Monday, November 14, 2011

San Antonio Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon Report

This is the second year that I have done this race.  And after looking back apparently I did not do a race report last year.  This is shocking considering how consistent I am with blogging.......  Well a quick recap of last year is in order to set this year up correctly.

In 2010 The weather was perfect in my eyes.  I do not remember the exact temperature, but I do remember it was cold enough to warrant me wearing a sweatshirt before the race, and to start the race with my arm warmers.    Jeff was not running, and along with him my mom, dad and some other friends and family were tracking me online.  The race started, I was off to a good start, and then not even into mile 2 a train crossed over the race course.  Yes, you read that correctly, a train crossed the race course.  Now, it really only held us up for about 30-45 seconds.  A minute at the longest.  But in my head it was 5 minutes.  All I kept thinking about was how slow Jeff would be thinking I was running.  I had to make up time!!  Which is exactly what I did and I finished in 1:55:32, according to my Garmin.  Because of the train we all submitted a time correction form.  I did't think they gave me a correction, but I just checked and the time said 1:53:52??  My first half before that was done in 2:01:56  Not too shabby either way.

Now to 2011.  The weather was not perfect.  It was about 70 degrees and humid (yes this race was just yesterday in November)  I did not have on my arm warmers!!  We headed over to the corrals around 6:30 with the plan to meet up with some of our running friends, including my friend Beth who is an awesome runner and was going to pace me for the race.  However there was only one other person there, our friend Garrett.  But no Beth!  We waited and waited but no other running buddies and no Beth.  I had kind of had counted on her pacing me so I quickly had to change my mindset. This race had a late start, 7:30, so it was a long hour before the race started, but it was time to get going.  Jeff was in coral 1 and I was in coral 4, so it was time for us to part ways.  A quick kiss good luck and  I headed into my coral. I circled around once in the hopes that I would run into Beth, no such luck.  But then at the last second I felt a hand on my shoulder and it was her!!  We talked about our plan, which was going to be to try to hit between a 1:45 and 1:50, and then were off.  We were off to a good start and were making our way through the crowds.  Mile one I was breathing pretty heavy.  I looked down at my watch and we were running a 7:50 pace.  A little fast for my pace, but I held on.  We ended up averaging about a 8:00 pace for the first 4 miles.  Unfortunately this was a little too fast for me, especially with the humidity.  I waved Beth on and slowed to about a 8:30 pace.

Also, I forgot to mention that we ran through the first 3 water stations, which I never do.  I just can't drink and run very well, and end up not getting much hydration.  Though I did dump a lot of water over my head!  Anyway, after I waved Beth on I made the decision to walk the rest of the water stations.  I think this decision helped me to keep pushing through because it ensured that I was getting enough water to stay hydrated.  However about mile 6.5 I was feeling rough.  My legs were tired, I was breathing heavy, I just didn't think I had enough left.  I started looking around and saw two pugs on the side of the road with some spectators and  seriously thought about stopping and petting them.  But right behind them a spectator was holding a sign that said "Can't stop, won't stop"  At that point I knew I could keep going, that I had to keep going.  I picked my pace back up and kept on running.  Once I hit mile 9 I was feeling halfway decent again, and was trucking along a little behind the 3:40 pace group for the full marathon.  We split off right before mile 11.  I skipped the next water station to make up a little time, but did hit the last one so I could grab some Cytomax for a final boost.

I hit mile 12, put my head down and ran as hard as I could.  I don't know what I was running, but just kept pushing as hard as I could.  I knew there was a hill coming at the finish and then it would be over.  I ran up the hill, saw the finish and gave it a final kick.  When I crossed the finish the clock said 1:56 and some change.  And my watch said....................1:53!!!  I was so psyched.  I beat my time from last year, with no train for motivation, in weather that was at least 20 degrees warmer!  My official chip time was 1:53:01.

I am hoping the motivation I had to dig in this race and push pass the same is an indication of how I am going to do in Hawaii.  I am pretty sure the weather will be the same!