Its Tuesday and I would say I’m moderately recovered from the weekend festivities a.k.a. running a half marathon! My body and muscles are doing pretty well, only a little soreness in my knees and leg muscles. My stomach is under the impression that it is starving, because I have been a little out of control on my eating. I’m not really hungry but I keep eating A LOT of just about everything, except vegetables. They look very unappetizing right now. Moving on to more interesting things, I’ll start my Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon recap.
First off, I need to thank my employer for sponsoring me for this race, because it made it easy to say yes to running the half marathon. On Friday, my co-workers who were running the race and myself went down to the Alamodome where the Health & Fitness Expo was being held to pick up our race packets, get some free samples and see what is new in running.
I tried most all of the samples with my favorites being the Snicker’s Marathon bars and Wild Peach HyDrive Energy Decaf sport drink. It seemed like there were less vendors this year, but I went on Saturday last year which would have given people more time to set up. After we finished wandering around at the Expo, we went out for dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse. We waited at least 45 minutes, so I was starving by the time we got our food. I had spaghetti and meatballs, which was great and I had leftovers to take home for Ben.
I took it pretty easy on Saturday, just a little walking and of course fueling up for the race. I had a LARA bar and banana for breakfast, Chili’s hamburger and fries for lunch and Saltgrass’s chicken tortillas soup, a HUGE baked sweet potato and BBQ chicken for dinner. Not your normal carb loading meals, but since I don’t really eat pasta anymore I didn’t want to load up and cause myself to be sick.
I slept pretty bad on Saturday night. There was a lot of tossing and turning and mentally checking if I had everything ready for the run. I think I got a couple good hours and did wake up feeling rested, but VERY nervous. I had been nervous since Friday! Thinking back, I haven’t been this nervous since the last time I showed horses. I had a hard time eating my breakfast of a LARA bar and banana and drinking a small glass of water. Lauren came to the house at 6:30 AM and we walked down to the start line.
I had planned on walking about 10 minutes and jogging the rest of the way to the start line so I would be nice and warmed up, but Lauren was more content walking so we got to the start line at about 7:10. I immediately jumped into the porta potty line, which was barely moving.
They started calling corrals 1, 2, 3, and when the called 4, I went to the front of the line to see if anyone would let me pee very fast so I could be ready to start on time with Corral 8. No one really cared and told me they had been waiting in line for a long time, but luckily there were two people in the next line that let me cut. Even with that I still missed my corral and started with 10 or 11. It doesn’t really matter what corral you start with, because your time starts when your foot crosses the line, but I also didn’t want to wait around forever when I was pumped up to run.
Ben did his best to get a picture of me at the start line, but since I started a little late, he wasn’t ready to snap my photo when I ran by him. On the left side of the picture, you can see my arm with my green running watch.
8:35 fast. That is about as fast as I ever run a mile, and certainly not how I was going to run for the whole half marathon. About three minutes in, I also realized my shoes needed to be tied tighter.
Mile 2: I slowed my pace some and ran about 9:00 for this mile. I also stopped and re-tied my shoes twice, because of course I wouldn’t get it right the first time.
Mile 3: I saw Ken & Sharon before the Alamo and saw Ben at the Alamo. Ben wanted to get a picture of me running with the Alamo behind me, but I was a little too fast. You can see the very edge of the wall of the Alamo in the picture below.
Mile 4 – 6: Nothing too exciting except I was on a real fast pace. 10k split was 56:26, which is right on 9 minute miles. Between 5 and 6 I ate my GU energy gel and I walked after the 6.5 mile water station because I needed to catch my breath and wash down the GU.
Mile 7-9: They were pretty uneventful, but I started to get tired around 9. I could tell running the first 6 so fast wasn’t leaving me much energy. Ben tried to get my picture at 7.5 so I was running in slow motion (see below) so he could have time to snap the photo. I also remembered to get a drink at mile 9 because last year I got super thirsty before I got to mile 10.
Mile 10: Thank goodness for more GU! I know I would not have finished the race running with out it. Last year it gave me the kick to finish strong. The sun came out right around mile 10 as well, so things started to heat up pretty quickly.
Mile 11: Just kept trucking along and was very happy that I made it to mile 11 in 1:39, right on schedule. I do remember thinking at this point, I will never run a marathon, I will never run a marathon.
Mile 12: SO HARD!!! I couldn’t make it to the mile marker fast enough. I was really running out of energy and my body just wanted to stop. Luckily, Ben met me in the middle of the mile and gave me encouragement and told me to not walk since I was so close to the finish. It took everything I had to not walk, but I did run all the way to the end.
Mile 13-13.1: Why does there have to be a hill at the end? I’m completely running on empty and then there is a hill. So I did my best to run strong up the hill, but that is not the end, you still have to run around a corner and another 200 or so yards. I told myself that I would smile and put my arms up when I crossed the finish line, but that did NOT happen. It was all I could do to keep running across the finish line. I stopped my watch at 1:59:55 and my official chip time was 2:00:05.
I would have liked to have more energy at the end of the race so I will work harder to pace myself in the beginning of the race. I also think eating more the week before the race would have given me an extra energy store, because I only ate extra on Friday and Saturday. Overall this was a great race and I have a new course and 1/2 marathon Personal Record!