I ran the Galveston Half Marathon in Galveston on February 12.
I took it easy on race day eve … sleeping in and relaxing with tea and a book in the morning, followed by some housework and watching my beloved KU Jayhawks
barely beat Texas Tech. My pre-race dinner consisted of a pasta bake, garlic bread, and a glass of wine. I prepped my things for the morning and got to bed early.
Race day morning came very early… I was up at 3:00 am! I got some warm lemon water in me and made my toast/almond butter/banana. I showered, got dressed, brewed a cup of yerba mate for the road, and was out the door by 4:30 am. I allowed ample time to get to Galveston as I-45 southbound was completely shut down for an 8 mile stretch (I didn’t anticipate much traffic at that hour, but it’s better to be on the safe side). I made it to Galveston in good time even with a planned stop at Buc-ees for fuel and restroom.
The race started and ended at Stewart Beach on the seawall. There was ample parking at the beach, and very convenient to the start and the festivities. There was a line of port-a-cans, in addition to the restrooms at the beach pavilion (there were also showers in there too). There was no bag drop at this race as you literally parked just steps away from the start/finish.
Weather conditions that morning were muggy… temp at the start was 70 and humidity was 100%… it was foggy (this seems to be a theme on race day for me). The fog burned off pretty quickly, thankfully it was cloudy for the duration of my race.
The race began with the wheelchair at 7:15, then everyone else got lined up. There wasn’t a special guest present to sing the national anthem, so all the runners got to sing. The gun sounded promptly at 7:30 and we were off.
The course ran through Beach Town, towards East Beach and down the Seawall. There were a few out and backs, which I enjoyed seeing the runners on the other side of the road and giving them a smile or a thumbs up. There were water stops at every 1.5 miles with enthusiastic volunteers providing water and Gatorade. . I took water at each stop… took a few sips and poured the rest down the back of my neck. I carried my handheld with Nuun and took my Huma gels as I had practiced in training.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of spectators along the course… there were more than I expected. Thanks to the ladies on the west side of the Pleasure Pier… you really helped propel me towards the finish with your spirited cheers.
I finished at 2:08:42, beating the sub-2:11 I had set as my goal. I even placed 2nd in my age group.
At the finish, they handed out the finishers medals and waters. I got a bottle of water and headed to my car to get mix up my recovery drink and put on my Oofos. The food tents were my next stop and I picked up a banana and checked out the results that were scrolling on a TV. I continued on to the seawall to cheer on some runners for a while, before returning for pizza and beer (there were also breakfast tacos, frozen yogurt and more fruit).
I stuck around for the awards ceremony for the half… making my way to the podium.
Remember those showers… well, I took advantage of them (sort of)… I didn’t bring a towel, but I had brought a change of clothes and for some reason I had a couple of hand towels in my car – score! I then headed to the beach to get my toes in the sand for a bit!
I made a few goals prior to the race – let’s see how I did:
- Start out slow… run a reverse split race – Not really… although my 2nd half was slightly faster than the first (10:10/9:58/10:04/9:45/9:58/9:31/9:53/9:56/10:00/10:03/9:39/9:25/9:17)
- Be confident, trust in training. Achieved… I really didn’t have any nerves… I was a little nervous about my time goal with the weather.
- Time goals … sub 2:11 – Nailed it – 2:08:42!
- Stay hydrated and don’t overheat. Nailed it… I carried my nuun, took water at each aid station and dumped some down the back of my neck to stay cool.
- Have fun! Achieved… I think I had a smile on my face during the whole race!
After the race I stopped by to visit some friends for a bit, then on to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Salsa’s for some post race nutrition and a margarita before heading back home.
I really enjoyed the Galveston Half Marathon… it was a small race – there were about 700 people that ran the half and full combined, it was very well organized, lots of communication before hand… volunteer support was stellar… and you can’t beat running along the coast.