I know that I always say that I am super excited about races, but I truly am. However, this one was my first race out of the State of California. Since I was already headed to Texas to visit family, might as well grab a race…..or two. One weekend, four medals. Buckle up, cause here we go.
Saturday, December 3:
It had been raining since we arrived in San Antonio on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning came, I walked across the street to Starbucks to get coffee and it was just a very light drizzle. No matter what I was doing the races I signed up for. I paced my son and my dad because this was their first 10k. We had to walk half of it, because the streets were still flooded. We were constantly jumping up on the sidewalks, jumping up on the road block signs, and evening using the street signs to help us get over the puddles. We definitely got a workout in with our run.
My favorite part of the course was running down historic Houston Street. A lot of buildings built in the 1920s, you run right by the Majestic, and it’s two very short blocks to the Alamo where the finish line is.
At the finish, Jarred Ward (Olympic Marathon runner) handed me my medal, and when we asked if my son could hand my dad his medal, they were all smiles and said of course. Jarred handed my son a medal to give to my dad. Watching my son give my dad his medal made the experience truly memorable. I enjoyed chatting with Jarred, and the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series staff. This 10k truly was the most memorable I’ve ever done.
Sunday, December 4:
When I walked to Starbucks to get my morning coffee, it wasn’t raining. I ran into runners at the Starbucks who were praying it didn’t start raining until all the runners had crossed the finish line.
Well, luck was not on our side. Unfortunately, it had started to rain as we were waiting to start. When it was asked that we have a moment of silence for Detective Benjamin Marconi, of the San Antonio Police Department; I stood in silence for the detective and said a prayer for his family and his law enforcement family.
The event organizers did a fabulous job of ensuring we start as early as possible, and making sure we were safe. Now, the course…..
The course was great. The first 3 miles I felt I was doing great, I was keeping up with the 2:15 pace group. Downtown, was great, running over the River Walk, running by Court Houses, and historic buildings. Mile 4 was the Alamo. I stopped for pictures, of course, and my favorite part of the course.
At mile 4.5 the rain came down, and it came down hard. I was soaked from head to toe in a matter of seconds. By mile 6 I had fallen back to the 2:30 pace group, but that was no matter. I knew I wouldn’t PR that day. My clothes were heavy, the wind was blowing hard, and I was freezing cold. Then I remembered a story my dad told me about Pearl Beer and how his grandma, and the only beer she would drink was Pearl Beer. Between miles 5 and 6 we passed right by the old Pearl Beer Brewery. It was here that I realized just how much history we were all passing on our journey.
Somewhere between mile 7 and mile 8 there were Angels. Summer Moon Wood-Fire Coffee was giving out free, hot coffee. I was so happy to grab a warm cup, I thanked them and was so grateful. It was the first time I drank coffee black, and I loved their black coffee. It was full of flavor and not bitter. There was an overpass right up ahead. I stopped under the bridge to get a break out of the rain, and to drink this coffee a bit. Yes, I took a coffee break *laughs* People under the bridge were ringing out their socks, and taking a break from the rain. I finished my coffee, rounded the corner and there was mile 8.
Once I reached the park, the rain had stopped. I was walking the rest of the half marathon at this point. My pants were heavy from being soaking wet, my socks and shoes were soaked as well. I was almost to mile 9 when I saw the 2:45 pace group pass me. Running through the park was absolutely beautiful. One of the my favorite parts of the course. I tried my best to keep up with them, but my legs were not having it. Mentally, I was doing better than I thought, even when Mother Nature tried to shake my spirit with hard, heavy rains and high winds.
By mile 10 I was tired, cold, and soaking wet. I walked the majority of the last 5k, when I almost to the Tower of Americas, “Like a River” started playing, and it lifted my spirits. I had started to jog as best as I could, and clapping my hands to the beat. Next thing I knew I was at the Tower of Americas. I was finally on the last stretch before the finish line. I jogged as best as I could to the finish line, and made that last turn to the finish, I ran as fast as I could toward the finish, and crossed the finish line with both arms up in the air. I collected my finishers medal, and collected my remix challenge medal before walking the short half of a mile back to my hotel.
Even though Mother Nature surely did kick my butt, I had a blast. I finished in 3:17:55, but I feel so much stronger after this half marathon. I must admit, this was not my best half marathon, I made a lot of mistakes, and I learned a lot of lessons. I had never run in the rain before, so I didn’t know how to prepare. All I can say is, I honestly had a blast. I ran a total of 19.8 miles, perfect for marathon training. This weekend was an experience I will never forget.
I didn’t get to explore San Antonio like I had hopped due to the heavy rains. Next time.
This weekend was my last races of 2016, and I’m looking forward to some off time on the weekends.
One more thing I must admit to. The medals this year are beautiful, when I showed them to my grandpa who has lived in Texas for well over 40 years, he said that the medals are Texas. The medals is what Texas is all about. I hope that Rock n’ Roll continues to make their medals fit the city, and state that the races are held in.