Just three short weeks after the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Remix Challenge, I headed down to San Antonio for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio half marathon. Three weeks wasn’t enough time to completely turn around my (lack of) a training schedule. I had the chance to run a few times in between the races, but it wasn’t enough time to really build up my endurance. At least I knew the weather had to better than it was in Las Vegas! And I would receive a Groupie heavy medal for completing four Rock ‘n’ Roll events within a calendar year, woo hoo!
This also was my first visit to San Antonio. We drove down Friday night after work and checked into the Westin Riverwalk. It was after midnight when we checked in so we headed straight to bed. Saturday morning we went to the expo for packet pickup and some shopping. Since we had just been at the expo in Las Vegas, I wasn’t tempted by as many items and got out without too much damage to my wallet.
We spent the rest of Saturday with a visit to the Alamo and dining along the Riverwalk. Before heading out to dinner, we stopped to chat with the RunWestin concierge, Chris Heuisler, to inquire about some of the race day logistics. We were concerned about the timing of the hotel putting out breakfast before we needed to head out to walk the mile to the start area. After discussing our different options, Chris was so generous and surprised us with VIP wristbands! THANK YOU, CHRIS! These VIP wristbands gave us access to a private tent both pre- and post-race, where they had food and beverages, massages post-race, and close access to the headliner’s race. It was such a nice surprise, and made our plans for before and after the race so easy! We dined at an Italian restaurant Saturday night along the Riverwalk before heading back for rest and sleep.
For the first time ever, I woke up race morning and had a sinking feeling. I just didn’t want to run a race that day. Plain and simple – I just didn’t feel like it. It shook me because I have never, ever had this feeling before – especially in a new city. In Portland I woke up so giddy that I got to run around and explore the city. But I just didn’t have the oomph to muster up any excitement for the early morning wake up and race. It even crossed my mind to crawl back in bed and forget the whole thing. But I had travelled to San Antonio, paid the race fees, so I decided to go through with it.
We headed out of the hotel and walked about a mile to the race start. Thanks to our VIP wristbands, we had breakfast in the VIP tent and a private bag check area. The VIP area also had private restrooms with adequate hand washing station – a luxury at these types of events! I had a quick panic about leaving my long sleeves on versus running without them, but made a very last minute decision to keep my long sleeved shirt on over my short sleeved shirt. I made my way to the start line and started to feel better about embarking on the half marathon journey. Time to run.
The course took us past the Alamo, Brackenridge Park, the San Antonio Zoo, and the Alamo Stadium within the first 6 miles. We wrapped through an industrial part of town and ended outside of the Alamodome. The course was challenging between miles 5 and 6.5 with various steep hills, but outside of that was fairly flat or had minimal inclines. I was glad I decided to keep my long sleeve shirt on for the race. I became hot around mile 12 and decided to slip it off and tie it around my waist for the remainder of the race.
Goal: Get through it. Don’t injure yourself. Rediscover love of racing.
Location: San Antonio, TX
Date: December 6, 2015
Distance: 13.1 miles
Conditions: Around 46° F with 86% humidity at race start.
Total time: 2:45:15
Pace: 12:36 min/mile
Outcome: I’m ready to retire for the year.
I wasn’t fully engaged in this race mentally or physically. I walked a lot. Some hills I decided to tackle, and some got the best of me. I was ready for the race to be over around the mile 7 mark. My body and mind were just worn out. My pace wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t good. I finished the rest of the race making consolidations with myself. I had a good racing year. I put so much time and effort into training for my first half Ironman, and then had two bad half marathons following it. I realized I was worn out and needed a longer break.
The VIP tent was also a welcome reprieve after the race and my favorite part of the experience. There were food and drinks to refuel with, and we had a nice sectioned off area to enjoy the headliner Third Eye Blind.
I chatted with a lovely couple that had just completed their 10th and 11th Rock ‘n’ Roll races of the year and got to learn about their reviews of the race in other cities. We headed back to the hotel to shower, pack up and drive back to Dallas. I enjoyed the quick trip to San Antonio and would consider running the race again. But I was mentally and physically exhausted and felt like it was time to hang up my running shoes for a while.