Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Race Day Recap

Race Day Recap (Better late than never right)

Finally race day had arrived! I woke up very well rested on Sunday morning. I checked the weather and saw that it was a bit warm, foggy, and very humid. Great, just great. I felt somewhat ready since I had trained in the Texas intensely hot summer. 

I had packed my own food to have before the race even though my hotel offered free breakfast. You just never know what they will have and I wasn't up for experimenting that morning. 

The race started at 7:30am. I left my hotel at 6:50ish. It was great staying within walking distance of the start line. I feel fortunate to have been able to book a room so close a month out from the race. I had a great slow walk to the start. Along the way I met another runner (no surprise) who has only been racing for a short time but has done a lot of races. We had a great conversation. Too bad I didn't think to get her name. Oh well. 

The start area was filled with a plethora of people! I just couldn't believe it. I had a nice little walk to corral 22. I began to get really anxious and nervous. Luckily I started tweeting and all my wonderful twitter peeps helped keep me occupied. 

The race started with the wave start corral system. I had a nice long wait before corral 22 was up. We had to make a turn onto the street where the start line was. Once we made that turn I became very excited. I tried to position myself towards the back of the corral but it didn't really work out so well. I ended up in the middle. Next up corral 22! On your mark...get set... GO!!!!!

Thanks to some tips from other runners I knew I needed to not gun it in the beginning. I started out on the outside and found my pace that I was at during training. I know everyone raves about the course but it really wasn't that exciting for me. I loved seeing all the spectators, cheerleaders, and kids along the course. I even high fived some kids. I was feeling good and couldn't believe I was doing it!

I settled into my pace. I felt great. I was praying that the sun would not come out and for a breeze. At some point, I thought I might be somewhat alone on the course since I am at a slower pace. Yeah right, that doesn't happen in a race with 30,000+ people. I had to dodge people every now and then when the road got smaller. Also, people should not run or walk in groups of 3 or more across. It's just rude and I hate having to go around you because you're taking up the road. *rant done*

I don't remember too much mile by mile details. I do know that when I got to mile 10 I was exhausted. The sun was out and it just wasn't pleasant anymore. My quads and hams were tingling and not very happy. I had to find a deep deep inner strength to push through. I had some water, GU, and Cytomax hoping to get a boost but nothing happened. I kept moving forward since I knew I was over halfway there. 

I thought this pink crane was cool and different. 
Finally Mile 12! Am I there yet!?!?! geez! Mile 12.5-13.1 is a blur honestly. I was overcome with emotions ranging from excitement to exhaustion and everything in between. The finish line was full of spectators and excitement but I turned up my iPod to block it all out. I just wanted to make it to the finish. And of course there is a hill during this last section. While it isn't a large hill, when you're at the end it is the last thing you want to see. 

Finally the finish!!! As soon as I crossed, I slowed down and I had tears in my eyes but then I was short of breath. I didn't know if I needed to cry or get some oxygen. I was a mess but I pulled myself together and got my medal!

Made my way through the craziness, got some water, a cold towel, and took my photo with my medal. I purchased some lovely merchandise in the finishers area. 
Purchased shot glass, magnet, pin, finishers shirt , & the pink shirt was FREE
After the race, I didn't have any plans to meet anyone since I was pretty much alone. I knew that Carly and Melissa were already done and back at their hotel. So I made my way towards my hotel. Let me just tell you...the last thing I wanted to see were stairs. However, in order to leave the Alamodome area you have to climb up a few stairs. Not happy. 

Anywho, I walked the 1.5 miles back to my hotel cursing with each step. I thought about getting a cab but traffic was kind of thick so it was probably quicker (and cheaper) for me to walk. 

I did not have a goal time in mind but it would have been nice to finish in under 3 hours. I did finish and I did not come in last so I was very happy. I am motivated to complete a half marathon in under 3 hours. To do this I will need to achieve a 13:39 or faster pace. I have got my work cut out for me!

Official Race Splits and Time
Garmin splits

Overall, I enjoyed this race! I am crazy and I actually like crowds and large events. I would definitely like to do the race again. The course support was great minus the GU station being empty and one Cytomax station being out of water. I had never drank Cytomax before and I must say that it is pretty darn good! 

Post race my hams and quads were sore for about 2 days. It wasn't pleasant to walk or climb stairs. "Pain is temporary but pride is forever" :-)

So now I am on to the next race which is in February. 


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