Houston Meet Up & Half Marathon Recap

Hi friend! Welcome to a fresh new week! I’ve been so looking forward to sharing this post with you. It has both my half marathon recap AND an invitation to meet up this Thursday in Houston!

Wouldn’t that be awesome if we got to hug and chat in person?!?! I hope you can make it!

Half Marathon Recap

Yesterday, was the big day – the half marathon!

My little brother, Austin and I ran the half marathon and my 13 year-old son ran the 10k. I’m so freaking proud of all of us and doing it together made it that much better!

I rested the couple of days before and laid out all my gear the night before:

Running ShortsSports BraSocksSneakersHatRunning BeltGuHeart Rate MonitorApple Watch

We were up at 5:30 a.m. and my brother and his crew arrived at 6 a.m. With a sport like running, the family is kinda in training too because they help hold down the fort while you’re out on your long runs and then they’re up at the crack of dawn to support you on race day.

We were laughing that Austin and I were all geared up and James just threw on a t-shirt and shorts!

I’m so thankful that Elliott was here to drive us and drop us off at the start because traffic and parking are a nightmare for the event.

The race started at 7 a.m. and unfortunately, it was so hot! About 82 degrees when we took off running. Not ideal. We all had the beginning race adrenaline going and James ended up taking off ahead of me and Austin.

But, by mile 2, James’ calves started hurting, so we ended up walking about a mile with him to the 4 mile point, where he u-turned for the 10k. I felt like I needed to make up time, so I ran ahead and let Austin run his own race.

I picked up the pace for the next 2 miles, took a Gu at mile 6 and needed a restroom break, but didn’t want to wait in a port-a-potty line. So, I kept going, running and walking the uphills – so many hills!! And so hot!!

At mile 10, I saw a port-a-potty with no line so I went for it. I realized when I touched my shorts that they were soaking wet! But, I felt so much better after going, and took a second Gu. Those gels really help give you a boost of much needed engergy.

Miles 10-13 were hard as heck and I think my hard runs caught up to me because I had to stop to walk some and definitely walked the uphills.

James called me at mile 9.5 and knowing that Elliott, his daughter, and my family were all there waiting for me made me run that last half mile much faster. It was SO GOOD to cross that finish line and see all their faces!!

I ended up with a slower time than last year – 2 hours and 30 minutes. My goal was 2:15, but I’m glad to have walked with James and I’m sure the heat made it a much harder race.

We aren’t sure of James’ time because since the 10k was actually sold out, I had to register him for the half. Unfortunately, his time didn’t end up recording. I’m just so glad he did this with us and got to be part of the experience.

And also so he’d realize how hard Austin and I worked!

And then my brother – who has never been a runner and only trained for 6 weeks – crossed the finish line! He finished at 2:47. I was SO PROUD of him!

Jordan made signs for all of us! So cute!

And the best part – my Dad was in the vending business and whenever he’s thinking of us, he’ll leave coins on the ground. We call it “pennies from heaven” and Jordan found a nickel the night before the race.

It’s because of what he struggled with during the end of his battle with cancer that makes me extra thankful that I have the physical ability to run. Love you so much Dad!

How I trained for a half marathon in 6 weeks

First, I will say that I ran this half marathon last year, so I have gone this distance before. I’m also pretty active, working out a good 4 days a week. In the summer, I didn’t work out that much, but I did walk 10,000 steps a day for 30 days.

After that, I was itching for a new challenge, and realized that the half marathon was coming up. Problem was, by the time I realized it, it was just 6 weeks away. I decided to go for it and invited my younger brother to join me.

Austin in 12 years my junior and we are really tight. He gets up early to workout everyday, but isn’t a runner. Never one to back down for a challenge, he didn’t hesitate to join me when I asked him.

My Training schedule

The pink numbers are the miles I ran that day, and WT is when I did 45 minutes of weight training.

Zone 2 training

The biggest help this time was reading and researching about Zone 2 training, which allows you to improve your cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Zone 2 is the aerobic training zone, where your heart rate is elevated, but still within a range that allows you to sustain exercise for an extending period of without becoming excessively fatigued.

This zone is the “fat-burning zone” because it uses primarily fat as the body’s source of energy.

Zone 2 training is beneficial for :

  1. Improving aerobic capacity
  2. Enhancing the utilization of body fat
  3. Buiding endurance
  4. Reducing the risk of injury and overtraining
  5. Establishing a solid training foundation
  6. Promoting recovery
  7. Teaching packing, and
  8. Mental preparation

Keep in mind that Zone 2 training is just one component of a comprehensive running training plan. You’ll want to combine it with other types of training like tempo runs, intervals and pace workouts.

How to determine your zone 2 heart rate

To figure out your zone 2 heart rate, you’ll need to do a bit of math.

Take your maximum heart rate (usually estimated as 220 minus your age), and then multiply that by 60-70%.

For me:

220 – 48 = 172

60% – 70% = 103 – 120

My cardio fitness isn’t that good, so to stay in my Zone 2, I have to go really slow, we’re talking a 12-13 minute mile. But, the good news is, at that pace, I feel great and can go a long time!

It makes training way more bearable because you don’t feel like you’re killing yourself. Rather, you feel like you could go forever and it’s actually enjoyable – boring, yes, but not killer.

I got a Polar heartrate monitor and I LOVE it! It lets me know when I’m starting to go over my Zone 2 and when I hear “you’re burning fat” it helps me stay at my Zone 2 pace.

When I do shorter runs, I’ll go at a tempo pace or run sprint intervals.

Next Goal – Full Marathon 26.2 miles

Austin and I have a big, scary goal next. We plan to run the Houston Marathon on January 14, 2024.

I realized during our half training that we could be on track to run the full in a few months.

I texted my brother to see if he wanted to do it with me.

Don’t you just love him?!

I bought both of us the Hal Higdon Marathon book and we’re following his plan. I’ll keep y’all posted on my Instagram Stories– I have a highlight “26.2” where you can see our behind-the-scenes training.

If you’ve run a marathon (I’m so inspired by you!), I’d love any tips you have to share.

Fitness Favorites

Here are some of my fitness faves. These are things I use often to help stay in shape.

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Sip n’ shop with me this Thursday

I’m super excited to invite you to meet up with me on Thursday at the Houston Museum of Natural Science Store for their annual Sip ‘N Shop event!

We’ll get to shop, sip champagne and mingle while the store has giveaways, free gift wrap and more.

And, (almost) everything in the store will be 25% off!!

If you want a little sneak preview of some of the items they have, go here!

I can’t wait to meet you in person!

Now let’s go kick Monday’s booty!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!

9 Comments

  1. What an accomplishment to do a Half marathon 2 years in a row!!!
    Congratulations 🎉!! Hope you drink some celebratory champagne on Thursday!!

  2. Hi. Woo hoo and congrats. Do the full. I r going to be hooked. I love running marathons. I run lots. I also run ultras. So go for the marathon. Have fun the training is the best

    1. Really?! I can’t imagine I’ll be hooked, but I also NEVER thought I’d train for a marathon. So impressed with your ultras! I’ve read several books about those, so motivating!

  3. I ran a few halfs during my training for MCM – you were smart to realize you’re already so much of the way there. You and your brother can totally get there by 1/14! Can’t wait to follow your progress!

  4. Way to go! I’m prepping for my first half in 2 weeks. My last long run is tomorrow and I’m shooting for 13.5… I’m a worrier so I think I’ll be less stressed on race day if I know I’ve done it before! I’ve been adding a mile to my long runs each week and did 12 last week. I run/walk (Galloway method) and have been at about 12.5 min miles… I’d love to be under 2.5 hours but I at least feel confident that I’ll be under 2:45ish. Btw I’m 47 🙂
    Thanks for inspiring us all and CONGRATS!

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