. I arrived early to get my timing chip and stretch. My preparation was great and I wasn’t rushed nor did I forget anything. I only wish it wasn’t 80 degrees before 8 a.m. in late October!
Promptly at 8 a.m., the race started and we were off. This was my first race with my new Garmin, a watch with pacing and distance capabilities. I began much faster than my usual pace, which is expected in a race.
A 5K is also a shorter distance, so many people can maintain a faster pace for a short period of time. I noticed before the first mile marker that my watch said I had gone further than the marker indicated, so I then realized that I was either taking too many unnecessary steps to add distance, or the course wasn’t properly marked.
I finished the race in 33:40 minutes, but according to my watch, I ran 3.6 miles in that time. The Garmin said my average pace was 9:20 minutes/mile, much faster than I am used to. But the official race results for 3.1 miles say my average pace was 10:50 minutes. Either way, it was good practice, and I added miles to my weekly total.
No matter the distance, it is always a great feeling to cross the finish line knowing you ran your hardest. Running is a great time to be reflective — you can’t distract yourself with your phone or a TV — and it’s always important to remember that you might not always have strong enough legs to support running or the time to devote to it, so be thankful and enjoy it in the moment.
Now I need to fine tweak my pacing and work on evening it out to preserve some energy for the end of a longer race.
Marci Gilbert writes a daily blog on health and fitness at www.marcigilbert.com.