2011 Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Race Recap

Carly and I woke up on Sunday morning completely rested and fully recovered from our night out at the Riverwalk. A quick peek out the window revealed a thick layer of fog blanketing the city. A quick check on the weather revealed a temperature of 55 degrees. And 100% humidity. Ah Texas, you never cease to ruin my races.

We hit up the free breakfast in the hotel and then made our way to the start. It was much more enjoyable walking to Alamo & Market Street vs. parking at the AT&T center last year and taking a shuttle to the start. AND we were able to sleep in.

Winning.

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Carly was initially in Corral 15 but moved back to 19 so we could run the race together.

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I know the participant shirts are awesome and all, however, the amount of people wearing them during the race was insane. No matter where we were, there was always someone in front of us rocking the participant shirt. Crazy.

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Our obligatory “oh-look-at-our-shoes-and-D-tags” picture

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And another shot of the cheetahs:

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Cheetah power:

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The announcer urged us not to attempt a PR race today. Due to the unfavorable weather conditions, it was a day to race solely on perceived effort.

By the time the first corral was released at 7:30, the temperature had already risen to 63 degrees. The fog made it clear it had no intentions of going anywhere.

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Somewhere near when corral 16 or 17 was toeing the line, Carly and I made the executive decision to get one final bathroom stop out of the way.

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Somehow we managed to make it back just in time for our corral to be released.

Perfect.

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Moments later, it was time to run!

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Not even halfway through the first mile, that damn headband slipped off my head. I grabbed it before it had a chance to fall to the ground and wrapped it around my wrist.

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We went out fairly conservatively, clocking our first mile in 11:18.

Our plan was to run by feel and just enjoy the race. If we PRed, awesome. If not, it wasn’t a big deal. No matter what, we’d be beating the time of our last half together!

Despite the heavy humidity we were moving along at a sub-11 pace and with minimal effort. Since we weren’t running with our own water (finished our Smart Waters pre-race, hence the bathroom stop…) we decided to walk through the water stops to rehydrate.

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We hit the 2.9m split in 31:37 (10:54 pace) What’s this 2.9m split? What happened to 5k? Weird. Just weird.

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We hit the 10k mark in 1:09 (11:07 pace)

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We passed mile 7 in roughly 1:18 (11:08 pace)

In order for both of us to PR at this point, we would need to run 6.1 miles in under one hour. Basically repeat the IBM race after already running 7 miles.

No way in hell that was happening. But we trudged on.

I was really wishing I had ran with my handheld. The last water stop we hit only had water, and I was hoping for Cytomax. The overcast skies were diminishing, revealing brutal rays of sunshine. The humidity decided to stick around and join forces with its new friend the sun. The temperature was inching it’s way towards 80 degrees.

Not having my own water bottle to sip on the entire way was killing me. My energy level was plummeting. And fast.

Not happy.

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Our 7.9m split was 1:29 (11:15 pace)

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I prayed for Cytomax at each water stop we came to, but there was only water available.

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We crossed the mat at mile 10 in 1:54 (11:24 pace)

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We ran out for a mile on St. Mary’s and came back on Presa Street for a mile. You know my hatred for out-and-back routes, but it wasn’t too terrible. The only point it was really noticeable was the actual turnaround.

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Around mile 11.5, I saw something which made me incredibly happy: yellow cups littering the ground. You know what that means? CYTOMAX! I can’t say I’ve ever been excited to drink that stuff but at that particular moment I was dying for something to help push me towards the finish. I grabbed two cups and happily chugged away.

It took a little bit for the Cytomax to kick in, but just after my Garmin beeped for mile 12 I was ready to finish the race strong. We took off and picked up the pace for the final mile.

Our adoring fans cheering us on … or complete strangers…

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Up a damn HILL to the finish

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In the finish chute! Follow that tutu!

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We crossed the finish line in 2:37:14 (12:00 pace) with our arms in the air, cheetah bands displayed proudly. Unfortunately, Brightroom did a poor job of catching that on camera. Disappointing.

If there was an award for running perfect positive splits, Carly and I would have won it. I’m not sure if it was because we went out too fast in the beginning or if it was due to my hydration issues in the second half. Regardless, it wasn’t the time either of us had hoped for.

But did we beat our time from Wine & Dine, our last half together just a little over a year ago? Why yes, yes we did. And that my friends calls for a celebration!

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Carly

Good: starting at the back of the corral (no one behind you until the next wave start), overcast for the most part, well-organized race, minimal out-and-backs

 

Bad: poorly paved streets of SA made for an uneven course, lack of refreshments towards the end of the race esp. Cytomax, GU all over the ground at the GU energy stop

 

Ugly: the amount of runners. As the race went on, it seemed to get more congested and felt like I was suffocating. In all honesty, I’d rather run a smaller race with more intimate settings.  The immensity of the race doesn’t really excite me – it overwhelms me.

Overall: I had a good time, but wouldn’t run another Rock n Roll race unless they came to Austin.

 

Melissa

Good: flat course, great spectator support, sweet medal & participant tee

Bad: hill to the finish line, course a little crowded in some parts

Ugly: 100% humidity + warm temps (unavoidable, but uncharacteristic of a November race), not enough Cytomax. That’ll teach me not to run with my handheld.

Overall: It was a fun race, but I may be done with San Antonio. I would rather explore Rock n Roll races in other locations. Although it IS a convenient, close-to-Austin fall race… we’ll see.

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17 Comments

  1. Awesome race recap! I can’t imagine trying to run with those temps and humidity – you actually saw the humidity in the air!!
    Congrats on a great race – and looking good while doing it!!

  2. You two look like you can have fun at ANY race! Way to go! 🙂

  3. Congrats ladies! You did great! I know running in humidity is the worst. And I agree with Carly, I think those bigger races overwhelm me. While I like crowd support, I feel like a total tool-bag if I stop and walk in front of people cheering me on. And that’s bascially everywere for RnR races. Looks like no walking for me in Vegas unless I can perfect a fake running look. I should work on that…

    So…what was that person dressed in with the black shirt and weird black glove in one of your crowd pictures. .hahah. Creepy!

    • Thank you Paula! I shouldn’t complain about the humidity because Florida is WAY worse!

      I’m off to find the pic of the one-gloved person. How did I not see this before?!

  4. Love this recap!!! I HATE humidity, it’s such a killer. I’m sure when you signed up you weren’t thinking “Oh, it will be 85 degrees and have 120% humidity in November – sounds awesome!” What a race buzzkill. You ladies rocked it regardless!!

    I don’t think I’ll do another RnR race after Vegas. It isn’t even the # of people – it just feels too commercial or something.

    • Thanks Michelle 🙂 definitely was not thinking that when I signed up, considering last year I wore a sweatshirt for the first few miles because it was so cold!

      RnRs certainly have a race-in-a-box feeling to them. The way their prices have been rising, I can’t imagine many people will still be drawn to them in the near future. San Antonio cost more than Marine Corps, and Marine Corps was a MUCH better marathon. The race itself just doesn’t justify the price. I’m registered for RnR New Orleans but the jury is still out on if I’ll actually run it or not. $38 for a Rock n Roll race was too much of a deal to pass up!

  5. Great recap! That was my first full and I didn’t take any pictures. Your pictures captured all of the half. It was brutal out there and just got worse for the full. The crowd support for the full was not there. Not a pretty course. Loved the race shirt and like rnr races. New Orleans roads are bad, but for the cost and of course the medal its worth it 🙂 will NEVER run a full in Texas again! Ya’ll need to do rnr Dallas 🙂 saw your nyd shirt (I have one too) are you guys running it?

    • Congrats on your first 26.2! I had thoughts prior to SA this year of running it next November for a fall full, but I’ve officially decided against it. I did RnR Dallas this year and I loved it. The course was pretty, it wasn’t too crowded, and the weather was perfect. I’d love to do that one again, if only Dallas was closer… Same thing with NYD, if it was closer I’d definitely run it. Wish I was able to because the medal(s) look awesome! Are you running it?

      • Thank you! Yes, I’m doing nyd. I’m doing half relay with my husband nye and then half on nyd. Couldn’t imagine running a loop 4 times for marathon. Rnrdallas had great weather last year. I really enjoy the training more than races, a little crazy. I had trained since may and had trained up to 24 miles. That heat/humidity killed me!!! Now I just need to decide when/where to do next 🙂

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