Tag Archives: texas bridge series

Race #15: La Porte By the Bay Half Marathon

On December 2, 2012, Maggie and I completed the last race in the Texas Bridge Series, the La Porte By the Bay Half Marathon.

I almost did not do this race.  I was sick the week leading up to this race, and was not sure what was wrong with me.  My doctor’s best guess was that it was a virus, and it would just take time to pass.  The days leading up to this race, I was extremely tired.  I was sleeping 10-12 hours a night, and still taking a nap or two during the day for an additional 2-4 hours.  I can’t remember the last time that I slept that much.

My doctor did not want me to do this race.  I asked if I could walk it, and she strongly recommended against that.  But, I am stubborn, and knew there was no way I would miss this race.  I was determined to at least walk it, and earn that additional medal for finishing all three Texas Bridge Series races.  And I am lucky enough to have such a nice running buddy that she agreed to walk this race with me.

I tried running a little bit here and there in the beginning, but it was bad.  I found myself getting out of breath so quickly.  Something was off.  But I just kept pushing through it.  There was a lot of walking, but we were still having a good time.

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We made it up the first side of the bridge, and on the way down, I had this sinking feeling.  The sun was off to our right, and I began to have sun spots on the right side of my vision.  I get migraines with aura, which means I see lights like sun spots before a migraine.  I told myself it was just the sun and tried to ignore it.  This was about halfway through mile 6.  When the spots had not gone away 15-20 minutes later, as we were approaching mile 8, I knew it was a migraine.

One of my worst racing fears has been that I would get a migraine in the middle of a race.  I did not have my migraine meds on me, did not have any ibuprofen, and was now about 8 miles away from my car where these items were.

After the turn-around at mile 8, I stopped at the water station and asked if anyone had any pain medication.  They said they were not supposed to give any to me.  I tried to explain my desperate situation, that I had a migraine and it would be very bad if I did not get medication right away.  I will be forever thankful to the person who told me they had some ibuprofen, and agreed to give me what I needed (while telling me that if anyone asked, they did not give me any).  Thank you so much, random stranger.

The headache began to slowly set in, and Maggie stuck with me, knowing this meant I would have to walk the rest of the way.  We chatted and I tried to distract myself from the headache and nausea.  This was a mild migraine compared to others I’ve had, and I was lucky that I got some ibuprofen in me when I did.

We ran just a little bit toward the very end of the race.  It was not our usual sprint, but I was so happy to just be done.  Although this will hopefully be my slowest half marathon ever, I felt just as much of a sense of accomplishment as I have for finishing any other race.  I was so happy to be done!

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Our splits:

  • Mile 1:  13:00
  • Mile 2:  14:17
  • Mile 3:  16:35
  • Mile 4:  13:04
  • Mile 5:  14:39
  • Mile 6:  15:19
  • Mile 7:  12:49
  • Mile 8:  15:31
  • Mile 9:  15:47
  • Mile 10:  16:19
  • Mile 11:  15:43
  • Mile 12:  15:44
  • Mile 13:  13:09
  • Mile 13.0 – 13.11:  9:08 pace
  • Total:  3:13:01 (14:43 pace)

This is the closest my Garmin has ever been to the actual distance of a race – could it be the lack of weaving between people??

I was feeling a little better by the time we made it back to Houston, and was up for a quick breakfast at Denny’s before getting more sleep.

La Porte Half Marathon 12.2.2012

The medals were huge and both glittery!  I would definitely consider doing the Texas Bridge Series again next year.  These races were well organized, and they had great food options at the after parties.  I also appreciated that they had packet pick-up available race mornings.  These were such fun races!

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Race #12: Toughest 10k Kemah

To spice up our training plan this year, Maggie suggested we register for the Texas Bridge Series.  This is a series of three races that each feature one bridge in Texas.  The first two are 10ks and the final race is a half marathon.  You get a medal for completing each race and a bonus medal if you complete all three.  Motivated by the medals, we decided to register!

This first race was on September 15, 2012 in Kemah.  This 10k goes back and forth over the Kemah Bridge twice.  I was a little nervous about the bridge.  With a 4.3 and 5% grade, this bridge goes 83 feet above the water.  I was nervous about how my knees would do, and considering that we train on flat ground, how well I would be able to run up the hills.  But hopefully these hills will be good training for the Disney races that take you up over highways!

I absolutely loved this race.  It was definitely the most beautiful scenery I’ve had in a race.  You can’t see it in this picture, but there was water on both sides of the bridge.

We started at the Kemah Boardwalk.  We were picking up our packets in the morning and it was a very efficient process.  We took our goody bags back to the car and attached our chips and pinned on our numbers.  The weather was beautiful.  It was cool, but not so much that I was cold.

At the start line, a fellow runner mentioned that we would be going over the bridge a total of four times.  Oops, I must have missed that!  I thought we would go over and back just once, but it was twice.

Our initial plan was to stick with our 6/4 intervals, but we threw that out and just ran how we felt.  Realizing there would be plenty of uphills to walk, we ran the first mile straight in 10:25.

Miles 2-5 included the hills.  The first time up wasn’t too bad.  We ran a good chunk of it!  It was so exciting to reach the top, so we coasted down, running the entire down hill and back down under the bridge.  Each time we crossed the bridge, we ran at least parts of the uphills.  We would pick lamp posts as our goals to run to, and then walk to the next lamp post before running more.

I think this was one of my favorite races because we weren’t running for time, and we weren’t running by the watch.  We ran the entire race based just on how we felt and I was able to enjoy the scenery.  I also felt very tough, running up those hills and not wearing out.

Our final ascent up the bridge was a little more difficult.  As we were approaching the hill, I felt that my legs were sore.  They felt like they had been beat up a bit.  But it hurt in a good way; I felt more energy, realizing that I wasn’t worn out yet and could tell this was a really good work out for my legs.

Our final mile was the best.  We decided to run most of it, with hopefully just one walk break through a water station.  About a quarter mile from the finish line, I felt my knee tensing up.  It hit me very suddenly and I knew instantly it was my IT band.  I could have powered through the pain, but Maggie agreed to take a quick walk break with me.  It was worth it – after a minute or so of walking, when we started to run again, the pain was gone.

We powered through to the finish line, finishing our last mile (with the walk break) in 10:12.  Our splits:

  • Mile 1:  10:25
  • Mile 2:  11:36
  • Mile 3:  11:02
  • Mile 4:  11:16
  • Mile 5:  11:05
  • Mile 6:  10:12
  • Mile 6.0 – 6.37:  9:24 pace
  • Total:  1:09:03 (10:50 average pace)

Although this was the slowest 10k I’ve run, I felt awesome about it.  We didn’t want to push it too hard on this run because it was supposed to be a long training run.  I felt like we pushed it just enough to feel good about the race, but we clearly had some left to give at the end of the race.  And we listened to our bodies the entire time.

The post-race treats were awesome too.  Ice cream, popsicles, tacos (including egg and potato!), muscle milk, watermelon, orange slices, and bananas.  And don’t forget the glittery medal!  It was definitely a success, and I can’t wait for the next two bridge series races.