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11/19/13

Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Recap

My day started bright and early at 5:00 a.m. The lovely people over at the Marriott Rivercenter delivered breakfast to runners early, which I loved. I got dressed and put a huge smile on my face.

My mom was walking the 5K, so I wanted to make sure we got to the start village early enough for some potty breaks. Our hotel was a little over half a mile to the start area and we were not alone.


We took a good look around and scoped out the shortest porta lines. Luckily, we only had to wait about 15 minutes and headed to the corrals.


I had every intention of meeting up with Pavement Runner (who was in Corral 1) but the hoards of people were insane. So, I dropped my mom off with some family members in Corral 24, also walking the 5K, and said my goodbyes. 



Seriously the crowds were nuts. I remember thinking, "how the heck are we going to get to the starting line?", "where is the starting line?". 


I found my pace group around corrals 26 and 27. I was feeling terrific and wanted to push myself. Granted the temperature was slowly rising and I had trained in 19 degree weather 4 days before. Nothing was going to get me down.


The race started on time I think at 7:30. I, however, did not see the start line until around 8:15. It was tough to wait to get across the starting line but again, I was trying to be positive. I made small talk with the pace group. I was thoroughly impressed with the mother and daughter in the group, the daughter was at least 6 months pregnant. Of course, now I wish we would have gotten a picture together. 


I just loved this sign. It really eased the anxiety of the race. 


We were off so quick, I didn't even get a good starting picture. I fought to stay with the pace group and scurried around others to keep up.

Miles 1-4: Took these miles at a pretty easy pace and enjoyed a big downhill. The humidity and sun beaming down didn't feel too bad. We passed the Alamo at some point during these miles. It was amazing jogging along the stone pathways.


Miles 5-8: These miles were a huge struggle. Somewhere around mile 6, I lost the pace group. They sped up to make up some lost time, so I scaled back a bit. I was determined to finish. Also, my amazing cousin found me and we hung together for quite a bit. I was lucky she was with me because the hills were a beast. We ran/walked a lot of the way and chatted. 

Miles 9-13: Despite all the sponges, ice, GU, gummy bears, Gatorade, and water hose spray downs the heat was unbearable. I had developed two huge blisters below my toes and I was tapped out. These miles were not very scenic but they were flat as a board. Unfortunately, for some miles 10-12 were the end of the line. Many EMT's and Paramedic's helped runners off the course (some in stretchers). 

Once I saw the 20K mark, I dug deep and slowly started to pick up a jog. 


As my cheerleader, Maggie, said, "the struggle was real" and it truly was. I knew I was going to be limping for days but I did all I could to not let the emotions and pain win.  


I crossed the finish line and nothing else mattered. I survived a grueling course, scorching temperatures, and my body still recovering from a half marathon 15 days earlier. My time was not terrific but I never quit. 


After the race, my amazing best friends helped me limp the half mile back to the hotel. I contemplated having them carry me or to hail a taxi. We did neither and I tried my hardest to walk it out. I made it back to the hotel and reunited with my mom. Who by the way rocked her 5K! 

I took a load off and was happy to discover my new tan lines. Lucky for me, Aaron was looking out for me.
 "Are you wearing pants to the airport?" In case you were wondering, I did wear pants.


Overall the half marathon course was tough and the temperatures did not help. There was amazing support from local businesses and residents which made the miles as enjoyable as they could be. Thank you to all of the students and residents along the course who cheered us on and gave us water/cookies/cake/candy/sponges/beer. Of course, a BIG thank you to all of the volunteers! The race could not have gone on without you.


Since the race date is changing to December in 2014, I will not be coming back. I have some other bucket list races to tackle. I would highly recommend this race to anyone wanting a nice tour of San Antonio. Be sure to visit the website for more information about the 2014 race.

Happy Running all! 

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