Monday, November 17, 2008

Rocked, thankfully no roll!

Last weekend at the San Antonio Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon was a blast! I got to travel down to San Antonio with a good friend who was going to race her first 1/2 Marathon and meet up with a college friend who was running the 1/2 Marathon as well just a few weeks after tackling a 50 mile race!! We made it down on Saturday and perused the expo, ate lunch on the Riverwalk, and then just relaxed before the race. Sunday morning meant an early wake up and drop off at the start line area. We beat the major crowds, so that was good...but it was COLD for this Texan...easily upper 30's/low 40's. We waited as long as we thought was prudent to take off the warm top layers and get to our race gear...then we huddled for warmth before the start! Finally, we made it to our separate corrals. I had put my predicted race finish time as, what I thought, was an aggressive 1:37. Thus, I was seeded nicely in corral #2 out of around 32!?! So, that was nice and meant I hardly had to wait to long after the race started to make it across the start line (individual time doesn't start till you--with your timing chip attached--make it across the start line timing mat) and it meant I didn't have to deal with an extremely crowded course to get through. I wanted to make sure I didn't go out too quickly, but keep a good pace. Miles 1-5 went super fast. I reached the 5K mark I was feeling pretty solid and the pacing was good. Mile 5 had the only noticeable "hills" (inclines) that I had to work past. In the first 5 miles I passed several women with the "Military" tags on their backs. Didn't know if they were 1/2 or Full Marathoners, just picked them off. I had my speed belt with two bottles of NUUN. I took my first GU Roctane at 4.5 and my second one at 8.5. Mile 6 was a lot of downhill, and I took advantage of it, and all the downhills. Flat and fast for the most part. Lots of spectators at various locations. I was feeling really great and often had to slow a little cause I knew holding 6:50's wasn't going to get me to the finish without some significant slow down in the last few miles. But, I was feeling great. Never needed anything from the aide stations with what I had. I wore a short sleeve shirt with arm warmers and my BT shorts and throw away gloves and my Newton racing flats. I threw my gloves at around 3 miles. When I hit the 10 mile mark at 1:11/12 something, I knew I could finish strong. All race I knew it was going to be a PR, I just didn't know how much. From 8 forward I kept telling myself, keep the pace, keep the cadence, good form, good turnover. And I just kept going. Mile 12 was actually a little tough and I could feel some of the juice going, but then I saw another military gal ahead of me, and I was going to pass her. In the last 1/4 of a mile, I did. There was a hill going up to the last turn for the last 200m and I was afraid she'd catch me on it, but she didn't and when I saw the finish I pushed it in pretty hard and I was done! Ended up being just 24 seconds from taking the 1st overall place in the women's military division...but 2nd/305 is pretty amazing for a girl who hated to run just a few years ago.

The post-run organization was insane, but I guess it's the inaugural race bugs to work out. We were pretty happy: Friend on the left beat her goal of 2hrs for her first (sub 1:52 in fact--she picked up the sign as "I conquered this", my other friend finished despite having a bum knee from her 50 miler, and I can't believe I can run that fast! It was a fun, fast course!

Then, before taking off I took a picture with the HEB Buddy. HEB is a Texas grocery store that is quite popular, and is HQ'd in San Antonio. One of my brothers worked there in high school and really loved the experience and would like to work at much higher levels within HEB someday. He misses them all the time, so I took a picture with the HEB Buddy just for him! :)

I wonder how fast I could do a marathon now? :) But, more importantly, it is very evident that my cycling fitness needs improvement so that I can hold a post-bike run at a pace much closer to my open run time than what I've done thus far. I have the speed, I need the endurance.

But, that's the end of the "big" races for 2008. I may do a couple of 5Ks and a 5 miler, but now I'm back to some base building and preparation for my '09 adventures! Thanks for all the encouragement and support. I know I post what may seem like "bragging rights" here...but it's more of a rejoicing what has been, and it couldn't be done without the blessings God gives me physically (for without Him I am nothing) and the love and support of my family and friends!


ShirleyPerly said...


I had no idea you used to hate running. Wow, you sure have come a long ways from that and FAST too!

melissa said...

as someone who's known you for over a decade, i'm really proud of how far your strength, determination, and ability have taken you.

but more importantly- i think you look just GREAT in these pictures!! look out, boys!

The Running Girl said...

Congrats on a great race. The pictures are great, too. You've come a long way and I can't wait to see what great things you will do in 2009.

Kathleen said...

Once again, you did awesome! Nice shirt in the 1st picture ;-)

Kevin said...

Wow. I thought I was fast, but your half mary is 4 minutes faster than my half pr. way to go and great race report.

kris said...

congrats on your RnR half time!!! Wooeee! we were hoping to do that race...maybe next year sans-shingles we'll be there! Keep it up!

Jessica, a Austin Runner AND triathlete said...

i'm sorry i missed you...thought you were there! hope you have a blessed thanksgiving:)