And, after 4 months of training, I found myself at the starting line of the Galveston Half Marathon.
I'm still not very comfortable referring to myself as a "runner," but I did manage to run the full half marathon. I did feel for the guys and gals who were running the full marathon, as they still had another lap around the course.
13 miles is a long, long way to run. I started off well, running between 8:30 and 9:00 for the first 6-7 miles. Then I started to get tired. I got slower and slower throughout the run, which is unfortunate, as I was about 2 and a quarter minutes shy of the pace I'd hoped to complete the half marathon. I don't have the results available yet, but my app on my phone indicates that I finished somewhere around 2:02.
The route was nice. You turn the corner, go up a little bit near the Pleasure Pier (which
just sounds like something from Pinocchio to me), turn right and you're
on the seawall. Running on the seawall was gorgeous - you can't be any
closer to the beach, and there's hardly anyone out in the water. you
run along the seawall for a mile or so, then do a short turnaround and head
back for a few miles before you go up a small incline and through some
resorty-looking area, then back around and into Galveston city again. The meanest thing the planners did was make the stretch after the last
turn like 10 city blocks. These aren't normal city blocks, though -
these are industrial strength, Texas sized city blocks, to match the
Texas sized last mile, which by my estimation was about 7.3 standard
miles. It's rather disheartening to run block after block without
seeing the finish line get any closer. But, I did keep going. I'm
happy to say that I did run the entire race, and then very quickly made
it to the port-o-can, because I had to go from about the 0.4 mile mark.
I think, if they were to ask my input, the one thing I'd request, not that they care, or that it might even be feasible, is that they reverse the route, so that you're running along the seawall for the last portion of the race. That 10 block run at the end would be much less daunting at the beginning, in my opinion.
Galveston was a nice location for a half (or full, I'm sure) marathon, but I'm not sure I'm going to sign up again next year. We'll have to see how I'm feeling. I was really wiped by the end of this. Part of it might have been the temperature - I'd been training between 30-50 degrees, but the run day temperature was in the mid-60s, which was less pleasant than I'd hoped, oddly.
I do feel better now, if a little tired.