Saturday, December 28, 2013

Race Recap- Bridge Series 2013


What lofty goals we set at the beginning of the year for what we will do in the Fall!  As 2013 began, I had  the Bridge Series on my radar, which consisted of 2 10Ks and 1 Half Marathon.  I was sure I could be ready for another Half, come Fall.

Little did I know what would be going on in the Fall for me!  But, once I commit, I commit.  So, when my husband's work schedule got changed, making it very hard for me to train, I just pressed on.  My time goals went pretty much out the window, but my goal to finish did not.  Another added sweetener to the pot was that Auston was going to do all 3 races with me!

So, as September rolled around, I'd trained a little, Jess and I had actually been making regular trips to one of the 2 hills in our area for regular hill work, so I felt pretty good about the hill part, but was unsure about my endurance for the running part.

Toughest 10K Kemah:

Ready or not, the 1st race of the series was upon us! The forecast was grim- tropical disturbance was on the way, and high winds were forecast as well.  But, we were in, and we were in for the long run.  We got to Kemah, and it wasn't raining!  WOOHOO!  If it could just hold out!

The race was easy to find, and there were plenty of bathrooms.  If you're not a runner, you just have no idea how important it is for me to mention this LOL...  We got set up and ready to start....  Headed out, and, as usual, once we started we didn't see Auston until the finish.

My goal for this race was simply to finish. I had had Strep Throat earlier in the week, and was still a little weak from that.  I was also very unsure of the bridge, so I was just interested in finishing :)  The race travels up and over the Kemah Bridge out and back twice (4 passes) to complete the distance.
It's a terrible view, I tell ya.  Anyway, we made it over and back over the bridge for the first time and were going strong.  We were pleasantly surprised at how well prepared we felt for the incline!  WOOHOO!!    As we began the trip back up to head out for the second time the clouds were looking very ominous.......  And, about half way up the bridge, the sky OPENED UP.  I mean it was crazy!  The wind was swirling and blowing and the rain was POURING and the rain was falling in sideways sheets!  It felt like needles hitting our faces!  We were miserable.  But, still going strong!  Our feet began to get heavy because our shoes now weighed 10 pounds each LOL....

 I've placed the beginning and finishing pictures together, so you can see how soaked our shirts are LOL

At any rate, we finished were just ready to get dry :) Time:  1:28:08 14:11/M

I just love this picture of my medal....  don't you?????

Toughest 10K Galveston:

October rolled around, and we were ready for the Galveston race!  Weather forecast was MUCH better, a little chilly, but better :)  The main factor on this race was the wind. It was 25 MPH headwind on the way out, but it made for a nice tail wind on the way back :) It was a little crazy! 

 Don't let his sweet face fool you---  he was actually telling me to get off of him LOL 
 I love that boy.

 Here we are with Cassie!  She was in for the series too- we just couldn't find her in Kemah to get a picture with her :)  So, pictured Left to Right:  Cassie, Trishia, Jessica, Me, and Auston ;)

 Take note of these cool shirts we had made up- we actually ironed on the flames over the bridges as they were completed!  Stirling Promotions helped us make these up :)  They rocked!

We headed out and really felt good :)  This race is out and back over the Galveston Causeway (2 passes).  We had a goal to beat our time from Kemah, and felt good about it.  In some ways this race was easier than Kemah (not as steep), but in others it was harder (head wind, and the length of the uphill parts).  By the end I was pretty much exhausted from the wind- to the point that when I made the turn to the finish line and was hit by the head wind AGAIN I considered just not finishing LOL...  But, in the end, I did finish, and..........  drumroll......  Made a PR!!!!  Finish time:  1:26:54 13:59/M

LaPorte By the Bay Half Marathon:

Oh the Half.  Here we are at the final race in the series.  I feel completely unprepared.  I really have a goal to START at this point.  The fact that I'll be receiving TWO medals helped that a lot :)  I had been extremely tired this past week or so, and really didn't know why.

On Monday I had gone to the grocery store, parked and went to get out of the car and just.couldn't.get.out.  I turned the car back on and went back home and took a 2 hour nap!

Come Wednesday, I felt a sting on my forehead and thought I'd been bitten by a mosquito.  Right smack dab in the middle of my forehead.  nice.

Friday, it began to swell.  Wonderful.  Can mosquito bites get infected?  Oh well, I'll go to the doctor Monday if it isn't better....

Sunday morning...  Race day.....  I woke up and my jaw was locked shut!  My right side of my face felt swollen, the mosquito bite on my forehead was the size of a small car, and my lymph nodes were swollen....  Did mention the 2 medals I was to receive for finishing this bad boy??????  I didn't know what the heck was wrong with me, but I was going to finish this race.  Besides, running boosts the immune system, right?????

What I found out when I went to the doctor on Monday, was that this "mosquito bite" was no mosquito bite at all.  It was Shingles!!!!!! 

 We met up with Cassie and got our usual before race pictures :)  Auston, Jessica, Trishia, Cassie, and me all ready to go :)
 Don't you love my Shingles bump?  I've started calling it my spiritual eye ;)

Trishia is apparently very funny.....  This was to be her first Half Marathon! 

And this kid.....  Words do not describe how proud I am of him.  He is awesome I tell ya, AWESOME!!!

And funny.  This poor guy was from India, wearing a Sri Lanka Cricket shirt and Auston just HAD to get a picture with him.  His friends had a great time making fun of him for that ;)  He was kind enough to take a picture with Auston :)

As we headed out we were doing good.  I was not moving fast, but I was determined.  A couple of miles in Trishia took off.  I was so proud of her for going off on her own....  

The race goes over the Fred Hartman Bridge and back (2 passes).  It's a beautiful bridge and I will say that as we approached the top on the way out I was taken aback by it's beauty.

One thing I liked about the race was that you were not at the half way point when you turned around.  You actually go about 4.5 miles before getting on the bridge, and then have 2 miles to go after getting off of it.  It was a nice feeling that when we turned around we were more than half way there :)

I felt strong until the end of the 1st pass of the bridge...  That's when I started to hit the wall.  At this point we were about 7 1/2 miles in and I usually have a bit of trouble here, but this time I was really hitting the wall.  I was having a hard time even running in one minute increments.    My goal shifted once again to finishing.  I had time to finish even if I walked, so that was the good thing.

I ran a little bit for the next couple of miles, but by the time I hit the 9 mile mark I was pretty much spent.  Walking was hard at this point.  I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  Once we were about to the top of the bridge on the final pass Jessica felt confident in leaving me (it was all pretty much downhill from here literally) and she took off.  She had a time goal of 3 hours and was hoping to make it.  She stayed with me a little too long, though, because she didn't make that goal :(  I had a goal of 3:10 initially, but I knew at this point it was not happening.

By the end, I finished at 3:37:18 16:35/M.  Not at all a time I am proud of, and at race end I was spent and disappointed in myself.  I was really feeling like a complete whimp.  I will say, when it was confirmed that I had Shingles, not a mosquito bite, I felt kind of Bad A$$, though LOL.

I loved this series.  The races were well organized and beautiful scenery.  I will never go over any of these bridges again and not think of my experiences running them.  I was so blessed to have the opportunity to do these races and I don't regret any of it.

I got to run all three races with my BRF Jessica, and I am extremely lucky to have her in my life.  She encourages me, she inspires me, and she blesses me.

 I won't say I "ran" these races with Auston, because, he's WAY too fast for me, but I got to participate with him, and see him in action.  He's awesome.  He's got such a kindness.  He's so funny, and he sees the best in people.  I'm so very very proud of him and who he's becoming.  :)

And, I got to be there for Trishia's first Half Marathon too :)  What a blessing!  I am so proud of her for completing it (mostly alone since I was having such a rough time).  I'm extremely blessed by her friendship and was so happy to be there with her for this :)


In the end, it was time well spent....  And the bling was awesome!!!!  Thanks Running Alliance Sports for putting them on!

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