It was a rise and shine super early kind of day Saturday for a 13 mile run on the beach in Surfside, Texas.
I have run Surfside numerous times, including marathons, half marathons and even a 10K. Surfside is one of those races where the weather can be anything.
My first Surfside race (a marathon in 2007) the temperature was near freezing and an ill wind of over 20 mph tortured runners. Years later in 2012, myself and my fellow marathoners ran in a literal monsoon. Not a figurative monsoon mind you, but a literal monsoon that delayed the start of the half marathon for several hours.
But this Saturday brought mild temperatures (low 40’s) and an easy ocean breeze to the start line. Certainly a good day for a run on the beach.
Truth be told, there were a few things weighing on my mind prior to the start. Thursday and Friday were “bad” nights so I was tired. My left hip has been acting up recently and my half training started later than I would have hoped due to a stress fracture. That said, this was a day to put the mental and the physical issues in the back pocket and enjoy the sand and the surf.
And that I did. The race went mostly as expected. The easy breeze turned into a stiff wind just in time for the six and a half mile northeast leg, however it is like this virtually every year, so not a surprise. My hip really tightened up during this part of the race as well; however neither the wind nor my hip was much of a bother. I was too busy enjoying the crashing waves and the views of seabirds skimming above the surf in search of fish and other delicacies.
Mile Nine is always a joy (and in some years, a relief) as that is the turnaround and you have the wind at your back for the final four miles. I learned early on running Surfside that it is best to relax and not fight the wind as it usually pays dividends later on. Unfortunately, some of my running brethren focus too much on pace as they fight the wind and suffer the consequences; if being passed by Jamoosh is a consequence!
At the Mile Nine turnaround my pace was sitting at 9:47. Slower than anticipated, but nothing to be concerned about as the wind would be at my back. Sure enough, I took 23 seconds off my overall pace. What that means is my average pace over the last four miles was well over a minute faster than my pace for the first nine miles. Not too shabby.
Additionally, my goal, my hope, my expectation for this race was 2:05:00 and as you can see above, I did myself well.
That finishing time is my second fastest Surfside Half Marathon and faster than any of my half marathons last year. Definitely not a bad day for a run on the beach!