Monday, November 12, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Race Report

I probably always say this, but the race was a blur. I always struggle with my pacing, especially when running on my own, but I tried to relax, let my stiff legs warm up gradually, and not waste too much energy tying to weave through the pack.

I had left my loud Timex interval timer at home, and was going to rely on the sportwatvh for intervals.... Which, of course, is the major flaw with the sportwatch. But I also decided that today's goal was is ply to finish.

By mile 2i felt like I was running in an easy rhythm. Not too fast, not too slow, just easy. We were winding around heaven knows where in an essentially nondescript part of town.

Then after another mile, we got into a bunch of twists and turns and there were spectators. Happily, the "mini-marathon" ended around here,, removing a lot of people from the crowd. Then, all of a sudden, we were running on flagstones. That was weird... I mean, who would route a course over such a slippery, uneven surface?!?!

Oh. Wait. That's the Alamo. Ahh. Gotcha. 

Other than that, i have only fleeting memories of sights on the course.  A couple of pretty, older neighborhoods with grand homes; one particular street with one faded mansion and a lot of empty former fast food restaurants; maybe a small park?

I think I usually notice more of the city around me, but this time I didn't, really. I don't know if that's because I never really felt the pack thin out all that much, so I was focusing on not running into anyone?

I did notice a few things... I spent much of the race near a bride and groom running together, which made me feel as if I were part of their wedding party. The Dude standing proudly. A band somewhere around mile 9 who played a Matt & Kim song, followed by "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO. (Best on-course band ever? Probably!)

Oh, and best marathon sign ever:
If marathons were easy,
they would be called

I tried not to look at my watch much, other than to see intervals. But at around mile 10 I realized I was having a pretty good run. Not a potential PR or anything, but a pretty good run. Mile 11 went okay, and even mile 12. But I was finally getting tired, and, well, you know how I get when I am tired. I did have a look at my watch just to confirm that I was not on pace for a PR... Nope. So I let myself walk a bit, especially up the last little hill (an underpass).

We rounded the last corner and I could see the finish line. I realized that I had plenty left in the tank, and that I should sprint to the finish. So I took off as fast as my expo-sore feet would take me. This triggered a sprint in a 20-something woman near me. She looked at me, I looked at her, and the race was on. Cut to the chase here... She out-sprinted me. Maybe she looked at me and thought, "damn, I can't let an old lady out-sprint me!"

But I finished,feeling pretty good about it all...amd remembered that with my VIP wristband I would have a mimosa waiting!

The "secure" area was a little chaotic... I never saw the early water bottles, or the cool towels. And I love a cool towel, so I was sorry about that. They changed the finisher photo process in a way that should have made it faster for people to get through, but that somehow was still really hard to get through. But finally I broke free and found the VIP pen.

The pen was weird... First and foremost it was HUGE, and I think everyone had to walk past it on their way out. I had that same feeling of wishing I knew someone else, because I just felt weird eating on my own. But I enjoyed the tasty portobello mushroom tacos and, yes, mimosas...

I didn't bother to wait around for the concert... I just went back to the hotel, showered, and left to spend the afternoon wandering around San Antonio. But the purpose of the trip was fulfilled... A half marathon in Texas... check.

Oh, and perhaps most interesting... despite running alone, I was actually relatively fast, finishing in 2:23:22. Not bad for a post-expo run!

2012 Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Medal

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