Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon Race Report

You know I like to recap the entire race experience, so let’s start with the EXPO!  First, I stayed at the historic Menger Hotel which is literally across Crockett St from the Alamo!  How exciting is that?  Also, apparently, it’s haunted, but I didn’t want to know details because I like sleeping and it’s a SUPER nice hotel and I would love to stay there again.  So no investing of ghosts for me.
I arrived in San Antonio Saturday morning around 11am and met my friend Jennifer and we hit the Hard Rock for lunch and then headed to the expo around 1pm.   I bought a mermaid pin (!!!!) and a shirt.
We, of course, picked up our packets first.  Jennifer registered but because of an illness in her family she wasn’t able to run it, but she still got her packet! 

After packet pickup everyone gets funneled into the Brooks official merch area.  

I was mostly meh about the shirts.  The jackets were super nice but had a price tag to match that niceness.  I was mostly meh about the shirts because the ones I wanted weren’t in the cut I wanted or the sleeve length I wanted.  I did find a shirt I really liked and I found one that I’m sure my mom will really like as well (she had asked me for one).  I then picked up a Rock’n’Roll Series guitar pin to match the one I got for the Portland Half earlier this year.
this is the shirt i bought my mom
We checked out and then proceeded to wander the rest of the expo for goodies to buy.  When Jennifer was registering for next year at the wonderfully discounted expo price, I heard my name and there was my blogging friend Carina (from Carina’s Running Career)!  I love that we ran into each other!  We stumbled upon a booth that was selling sport storage travel bags.  They were already highly discounted and then the guy said if I bought 3 he’d throw in a 4th bag, so I got 3 shoe bags and got a…I don’t know what exactly to call it…a sport bag is what they call it, but it would be really good for race day toiletry items like body glide and stuff.
Then, I discovered the Altra shoe booth!!!  I see them at every large race expo.  They’re selling the previous seasons shoe models sans boxes for a super discounted price.  However, usually when I make it to their booth they don’t have any color combos I like or they don’t have my size.  This time, they had a size 9 in yellow with purple accents and a size 9.5 in blue with coral accents.  I REALLY wanted the yellow ones but my toes hit the end and I was just standing there.  That would have been horrible to run in.  But the blue and coral ones fit perfectly, so I bought them!  YAY!
I also bought a lighted visor!  This this is cool!  It’s got super bright LED white lights on the front of the visor and 2 blinking red lights on the back!  So, when I go for any night runs, I’ll be able to see better.  It doesn’t say how many lumens it is, but it does say it provides ¼ mile of visibility.  The brand is Nite Beams.  The model I got is called the L.E.D. Double Vision Hat (but I got the visor, not the hat-hat).
Here's my "flat runner."

Now let’s move onto race morning!!!  WOOHOO!  First, race eve I got so nervous right before bed that my heart rate shot up to over 90 as I was laying there trying to go to sleep.  But, I did finally go to sleep and, according to my Fitbit, I got 5 hours and 12 minutes of sleep, but it was all quality sleep and I felt great when I got up.  I had set everything out and loaded my gels into my Fuelbelt the night before.  I got up, got dressed, and lubed myself up with Body Glide.  I chugged a bottle of water and my large iced coffee.  I was procrastinating heading out because it was in the low 40’s and I didn’t have a throw away sweater or jacket to keep me warm until the start.  Oops.  I also ate my bagel.  I finally headed down to the lobby to “stage” myself until the last minute.  On the way down I found a good full sized mirror and took my full body selfie.
I finally headed out when a few other ladies did and talked with them on the walk over to the Alamo Dome where the start area was.  It was definitely chilly out!  I ate my banana on the walk over, also.  I did my warm ups (leg swings, calf raises and calf stretches).  I did my poke test on my bladder and figured I could skip the portas and went straight to the start area.  I was assigned to corral 20, but snuck into 16.  I knew most of the people where I was supposed to be at would be walking and I wanted to avoid all that. 

Within the first mile, we ran past the Alamo.
About a mile or so later, we ran under the Brooks inflatable guitar guy.
We ran through the Pearl District and the King William neighborhood (I love this place, the houses are soooo gorgeous and colorful!).  I really wish I had thought to take more pictures while I was running this race.  Maybe if I do it again one day (probably will, but not for another couple/few years…I really want to spend the next couple years setting myself up for a BQ which means I need to limit myself to 2 marathons a year and those will be Austin and SPI).  I’m not super familiar with the layout of San Antonio and what different areas are called, but there was a lot of very nice scenery.  I really loved running along the Riverwalk.  Now, so as not to confuse you, the part of the Riverwalk that we ran on was NOT the part that is the tourist attraction area.  There is no restaurants or businesses.  It is strictly park and trail.  The area was called the Mission Reach.  The only problem I had with our running along the Riverwalk was that every time I tried to pick up the pace in the last 10K there was a hill!  They weren’t BIG hills, but after running 20 miles, they “feel” big.  Haha.

Okay, let’s talk pacing.  I want to start off by saying I really did TRY to start conservative.  I kept my first 10K with nothing faster than an 11:24 min/mi.  Mile 7 was 11:01 and that was the last 11:anything I saw for the rest of the race.  Most of my miles were in the mid 10’s.  And I definitely finished strong with the last 1.7 being at a 9:37 min/mi pace!  Holy moly!!!  I was smokin’!!!  It did take a lot of focus to hold that pace at the end, but I really wanted the last bit to be in the 9’s.  This is important because I sort of set a goal of 4:30:00 for the Austin Marathon in February.  I now have no doubts that I can do that.  It won’t be easy but it is definitely doable. 

My friend Drew’s wife was also running the marathon, so he stopped at a few places along the route to take pictures of her and offered to take some pictures of me as well.  He got me at mile 9 and at the finish.  I saw him at 9.
But I didn’t see him at the finish.  I was so focused on holding my pace until I crossed the finish line timing mat.
i'm so determined right here

a 9:37 pace isn't easy to hold onto when that's sorta fast when you haven't
already run 25+ miles

I crossed the finish line and I got my bottle of water, my bottle of Gatorade, a peanut butter cookie Power Bar and a baggie of trail mix.  I then went to the tent that said “heavy medals” to see about getting my extra medal for running 2 Rock’n’Roll events in one year, but they said that those get mailed to you.  Wah wah.  I then went to find the finisher’s jacket tent and noticed a massage tent along the way.  I got my jacket and then back to the massage tent I went.  The massage was great!  Even more so because it was free!  I got my free beer and while I was drinking it, I noticed this:
Guess the marathon really took it out of them.  She was out cold wrapped in those foil blankets on the pavement.  Not even in the grass, on pavement…asleep.  Damn.
The medal is really nice.  I love that they captured the essence of the touristy part of the Riverwalk in it.
The night of the race, I met with Drew and his wife, Stefanie, for dinner at Michelino’s on the Riverwalk.  The food was delicious and our waiter was hilarious!  I would go back to eat there just to be served by him again.  Not even kidding.
Monday, the day after the marathon, I did some touristy things around San Antonio.  I went to the La Tienda souvenir shop that is across from the Menger Hotel and the Alamo on Alamo Plaza and got a cornhusk dancer doll.
I also got an Old West style portrait taken.  It’s been YEARS since I’ve had one of these done and that was done with the guy I was dating at the time so I had to cut him out of the picture!  Haha!
After that I went to the Historic Market Square (aka: the Original El Mercado) for some more souvenir shopping.  I got a great little handmade dolly in traditional Mexican dress and a cute little guitar.

And, of course, no race report of mine is complete without my official race photos:

1 comment:

  1. Amazing splits! The opposite of my race, we really slowed down the last 10 miles as the sun was beating down. Was great to see you!


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