Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fred Hartman Bridge Sunrise Run

We had so much fun as a group running the Kemah Bridge two weeks prior that we decided to run again on the Fred Hartman Bridge. We chose sunrise mainly because we didn't really get to see it last time (otherwise known as cloud coverage and very late people). This time, we stayed at a friend's house (thanks Rebecca for your hospitality) close to the bridge to ensure that we got there on time (15 minutes early...booyah).

As I was driving across the Fred Hartman Bridge heading to Rebecca's house, I realized how beautiful this bridge is and that I haven't been on it since my first half marathon. I started to get excited for my run.

And then the morning came and I was less than excited to be up so early. Why did we pick this time again? Oh right...the sunrise. Martha, Cesar and I headed to the bridge with Rebecca leading the way (she was only up to show us how to get there). Like I said, we were 15 minutes early. Only five of us total showed up, because we had a lots of cancelations at the last minute and one that just slept through it (yeah, I'm calling you out Jim).


Group selfie...you wish you were this cool.
Once again, the awesome John led our group with a slower warm up than the previous bridge run, which was still faster than I could muster. Martha and I quickly fell to the back of the pack. I stayed with her, because she was smart last time starting out slow and saving her energy. I learned my lesson to not go fast right out the chute.

I immediately noticed the car traffic on the bridge. At 6:30 a.m. on the Kemah Bridge run on a Sunday, there were hardly any cars out...mainly runners. The Fred Hartman Bridge run at 6:17 a.m. on a Sunday was completely different. I expected fisherman and truckers coming, especially considering where we parked; however, it seemed like these cars were a great deal of regular joes coming back home from a crazy night in Houston, sometimes loud and sometimes honking at us. I didn't bring my headphones, but listened to my iPhone. It was actually hard to hear even with the volume turned all the way up, because the traffic was so loud.




We got a few minutes of these beautiful colors.


Martha stayed with me the whole time, while the boys were ahead...far ahead. As we got near the top, I remembered how freaking long this bridge was in comparison to Kemah. It is less steep than Kemah, but so much longer. Kemah is steeper and short. So, you felt okay afterwards, because you got through it quickly. I didn't feel okay after getting done with one half of this bridge. My energy wiped out on the first lap. I had to walk a few lot of times and Martha and I just worked together as a team (mostly her stopping to let me catch up). I was also having lots of side and stomach pain.

We saw the guys returning from the turnaround point and we got lots of pictures of each other. Then, we reached the turnaround point, but we really didn't know where to turn around. I remembered where we dropped in for the La Porte Half Marathon, which was now blocked by a concrete wall. They either took out a block of concrete for us or this highway section was in fact new. We wanted to make it an even three miles before we turned around, but the bridge goes up and off into a highway with a really narrow shoulder. The cars were coming pretty fast and made us both nervous. So, we decided to turn around a little earlier than three miles. When we reunited with they boys, we learned that our turnaround point was farther than where they turned around. Score points for us girls! But we still blame the boys for losing us!


 
Wow! I love this picture and thank you to whoever took it.



 

 


We did have cloud coverage, but for a short period of time, we saw the beautiful colors of the sun rising. Even when the sun was high in the sky, it was only peaking out through the clouds giving us a beautiful calming hue.

The other difference about Fred Hartman vs. the Kemah Bridge is the scenery. Kemah has beautiful views from both sides of the bridge, including the boardwalk, the boats, the harbor, the houses, the lands, etc. Fred Hartman is not so lucky. It is near a major port, which means lots of shipping boats, some weird island looking thing where they dumped pipe parts, some oil rigs, and refineries (lots of refineries...wall to wall refineries) on one side. This is why our pictures only show one side. Martha said, "On the right, we have what our environment could be and on the left, we have what we are doing to the environment." I did agree with her, but at the same time, I did see jobs. It's a Catch 22 in my eyes. And it didn't matter, because the Kemah Bridge was still prettier as a whole than the right side of the Fred Hartman Bridge.

This was probably my slowest run ever, but that's because Martha and I were stopping to either walk or take pictures. Don't judge us. Eventually we made it back. We should have ran more to make it an even six, but I didn't understand John's hand signals and just ran to the parking lot. Oh well.

I believe this is John's picture and it's just so serene and wonderful.
We aren't late. We were lost, because the boys lost us.



Cesar put this together and I thought it was really cool.
We put Cesar in charge of finding our after run restaurant in which he went the wrong way and took us to an industrial area that didn't even look like they had any restaurants, but we got there. It was actually really cheap and good Mexican food. I wish I could remember the name. 
My freaking yummy breakfast. Seriously, nothing was over $7. This plate I believe was $3.
On Saturday, August 16, we are getting up early again (6:15 a.m.) to run the Elysian Bridge in Houston. Meet us at Market Square downtown for a seven mile run. It's with a good group and we all try to work together as a team. Nobody gets left behind.

On a side note, all of the pictures on this blog are either from John, Cesar, Martha, or myself. I know the ones from me, but not from them. I just want to thank them for awesome pictures.

8 comments:

  1. Running at sunrise is the best! I really should do it more often.

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    1. You totally should. It's hard sometimes to get up that early, but we have to with the heat.

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  2. Love this!!! I recently did a bridge theme with my "quilt senior groups". After days of hearing all sorts of bridge stories (funny how everyone has some) and brainstorming every aspect of bridges, I have just been dreaming bridges. Love them! So wish I'd had your blog before or I would have shared your bridge adventures with the groups. The pics were great! What fun mixing a grueling run with treat of sunrise!

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    1. What a great idea! I'm so glad they liked it and I'm sure my bridge posts would have worked perfectly with the theme. We are digging these bridge runs for sure. We may do one at sunset though.

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  3. I'm impressed you were there 15 minutes early :) Looks like you had a great run and the sunrise was definitely worth getting up early. Great photos

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    1. It helps that my friend's alarm went off 30 min earlier than we had our original alarms. So, I was up.

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  4. I love bridges and I am planning on doing what you just did one day. I repeat, you only run at cool races and places! {hugs}

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    1. Well, then you should join us some time.

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