Yes, months later and we are going backwards on recaps! But hey, better late than never!!
The Galveston Half was back in the month of February 2023. It was also my first race of the year, and my return to distance running after back to back 50ks in 2022.
I have actually run the full 26.2 distance at this race also, quite literally ages ago. So, it was fun to return back for that run on the beach after so many dang years. I signed up too on a bit of a whim after my aforementioned hiatus from training for back to back ultramarathons and just feeling burned out, overworked and overtrained.
Taking a step back…was absolutely what I needed to get that fire going again.
I knew that due to my super consistency over the last decade with distance running this was an attainable distance and one that I would enjoy. I flew out to the Houston area (a quick hour long flight from DFW) and ended up renting a car to make the trek to the beach. A pickup truck, which was not what I was expecting from the rental car place at the airport HA…but that Tacoma was perfect for trekking solo to the beach!!
Just before I made it down there…I did enjoy some family time with my dad. Crawfish, laughs and all the fun was had.
We went to Baytown Seafood, one of our favorite restaurants in Houston.
I was not quite sure what the turnout would be for the half, but it ended up being quite a large group of people! We all parked right on the sand and made it out to the start line. I’m not sure about you, but for me, running on the beach is probably one of the MOST peaceful things in the universe. So I knew this would be one that I would certainly enjoy.
The gun went off and we were off into the sunrise skies. I did track myself, and started off at a fairly conservative pace. I knew that the fog would be burning off and that HEAT was going to come all the way out! For those of you who aren’t too familiar with South Texas races…just know that the humidity off the gulf is almost always at 1 million percent. Even in the cooler months! Actually, this run that was in February was still quite warm…temps soared into close to the 80s that day, but cooler with the ocean breeze early.
The course also being on the beach was flat. Which made it great for beginners, seasoned runners returning (ME), or those gunning for a personal record. I did not put that kind of pressure on myself this time around since I hadn’t raced in so long, but it was amazing being back out there.
I remember when I ran the full marathon, cranking up Calvin Harris’s track “Feel So Close” on my headphones and almost shedding a bit of a tear, just thankful to be alive and out there doing the dang thing. I had that same feeling, during this half marathon.
It is funny how our brains can recall memories like that and be able to draw strength from those past experiences. I’m blessed that I’m able to draw from that joy and strength…whenever I need it.
I also just really enjoyed being out there again with my fellow running community. There were mostly runners from the H.Town area down there, but occasionally you would see those from different states. It was also the same course (loop) as the marathoners, so fun to see the more elite folks whizz by and say some words of affirmation and etc.
Fuel wise, they had lots of gels, electrolytes and water along the course so I did pass on through and grab the ice cold water or whatever they offered. I normally do not go for the fruit – but them BLOOD ORANGES were so dang good towards the end of the race and gave me the boost I needed to continue.
It was really so fun making my return to Galveston island to run this race though. I did mostly run and then do some run shuffling towards the end as it got warmer around mile 8, but never really got tired, just enjoyed my own company. Us only children tend to do that VERY easily.
I just loved the laid back-ness of my trip…with no one to check in, answer to or any real plans. Just me, my colorful sneaks and my jams, jamming along.
Once I finished, I chatted with a few runners at the finish area and took some shots on the water as I watched the waves come in. Loved this race and it was nice running the course just once instead of twice like before.
Galveston, you helped me be able to get the strength and vigor to make a real return to distance running.
There’s just something about that island that makes me smile and brings me so much joy.
I will be returning for some more miles and to jaunt on the beach. Soon and very soon.
And now I think we are all caught up on race recaps! If you missed the last two…you can catch up here and then here for the full marathon.
How was your weekend? Has anyone done a run/race out on the beach lately??