2010 Jan 17 | Houston marathon

Sigh, frost in Houston. What's up with this?

We had to practice intramuscular and subcutaneous injections on each other in lab. Not sure why, since I have no plans on doing this, although maybe it's one of those "practice it just in case" things. It only took my partner 5 tries to get it right on me (although thankfully she didn't jab me every time; she just kept hitting her hand with her knuckles instead).

Funny license plate.

M&Ms just hanging there. I tried to shake the machine a bit, but it was way too sturdy to move much at all.

I took a closer look at the air fresherner that makes the waiting room smell like cake; it's vanilla cream.

Ooh, I like these in black.

Another Wednesday evening class, another round of beer and pizza.

This was so annoying. A piece of onion got stuck on my pear, and no matter what I did, I couldn't manage to peel it off; I just couldn't get a good grip, and if I tried to flick it, it just moved around. So I just kept pushing it out of the way as I ate my way around.

I love this used office chair I use at my computer, but it constantly has little pieces of the covering breaking off. I finally got sick of it and just tore off the whole area that was bad, and now it doesn't seem to do it any more. It doesn't look quite as nice, but I'm not picking little pieces off the floor all the time now.

Gotta love contact lens studies. $30 for each 15-45 minute visit each week and free contacts and solution.

That's a pretty glaring message.

Another fun license plate.

We were going to a movie Friday night and were looking for places to eat. We had heard there was some unadvertised movie deal at Red Robin if you order two entrees, so we went there.

It was basically $5 of each movie ticket, so we saved $10 total. Which is good if you were already planning on eating there, but if you're just looking to save money, the place is rather expensive anyway.

My least favorite part of dry cleaning: pulling off these dumb little tags.

Still my favorite movie theater: Cinemark in Pasadena. Mainly because they have $4 movies before 6pm.

Sunday morning was the Houston marathon. Shu-Ling was running it and had asked me to run with her to keep her pace up from mile 18. Here are some earlier runners.

Aw, this is cute: these little girls were giving runners hi-fives.

Most people were too concentrated on running, but some people did it.

This guy had a giant Texas A&M flag, and whenever he saw runners with A&M shirts, he'd go out and run with them for a bit.

The people with the balloons were the pace runners at different speeds.

This old guy looked pretty cool.

These women were handing out orange slices to the runners.

Although then there were lots of orange peels right on this corner.

"You rock" painted on his back.

There were lots of people supporting their friends. I liked this woman because she not only had a sign but also a homemade bell: the top of a pan she smacked her keys against.

The runners all wore chips to track where they were, and you could set it up so that you received a text message when they hit the quarter, half, three-quarters, and finish line. Although really, that wasn't very helpful because there's like 6.5 miles between each of those. It would have been much better if you could get an update every mile.

A shirt with only sleeves. Or maybe they're called arm warmers.

A guy videotaping his buddy.

A guy on his cell phone.

Not a lot of clothing on him.

Some funny skirts.

Shu-Ling said she was wearing a white visor and a blue shirt, so once it got close to when she should be in the area of mile 18, I started looking for women wearing those. This wasn't her.

Not her either.

Honestly, how many women are here with white visors and blue shirts?

There they are! But where's the white visor?

Lots of people had the little energy mush things. I could have run up and grabbed these and then run away.

At the 30k mark. Although I had no idea how far that was in miles.

All of the water stations had signs that said, "last water table." We were confused because there was always another water station later on. I asked Lucy, who was handing out water at the first station, about it after the race, and she said the sign was for the last water table at each station, not the last station of the race like we thought, and that it was for the visually impaired so they didn't have to turn around because they missed the last table. I think they should word it better, though.

Keeping up the pace.

There were lots of people holding funny signs.

A fair number of people had these belts to carry lots of little water bottles. This lady had a snack and some leis, too.

Still moving.

Another fun sign.

Time to stop and stretch.

Some belly dancers by the side.

Well, that's pretty obvious; the sky is right there.

Although I guess if there was ice on the road ahead, this might be nice.

Mile 20.

Taking water from the fire hydrants for the water stations. I guess that's a lot easier than hauling it there.

Getting some water.

They had lots of trash cans set up, but they also had people shoveling up cups if people threw them away after those.

Some rather ironic graffiti.

Spectators dressed up.

Those are nice to have every once in a while, just in case.

Passing by a more open area.

The three of us.

As far as we could tell, there was only music here, no beer.

Some people dancing to the Macarena.

Stretch time again.

Mile 21.

I didn't really understand the sign on the right, but afterwards I saw an explanation: they wanted people to flash them. Although it was mostly guys who did so.

Another water station.

A guy playing some music on the side.

Running by some nice apartments.

A spectator dressed as Elvis and singing.

Shu-Ling about to give a kid a high-five.

Some women in fun tutus.

Mile 23.

A bit crowded at this water station.

A little blurry, but this was by far my favorite sign of the race: Run like you stole something.

Hey, that guy has a beer! Where did he get that?

There were lots of people you'd see over and over again as paces sped up and slowed down, like these women in white and red.

It's always nice to go downhill.

Signs over the bridge. That's a pretty big one for Susan.

Stretching again.

More funny signs, although the left one works either way you read it: Jason runs stark naked or Jason Stark runs naked. I'm assuming the second is what it's supposed to be since it has the pun on his name.

Mile 24.

This station had cookies and other yummy snacks, not just oranges.

Hopefully nobody really needs that during the race.

A woman with a sign advertising marathon trinkets pinned on her.

Getting some orange slices.

A woman with a fun hat.

The Houston Hash House Harriers handing out beer.

Stop and stretch again.

And watch some kids roll down the hill.

A guy raking up cups after a water station. Although he kind of had to dodge around the runners.

1.5 miles to go. That's a wonderful sign to see.

Mile 25.

A woman taking a picture of her daughter near the end.

The last corner.

The final stretch.

Aw, man, I forgot the race is 26.2 miles, not 26.0.

Shu-Ling going in to get her medal.

Us and a few other of her friends after the race.

So after my 8 miles, I really only had a little bit of skin rubbed off here and a bit of a sore muscle on top of my right foot. The weather was perfect for the marathon and it was a lot of fun.

Some video clips of the race.