Friday, March 28, 2014

Galveston Mardi Gras Half Marathon 2014

This was a race I've been wanting to do!  The stars finally aligned and it was going to be a great weekend with Tara, Erin, Jeremiah, Rich and myself all in this race together.  Tara, Erin and myself even coordinated a subtle Mardi Gras theme to our outfits.  One thing you should know about me is that I LOVE a low hassle race.  Some people go for the big expo, lots of people on the road sort of thing but I dig a race that gets me in and out of packet pick up, has easy parking and has just enough people on the course to make it interesting.  This is one of those races.

I was fresh off of my 50, well 34 miler the weekend before but I was really looking forward to this race.  Tara and Erin are two of my absolute favorite people.  We all run together well.  No drama, no complaints if someone is having an off day, no one holding anyone back that is having a on day-we're just friends and it works.

We lined up and took off.  I already had to pee.  How does that happen?  I was determined to ignore it and thoroughly enjoying the candy colored gingerbread houses along the first part of the route.  Galveston is full of interesting architecture and history.

On my legs were the new and looser calf sleeves I bought to try.  HUGE mistake.  For some reason anything on my calves makes the muscles burn.  As we reached the seawall, I jumped onto the sidewalk, laid down on my back and begged Erin and Tara to strip them off of me.  They did.   God bless them.

Soon my calves were feeling better but my need to make wee was not.  Oh I really have to go!  We spotted a public portajohn on the boardwalk and decided I should go for it.  As often happens when you really need to go, it wasn't empty.  Tara and Erin patiently waited with me even though they didn't have to.  Have I mentioned that they are the best people in the world?

Ah!  Much better.  Now I can get on to the business of running before I completely lose the skin on my already blistered and taped toes.  It was just one of those days where we weren't all matching paces.  It happens.  As always no one minded.  I ended up separated from the group trying to get to the finish line before my toes could stop me.   I saw a lot of my friends along the seawall then again when we looped through a newer neighborhood.  My friend Cecilia actually took the picture.  She's a better runner than I am and everything in me wanted to stay right there and enjoy my time with her but I knew anything other than the pace I had going would be a mistake.

The race loops back into more historic homes.  I was passing people with the funny little running form I'd adopted to keep as much pressure as possible off of my toes.  It honestly didn't dawn on me that something was amiss until the fifth or sixth person I passed gave me quite the odd look.  Oh well, to the finish line with me. 

The best part of this race was the camaraderie .  We ate together after the race, talked and told stories.  Richard and I host or volunteer at a lot of our local races so we don't always get to be on the course with our friends.  It was so good.  Good course, good memories, good friends-a true homerun.

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