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.
Carly was initially in Corral 15 but moved back to 19 so we could run the race together.
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.
Our obligatory “oh-look-at-our-shoes-and-D-tags” picture
And another shot of the cheetahs:
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.
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.
Somehow we managed to make it back just in time for our corral to be released.
Moments later, it was time to run!
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.
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.
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.
We hit the 10k mark in 1:09 (11:07 pace)
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.
Our 7.9m split was 1:29 (11:15 pace)
I prayed for Cytomax at each water stop we came to, but there was only water available.
We crossed the mat at mile 10 in 1:54 (11:24 pace)
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.
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…
Up a damn HILL to the finish
In the finish chute! Follow that tutu!
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!
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.
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.