Finally, a much needed blog post and race-recap!
I had SUCH a blast this weekend at the San Antonio Rock N Roll Marathon. I had no idea what to expect, this was my first time running a Rock N Roll.
I was on cloud 9 the second Sarah picked me up Saturday morning and we headed down to meet the other Southwind Runners at the Expo.
First of all, the expo was freaking huge. I've never gone the day before to pick up my packet, usually I just show up a little early and that's that. It's held inside the Alamodome, which could use it's own area code. I think I walked more o Saturday than I ran on Sunday.
Some of the Southwind Runner's and those two speed daemons! The one on the left ran a 1:46. And I thought my 1:48 last weekend was a good time. She is a beast. PE teacher. Karate Black Belt. Don't mess!
Wandering around the expo, they have tons of booths. One of them happened to be called Camp Gladiator, and they were doing 1-minute push up contests. So, because I pretend I'm tough, and pretty much because I was volun-told, I got down there and did 54 in a minute. I've never done timed push ups like that, and damn.
Does 54 sound like a lot? Well, remember the Karate Black Belt? Yeah, that warrior did 79. Seventy freaking nine push ups!
Why did I just do that?
Push ups suck.
After filling my bag with tons and tons and tons of swag and coupons, we finally headed out for much needed dinner. We went to a Tex-Mex place that was advertising the "Runner Special" of penne pasta and bread rolls. I ordered a salad. Great pre-race fuel, right?
These are some of the most motiating and inspiring women. I don't really call myself a runner, I just like to race. But these women are runners, through and through. We are talking marathoners and Ironman finishers. And here I am feeling hardcore because I'm running my 5th Half.
Which is why I have some sweet news. I signed up for my first FULL marathon! It's hard not to feel motivated and inspired when you're hanging out with runners all weekend. Plus, I really want to put a 26.2 sticker on my car. Just sayin'.
For whatever carbs I didn't get during dinner, I definitely ate aftewards. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory! Every time I come to San Antonio, I have to pose with this bear. :) He's always wearing a different shirt. How trendy.
Random photo moment. We found a grate. That blew air. I didn't even know these really existed. We're so Marilyn Monroe, minus the heels, white dress, blonde hair and bosoms. When I told my husband he told me I was so gross. He said they blow really dirty air? Well, sweet. San Antonio sewage air all up in my hair.
We all crammed into a hotel room together. And finally, after hours of giggling and total 12 year old nonsense, we fell asleep. I set my alarm for about 5am. Woke up, showered, dressed, drank coffee, grabbed breakfast (banana and 1/2 cup oatmeal), pottied, and we headed down to the race area at 6:20 am.
The ladies and the Green Lantern. ;)
The two ladies on the left ran the full marathon in a little over 5 hours! It definitely perked me up through my Half knowing that when I was finishing, their race was just starting to get hard.
Wonder Woman looking wondrous.
Waited in line for 35 minutes for the Porta Potty. Note to self: always carry your own TP! And always go potty before the race starts, even if you "feel" like you don't need to.
This was near Corral 19.
We were in Corral 3 & 4.
My plan was to run as close as possible with these two speed racers. They wanted to run a 1:45-1:50. I'd run a 1:48 the weekend prior, so thought it might be doable. I was torn, because I didn't know if I just wanted to "take it easy" and have fun (take photos, etc), or race for a PR. The weather was also terrible. 95% humidity. Someone actually ended up dying at the finish line.
At about Mile 7, I witnessed the most disturbing thing I've ever seen in my short running life. I saw a woman crapping her pants. At this point, we were coming up on an aide station. I let the two speed racers I was following take off, and I stopped and took a breather. I also did a double take to make sure I didn't have a brown river running down my back end, too.
At this moment in the race, my whole mentality changed. I don't think the woman knew what she'd done. Was she pushing herself that hard she didn't feel it? I was so soaked in sweat, it wouldn't have surprised me if I'd pooped my own pants and just kept running through it. I was paranoid.
I didn't have any music to distract me (for some reason, my iPod hadn't charged), and all the sudden, racing just didn't seem appealing. I lost that competitive feeling.
All the sudden, I was contemplating deep things, like WHY we run, WHY we race, WHY we pay hundred of dollars to do this thing on the weekends that forces us to poop our pants in public?
Or like this guys sign said, "FART." Maybe that's what she was doing - her fart, turned into a shart, turned into a brown river down her leg ...
So, I just took it easy. I backed down my 8:30's and took them to easy 9 and 9:30 m/m's. I thanked everyone at the aid stations. I shook the hand of a Veteran. I took a photo of a cute house for sale and stopped to peak inside the windows.
I ate oranges.
I asked for a balloon. They wouldn't give me one.
I accidentally drank CytoMax for the first time and hoped it wouldn't have adverse, brown river affects on me ...
When we hit a neighborhood that felt like home, I got a little teary-eyed.
I admired the trees, the leaves, the big, beautiful houses.
I passed a Subway and thought about my first job in high school. (Sandwich Artist up in hurr!) I chatted with a guy in this group, the 3:45 Marathon Pace Group. This was right before Mile 10, when they split off and ran their own race. He was from Ireland and had the sweetest, red beard.
I tried to take a photo of my Saucony Kinvara 2's that shredded my calves. Too much of a heel drop for me. I returned them today and am trying out a pair of Asics Gel Cumulus 13's.
I was so drenched in sweat at this point, I was wishing I could rip off my shirt and shorts and just run naked.
Can you see all the sweat? I am melting, literally.
And wow, my camera rocks, I was running when this was taken.
I did put my camera away towards the finish. I didn't know there were photographers, but right after passing the Mile 12 marker in any race, I can't help but smile. It's just such a GOOD feeling, knowing you're almost done! And, in my finishing photos, I look like a silly goober grinning from ear to ear.
The finish was so unreal. They had people commentating! They were handing out the medals as the finishers crossed, and then shuffling them off to stand in a line to get their photo taken, the finally shuffling them off to get food. I think I crammed about 12 mini blueberry bagels in my Spibelt for later.
And ate them as I was walking back to the hotel room. They do like a little after party thing, but I didn't have a phone or know where anyone was, and the only thing that sounded good was a shower.
Or maybe a hot tub.
Or maybe an ice bath. I jumped back and forth between the hot water of the jacuzzi and the frigid cold waters of this unheated pool.
I laid back for a little while. I think I took a nap. When I woke up my legs were comfortable frozen.
And I ate some of these cookie things they were handing out at the finish. :)
After showering and cleaning up, and lounging around in the hotel for the marathoners, we finally hit up Cafe Ole. I probably ate my weight in tortilla chips. It was like the last two weeks of eating 1,300 calories a day and running back to back half's just finally caught up to me and I COULD. NOT. STOP. EATING.
All in all, it was one of the most memorable, if not the most messy, races I've ever run. :)
I had a really awesome time!
Now here I come, 26.2!