I ran the Santa Hustle half marathon in Galveston on December 18.
Race day eve was BUSY! I had a 6 mile training run, followed by yoga class, then a hair appointment. I had planned to cook a pasta bake for dinner that night, but by the time I was finished with my hair it was after 6pm! I had a pre-race dinner of frozen ravioli garlic bread, then started getting my things ready for the morning.
Race day morning came very early! I got some warm lemon water in me and started to make my toast/almond butter/banana and realized that I did not have a banana. This wasn’t going as planned! I made a few adjustments to my outfit and what I would pack in my bag for after the race. I opted to wear the 3/4 zip top and pack my windbreaker. I brewed a cup of yerba mate for the road and headed out by 5:00 am.
The wind was HOWLING from the north, which made my southbound trip very fuel economical :-). I made it to Galveston and found a place to park, took off to pick up my packet, drop my bag, and run my 1 mile warm-up. It was windy and cold. I finished up my mile run right outside the parking area and headed for my car to warm up!
I got to the start in plenty of time to use the port-a-can and to find a suitable windbreak. Wind gusts were up to 40 mph that day. They were unable to put up the blow up starting line and even the finish line clocks. They did have Christmas music blasting, which made it seem festive.
The race was mostly an out and back along the seawall. It ran along some residential streets getting to the seawall, I was able to wave at some of my friends as we passed by their home. The winds on the going out part were at our backs, so the going back part was pretty tough. We ran through the Stewart Beach parking lot on the way there. There was a candy stop early on in the race, and there was supposed to be a cookie stop near the end of the race. I didn’t see it, I’m guessing they had it at the finsh due to the winds. There were water/Gatorade stops at about every 2 miles along the course. They were mostly well manned and stocked, I’m guessing that the weather had a lot to do with it.
I finished at 2:13:02 a time that I am please with as I was shooting for a steady training run.
At the finish, they handed out the finishers medals and had a line of post race refreshments. I got a bottle of water and a banana and headed to pick up my bag. I was super happy to see my wind breaker! I noticed a peach colored powder all over my bag and realized I forgot to close the top to my shaker bottle so I didn’t get my recovery shake. With the winds and the chill in the air, I was a shivering mess! I didn’t stick around much. They had a post-race party at The Spot, but since it is mostly outdoors, I bailed on it… setting my sights on something warmer.
I made a few goals prior to the race – let’s see how I did:
- Practice pre-race nutrition (including day prior meals and breakfast). Although I pretty much have what I eat before a race down, doesn’t hurt to make absolutely sure it agrees with my stomach – Not really… I did have pasta for dinner, but not what I was planning pre-marathon. Even breakfast was a miss!
- Execute on fueling and hydration strategy during the race – Nailed it.
- Keep pace “steady” through the race… training plan calls for 10:29-11:00 – Pretty steady … there were a few speedy miles mixed in there (sub 10:00), which I’m sure were wind assisted.
- Dress appropriately for the weather… don’t freeze, but don’t overdress – Achieved. I’m happy that I made a last minute adjustment and ran with both my cold gear shirt and the zip top – double thumb holes kept my hands toasty..
- Have fun!!- Achieved! It was fun to not have a time goal and to just have fun during the race.
After the race I stopped at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Salsa’s for some post race nutrition and a margarita before heading back home.