Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rock n Roll Marathon: San Antonio

EVENT: Rock n Roll Marathon - San Antonio
DATE: Sunday, November 14, 2010
LOCATION: San Antonio, TX
RACE BEGAN: 7:15 am
FINISH TIME: 04:34:33 (Garmin -- see review for why the true time will never be known; clock 4:35:19)

I'm slowly going to blog about my trip to San Antonio, Texas, where I ran this marathon and took a mini-vacation this past weekend. I wish I could document every detail of my time there, but to spare my "running blog," the entries will be broken up into these sections:

- Flight, Expo & Race (this entry)
- Food
- Sights

I was looking forward to getting revenge for my poor performance at my last marathon in San Diego.


Above: I drew these in the days before my race to ward off burnout/boredom.

Above: Plane snacks and activities. How many Master's degrees does it take to complete a Rachel Ray crossword puzzle?

Above: Landed and at the Alamodome!

Above: Either tired or trying to be cool... or both... gone bad.

Above: This is where many great b-ball games are played...

Above: The highlight of the rather quiet Expo.

Above: Our fortune cookies said the same thing...

Above: I finally found these new Larabars! Vegans beware: not vegan anymore.

Above: We bought a huge haul of GU, mainly because the holiday gingerbread flavor was available, and I was practically out of GUs. I think we bought 30 for $26. I don't think I need anymore through next year!

The Race:

The morning didn't start off too well. Although I had been sleeping plenty, my stomach wasn't getting into routine, if you know what I mean. (No coffee or banana did anything to help the situation.)

The weather was incredible. It stayed in the 50's for most of the race, humidity only an issue during the first half, and bitter winds in the second. Not complaining, though. It could have been worse.

I was in Corral 7 ("The Ukrainian" in Corral 2), though the wait wasn't long to start. The first couple of miles, and frankly, the first half, were much more congested than what I'm used to, even in big races like this one.

Splits (26.29 mi):
1 - 9:57
Even before the end of the first mile, my race was kinda over. I turned a corner and heard a loud gasp from a herd of runners that suddenly stopped. A train was blasting through, and we had no choice but to wait. I stopped my watch at some point, but I'm not sure how long I truly waited there. And when it left, I almost got crushed by the short-side of the arm/gate, left to face runner congestion that was much like the start. Therefore, I will never know my true time. The race coordinators offered a "time adjustment" form to fill out, but truly, I don't know the true impact of this. So even though my Garmin is also a bad estimate, I think it's the best one).

2 - 8:54
3 - 8:58
4 - 8:55

Notice these miles here. Either I was trying to make up time or stick to my original plan to finish the first half in about 2 hours.

5 - 9:29
6 - 9:26
7 - 9:03
8 - 9:17
9 - 9:22
10 - 9:26
11 - 9:29
12 - 9:25
13 - 9:38

I think this pace is more of what I SHOULD have maintained throughout. I finished the first half a couple of minutes more than 2 hours, which was pretty much on target, even though I was walking through every water station to get my fill of Cytomax and water.

We split off from the half-marathoners about mile 11/12, and suddenly it was REALLY open and quiet. Yes, full marathoners were kinda rare here... Took a bunch of salt at this point.

14 - 9:51
15 - 9:59
16 - 10:07
17 - 10:16
18 - 10:13

We ran into this park-ish area, where I totally was feeling tired already. The ground was NOT well-paved, and the sudden lack of course support was demoralizing.

19 - 10:52

Got out of the park area only to be greeted by a 2-mile long hill up some poorly-paved highway with trucks on the side emitting whatever trucks like to emit. I can definitely say this part resulted in my demise. I reached Mile 20 just a tad slower than I did in Las Vegas last year when I almost hit my PR. So prior to this, I consider that I was on track to PR again...

20 - 10:36
21 - 11:52
22 - 13:14

As predicted, my demise! My feet were hurting so badly by then that I wished I didn't have them (I know, horrible!). And I nearly pulled my right leg muscle because my CEP sleeves couldn't hold my cramps in anymore. Cold wind didn't help, either.

23 - 12:27

Eminem's "Not Afraid" came up on my iPod during this mile.

24 - 14:34
25 - 14:15

I walked... duh. And then they gave us TWO steep hills to plow through before we were to finish. A guy carried a sign that said, "It's just a hill... get over it."

26 - 12:02

So I ran this last part, breathing reaaallly deeply to prevent pulling my muscle in front of the huge crowd cheering at the Alamodome.

.29 - 2:42

Nope, I am not disappointed that I was over 10 minutes off my PR. It was still my best marathon time of 2010, third best overall, and not bad considering I've never flown to a race, had lingering injuries, and way overestimated the flatness of this course. They changed the course from last year, so I'm not sure why I was under the impression that it was flat.

Above: I wore my medal out to dinner that night, something I've never done before. Since the vast, vast majority of people ran the half, I was looked at with admiration. Here I am in our hotel next to a giant vault. As I will talk about when I finally get to posting about our hotel, it used to be a bank!

Speaking of which, I gotta put all my medals away somewhere. I have too many now!

Above: It's hard to see here, but this is near the finish. I'm throwing up 7 fingers to show that I am finishing my seventh marathon. Notice slant/hill.

I was sore on Sunday, but we logged around town on Monday, and by Tuesday, my legs were mostly normal. By Wednesday, I wanted to run again ("wanted" being the operative word).


  1. You ran such good splits! Look forward to your other Texas post. Living vicarious! :D Hope you got some nice RnR (not Rock & Roll)!