Rock’n’Roll your way through a half marathon with PR potential. My Rock’n’Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Race Recap is here!
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Well, my fit & focused friends, half marathon #12 is in the books! While (spoiler alert) I didn’t get the sub 2:00 time I was hoping for, overall I had a good race and think this could be one to do again. Let’s dive in!
THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE
Will and I left our house around 8:30am to drop Moose off with friends and pick up my racing and blogging buddy, Gabrielle. San Antonio is just over an hour from Austin, so we were checked in and ready to explore by 11:30.
First stop: the expo!
Bib pick up was a breeze, which I attribute to the fact that Rock’n’Roll has there shiz organized! There wasn’t a single person in line.
The expo was a little crowded, and since I’m not a huge fan of expos, we only stayed long enough to grab a few free samples and check out all the awesome medals Rock’n’Roll offers to loyal racers.
Afterwards, we went off to fill our bellies with Mexican food, explore the riverwalk and check out the Alamo. We made our way back to the riverwalk later that evening to see all the lights that were set up for the holidays.
We decided to hop on a riverboat tour just as the sun was setting, which I highly suggest if visit San Antonio this time of year. You’ll skip the LONG hour+ line of people who want to do the tour after the sun goes down completely (so that they can see all the holiday lights). If you go at sunset, the last half of your tour will be at night, so you’ll still get to see all the pretty lights by boat without having to wait in the crazy line. Unfortunately, my cell phone failed to capture the beauty of the lights at night.
After the tour, the riverwalk was jam packed with people, so we ventured up to street level to find a place for dinner. We stumbled upon a little deli that offered breakfast for dinner. After walking around all day, we were happy just to sit and gulp down water.
Then it was back to the hotel room to get flat Nicole ready and head to bed.
I woke up a few minutes before my 6am alarm, whipped up some pre-race oatmeal and got myself race-ready.
Our hotel was RIGHT at the starting line, which made getting to our corrals a piece of cake. We probably could have slept an extra half hour, but better a little early than too late!
It was a beautiful 66 degrees out, but you could see the humidity in the air. It was so foggy, we could barely see the starting line a few feet ahead of us. We snagged our pre-race selfie and a few minutes later, we were off!
The instant we started running, I could feel just how brutal the humidity was going to be. It offered up instant resistance, but I shoved that obstacle to the back of my brain, insistent that I could still do this under two hours.
I was so happy when we came across the first live band of the race before even hitting mile one! The only other Rock’n’Roll race I’ve done is Brooklyn, and due to noise laws there, most the bands couldn’t even start playing until I was almost done with the race. A band so early on got my endorphins going.
Gabrielle and I stuck with the plan of running the first two miles before starting our run/walk intervals. I decided to adjust our intervals so that we could walk through the water stations. I forgot to bring my water bottle, so I knew I’d need to grab some through each station.
Will was stationed somewhere around mile three, so I started keeping an eye out. Mile three was right by the Alamo, one of the few parts of the race with solid crowd support. Even though I had my eyes peeled, we missed seeing him!
Fortunately, I knew I’d have another chance to see him at mile ten.
In the meantime, Gabrielle and I kept pushing through, appreciating every single 30 second walk break.
There wasn’t much to see between the 5k and 10k mark as the course was mostly along the highway, but we did pass Larry Macon who was running his 2000th marathon! Yes, you read that correctly. Two. Thousand!
Around mile seven, the clouds opened up and it started pouring. Normally, I’d curse the rain during a race, but oh man, it felt so good! It was cooling and refreshing and made us forget about the humidity. It poured for about eight minutes before slowing to a very light drizzle, at which point we were running through Brackenridge Park, by far the most beautiful part of the course.
When the rain stopped, I checked in on our time. The race predictor on my watch has us finishing in about 2:02. My watch also had us about .1 miles ahead of the course, so that meant closer to 2:03. Maybeeee if we pick up the pace just a little, we can do it. I hadn’t given up hope!
We both decided to put in our headphones to try to get in the zone. (Up to that point, I was enjoying talking with my running buddy and listening to all the bands along the course.)
Before long, we were approached mile 10, and I was determined to see Will. We turned a corner, and there he was! HUZZAH!
After getting a burst of energy from seeing Will, I checked back in with my Garmin. We’d need to run the last 2.6 miles in 19 minutes to come in under two hours. I knew it wasn’t likely, but I still clung to a sliver of hope. We were going to run the last two miles, no walk breaks. I can tap into some hidden energy and make it happen, right?
So when we hit mile 11, I took the last of my energy chews and started picking it up, as you can see from my mile splits below.
Will must have seen us again and snagged this pic of me in. The. Zone.
When we hit mile 12, I knew the sub two officially wasn’t going to happen. Instead of giving up and phoning in the last mile, I decided if I couldn’t hit my goal, I was going to come as close to it as possible.
Mile 12 was also where the marathoners split off from the half marathoners. I was not at all jealous off all the people that still had 14.2 miles left to go. The rain at mile 7 had been a nice break, but the humidity was back in full force. I felt thankful for my no-marathons-in-2017 decision.
Soon enough, the finish line was in sight! Music was pumping. Victory was within reach!
We crossed, high fived, and got our medals!
Final finishing time: 2:01:58.
Rock’n’Roll always has a good post-race party, so we grabbed all our snacks (fortunately, we found a race sponsor handing out bags so that we could carry all our snacks) and headed toward the music.
I was really excited for the post-race headliner, Vintage Trouble (I saw them once in New York and loved them), but another band was on stage when we got there. The other band was awesome, but I was a little sad we didn’t get to see the headliner. Thinking back, they probably came on after most of the marathon runners crossed the finish line.
Anywho, we stretched, we hydrated, and we headed back to our hotel to shower and get some food in our bellies.
- Extremely well organized
- Live music entertainment at every mile
- Plenty of post-race snacks
- Fun post race party
- Flat, PR-able course
- I’d do it again!
- Course is a little boring
- Should offer bags for post-race snacks
- Half marathon finishers don’t get to see the headliner
- Not a ton of crowd support for the size of the race (not a huge con for me, but I know it is for others)
- HUMIDITY (though this isn’t something Rock’n’Roll can control so it’s not really a con of the race, itself, just this particular race day)
After crossing the finish line, I thought back to the race. Where could I have gone faster? How could I have shaved off those two extra minutes. Honestly, I couldn’t have. On a perfect weather day, this would be a great PR course, but the weather wasn’t on our side on Sunday. Running through humidity is TOUGH, and I think we did the best we could with what we were given.
Am I bummed we didn’t get in under 2 hours? At first, a little, of course, but now I realize 2:01:58 ain’t too shabby for racing using run/walk intervals. I got to finish strong and smiling, which is always a goal of mine. Plus, I have two more half marathons coming up in early 2018, and this time, I’m looking beyond a sub two to a shiny new PR (currently at 1:53)!
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Have you ever raced through humidity?
Anyone else race last weekend?