Part of me put off this race report because I thought some distance from the race would remind me less of how it sucked. Well that plan failed. So here is my honest recap. I apologize if I don’t take every opportunity to point out what I learned and how it made me a better runner. Yes, all runs teach us something and make us better, but this is one run I’d rather leave out of my memory… Here’s to honesty.
After the DRC the previous weekend I couldn’t nail down how I wanted to run this race. Part of me knew I’d pushed my body beyond limits I had imagined the previous weekend, but the other competitive side still wanted to race and get another shiny new PR (ha! ignorance is bliss apparently.)
We arrived in San Antonio late Friday night and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the airport because the hotel was cheaper. I’ll get a nice hotel on vacations but stuff like weekend races? I’ll find my employee rate and make the commute. Fell asleep pretty quickly and got up when we woke up – instead of an alarm clock. Lovely!
We went downstairs for breakfast and this should have been an indication. My omlet was screwed up, they were out of coffee when I tried to get some and I had to beg for a bagel. Needless to say the rest of the day wasn’t all that much better. I was stressed out, my car got dinged over and over again and most people we ran into were rude. So sorry San Antonio, I probably will never return your call. Also? I packed everything I needed except underwear. Yep, that’s what I left out. Had to go find some of those, too!
Race day we get up on time and get out there super early. We wait around and hang out. Eventually run into a few of our friends Ashley and Jason. We hang out with them for a while until it gets close to start time. Brian stayed with them and I move up to my corral. The day was warm and super humid. Luckily we had some cloud cover, but I was wearing compression socks, short spandex shorts and a tank top. I was hoping that would be enough to keep me cool.
Once I pushed and shoved my way into my corral it took about 5 minutes for the race to start and another 20 until I crossed the start line. This race was a cluster. People everywhere. But what do you expect when there is 27k participants? I tried to settle into a rhythm to get going through the first few miles but it was HARD. My pace felt really hard and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I was hot instantly and everything felt hard. Eventually I half gave up. The first 6 miles of the run stunk. Not like wow that was hard, but actually stunk. I couldn’t get a fresh breath of air. The bands felt like they were forever apart and even though I started pretty far up I was dodging women who were clearly walking the whole thing. I was pretty angry the whole run. I tried to keep up with my fluids and I didn’t do great. Also only took one Gu. Went through water stops and only used them to douse myself in water to try and cool off.
My favorite part is when a spectator literally cut me off trying to cross the road. I even yelled “seriously?” and got no response. That’s just not cool when you feel like dying. After a nasty and mean little uphill to the finish, I looked at my watch and I finished in 2:05 and change. I’m not going to lie – that was my second best half ever – the previous weekend being my fastest half ever. It is nothing to shake off and I’m proud of my time, but I felt like I earned every step of that race. Every step was hard, but I pushed through even though I didn’t want to. I’m stronger than I think.
Once I crossed the finish line I found Beth and Teal and we meandered our way to a covered area to stretch. I knew I wasn’t feeling well. I felt like I was going to get sick and I was SO hot. After about half an hour Brian found me (honestly I was an asshole and didn’t meet him where I told him I would because I didn’t think I could get up, I’m sorry again honey.) Eventually when I did get up I only got 10 feet before I had to lay on the ground. Literally. I can’t get the ground stain out of my favorite tank top now. I think another reason I’m hating this race so much is because I’m embarrassed it beat me. The color apparently drained out of my face and I felt lightheaded and sick. Brian was seriously worried, told Beth, Teal and her friend Mary Alice that I was on the ground about 10 feet over because he was going to the medical tent to bring people over.
Luckily for me Mary Alice is a nurse and she yelled (okay firmly demanded) me to eat and drink. They got me some water and a banana and I ate and drank like a person in basic training camp afraid of punishment. What can I say, she was good. After medics came over and I told them I was okay, I laid on the ground for probably half an hour. Once the food and water made their way into my system I felt better, embarrassed but better. I slowly got up, thanked everyone for hanging out with me and then we slowly made our way back to the hotel to shower and pass out. We stayed that night and had a great dinner with a friend of mine, then promptly left the next morning.
Here are my splits – see, I went out way too fast and crashed and burned at the end. Yikes!
Long story short I learned that I can go farther and harder by mentally pushing myself. That will help with my marathon, but I still hated the race and hope to never see San Antonio again!