On Sunday I finished my 3rd half marathon and the final race in the Texas Bridge Series!! The La Porte by the Bay Half Marathon was my first half marathon I ever completed and I completed it again for a second time in 2012. My Uncle Roger and Aunt Laura also completed all three races in the Texas Bridge Series (see the Kemah and Galveston 10K recaps) with me.
When you complete the Texas Bridge Series you get TWO medals! The one of the left spins (the wavy part) and they both have glitter!! I <3 glitter.
Jabba made sure to wake me up at his scheduled 5:11 am feeding time and I got dressed and packed my bag so I could change after I was done. I started making a breakfast of oatmeal but when I tasted it, it was gross! Since I was moving I had to use a serving stirrer that was HUGE so it didn’t work out to well. I decided to just eat cheese and crackers on the way so I wouldn’t have to stop anymore. I left my house later than I planned and got to my aunt and uncle’s house at about 6:40 am. We left their house about 6:50 and got to the race at around 7:30. They forgot their bibs so while I got my timing chip they went to see if they could get a new bib (they could). I went to the porta potties (I loved how they had pink ones for women only at this race-no guys peeing all over the place!) and then got in line towards the back so people wouldn’t have to weave around me.
I decided to wear my SFA tech t-shirt for the race and I got so many ‘Axe ‘em Jacks,” “Go Lumberjacks”, “Lookin’ good Ladyjack” and more SFA comments that I need to wear this shirt a lot more often! I counted and it was 7 people that said something. I usually don’t have that many people commenting on my race wear choices. Everyone loves a Lumberjack! :)
Ok sorry, back to the race. The first two miles were weaving around people and getting in my groove. At mile 3 ish I started remembering things from last year like where my family and friends were hanging out to cheer me on or where there was a bathroom last year (I had to pee!). I walked A LOT this year since it was so hot and miserable. It's December, it should NOT be this hot. I wasn’t very prepared for this race this year mentally since I was moving the day before and was stressed out with that. (Poor Jabba did NOT want to move. More on that later).
Mile 4 is when I saw one of those big rig trucks and made the pull sign with my arm and they honked the horn. I used to LOVE doing that when I was a kid. :) The bridge was a killer this time around. I did a walk/run combo going up both sides and flew down on the other side. Mile 8 I stopped to use the restroom since I didn’t think I could hold it to the other side of the bridge. The line took forever! Seriously, it was 3 or 4 minutes and I almost got out of line but I didn’t because I had to pee so bad. After I used the restroom I went back over the bridge and finally I was at mile 10.
Around mile 11 I started talking to a woman that lives way up in north Texas in Wichita Falls. She is part of the Marathon Maniacs group and we chatted until mile 12. I remembered from last year that once you turn the corner at mile 12 you can see the big green inflatable finish line. I started to pick up the pace and every time I passed someone who was walking I tapped them on the shoulder and tried to motivate them to finish running with me. One guys shirt said ‘your pace or mine’ and I told him my pace, stop walking come on. At first he looked confused and then he said ‘oh, the back of my shirt’ then he started running with me. I must have passed at least 20 people on that last mile. I ran to the finish with my big group of stragglers and we all finished together. Gotta finish strong! :)
My final time was 2:35:16, which is a PR of from last year’s race at 2:52:05. I didn’t beat my personal best from October, but I did get faster than last year. I think if I wouldn’t have stopped to use the restroom I would have PR’d. I think my time is pretty good considering that it wasn’t that much difference (6+ minutes) on a completely flat course. I finished #50 in my age group out of #101, and #313 of #631 out of the women. I was #753 to finish out of #1221, almost exactly half in both categories of women, but not half of the total participants.
Afterwards I got some food to wait on my aunt and uncle. I got a piece of pizza, oranges, bananas, water, and two sausage on a stick. I was hungry! I had taken some jelly sports beans and some gummies on the course, but I was very hungry when I got done. Running Alliance Sports does a wonderful job of taking care of their runners before and after the race. They are very organized and I have loved every race I have done with them (5 total now). They always have plenty of food/water at the finish line and wait until everyone is done to pack up. They even had shuttles taking us to the parking lot (about a mile away) so we wouldn't have to walk further.
I saw my uncle at the bottom of the bridge and my aunt towards the middle of the bridge so I thought they would be about 30 or 45 minutes behind me but I kept waiting and waiting and never saw them. I thought I should get the car but then decided to wait for them since they shouldn’t be very much longer. At the four hour time limit (I finished at 2:35) they started to pack up and I was beginning to get worried. I told the race people at the finish line that I would hold on to their medals so they could have one. They said they would wait for a few more minutes for them to finish and after that they would give them to me to hold them. I would have hated for them to complete all of htem and not get a medal. At four hours, 15 minutes I saw them coming in. Thank goodness!! They got their medals and water then went to sit down. What happened was that my uncle’s shoes broke at mile 8ish and he could barely walk in them. Poor thing had blisters on his feet. My aunt didn’t want to leave him so she stayed behind and finished with him. Her phone died so she couldn’t call me to let me know what was going on. The important thing was that we all finished and had lots of fun!
My next race is an 18 mile race in Sugarland next Sunday. See ya there!