Slow Seaside Half

After my first real-world half marathon in January, I ended up signing up for the 2024 race, but I also quickly decided that I didn’t want to wait a full year to give it another shot. A day or so later, I signed up for the Galveston Island Half Marathon at the end of February, with the hope that a similarly flat course would give me a shot at beating my Austin finishing time.

Alas, it wasn’t to be, although I’m still glad I ran it.

The weather forecast bounced around a bit in the final weeks leading up to the race, with rain predicted for a while, but race morning ultimately proved to be free of precipitation but extremely humid.

I woke up for half an hour at 3:15am, which wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t feel very tired. This time, I had a productive trip to the bathroom before leaving the house, and managed to squeeze in a final coffee disposal in the porta-potties just before the start.

In pre-race prep, I’d added more “peppy” music to my playlist, and configured my watch for easier visibility, although infuriatingly, I couldn’t coax it to tell me the time of day or total elapsed time: for my next run, I’m going to wear two watches.

The course started on Stewart Beach…

…heading north before looping back and passing by the starting area around 9.5 miles later:

Unfortunately, this run was hard. I never found my rhythm and ended up in my Peak heart rate zone almost immediately; after mile three, I was regularly dropping down to walks.

I ended up not needing my sunglasses (or sunscreen), and it was kinda nice to run alongside the foggy beach and surf. That said, I needed water or Gatorade at almost every aid stop and I think I pumped out more sweat than on any other run.

My pace for the first six miles was considerably slower than my expected (8:34), and only fell from there:

The middle miles of the race were hard. While nothing hurt for more than a second or two (a budding blister made its presence known, but it wasn’t either a surprise or bothersome), nothing felt very good either. I again found myself lost in unhappy thoughts and worries (mostly loneliness) and never managed to “zone out” and just run like I do on the treadmill.

When the finish line was finally in sight, I started sprinting; my knees instantly warned me that this wasn’t going to last, but otherwise it felt great to finally be moving.

I crossed the line fourteen minutes slower than my Austin Half, happy to be done:

After a shower back at the AirBnB, friends and I went to the Galveston Island Brewing taproom and sampled their beers. After a few hours, I walked over to the beach to enjoy the sun and warm weather (the fog had dissipated).

“Math Is Hard” Double IPA. (Or was it a quad, since I had two? :)

By the end of the day, I’d walked almost 6 additional miles, crossing over 35000 steps for the day.

The long-sleeve race shirt was pretty nice, and the logo was the same one used for the finisher’s medal.

Unfortunately, landscapers with a mower destroyed the back window of my car while it was parked at the AirBnB, but I managed to get it back to Austin without the shattered glass completely falling out.

I’m looking forward to some recovery treadmill runs for the next two months before the Capital 10K in April. I had a relaxed 8 mile run this morning and it felt great.


Published by ericlaw

Impatient optimist. Dad. Author/speaker. Created Fiddler & SlickRun. PM @ Microsoft 2001-2012, and 2018-2022, working on Office, IE, and Edge. Now a SWE on Microsoft Defender Web Protection. My words are my own, I do not speak for any other entity.

2 thoughts on “Slow Seaside Half

  1. Just curious, whose your photographer? or does the event provide random pics? PS congrats on your accomplishments thus far… I’d likely not make it a block if I took up running.

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