[BACKDATED RACE REPORT:
Marathon #1 / Overall #1 / State #1
Rock ‘n Roll Marathon-San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
Marathon… 26.2 miles, 42.19 km.
This is where it all began, the 2012 Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in San Antonio, TX.
Having never ran a marathon before, I’m sure there were many anxious thoughts running through my head about whether I could complete one or not. It had been 7 months since I ran the Big D half, my first ever half marathon. At this point, I had been running for almost 9 months now. My training consisted of many long run walks, including an 20 miler and a 24 miler.
I had been friends with Alex and Angel, who are roommates, for a while now. I knew that Angel and Alex were running the RnR as well, so that gave me a little extra reassurance knowing that I’m not in this alone.
The expo was an interesting experience – this is where participants picked up their bibs, race shirts, and have the ability to purchase gear. There were also tons of booths with different organizations, some of which offered free samples of their food products LOL. To top it off, my bib number was “26108”. A marathon is 26 miles… I don’t usually play the numbers game, but when I DO…. hah
After carb loading, I spent the night at Alex and Angel’s apartment off Cinnamon Creek Dr.
It always takes the pre-race anxiety away from you when you’re around friends. When we woke up, both Alex and Angel said that they were out of toilet paper!! :O So instead, they grabbed a few coffee filters to do business… and on that day we coined the phrase “operation coffee filter” LOL
Also… I could’ve sworn I saw Alex took a shot of vodka before the race as he said “cheers yo!!” I was like, “WTH???!! You crazy or what drinking alcohol before a MARATHON??!!” Angel saw that too and thought it was crazy as well… wow.
The sun had not come out yet, and Angel drove Alex and I to the AT&T Center (where the Spurs plays), where we would park and hop on a shuttle to the start line in downtown San Antonio. On the shuttle, Angel and Alex were looking at me and thinking that I’m some kind of Robocop…
They were like, “dude, I don’t see any skin on your legs!” And it was true. I had KT tape on both knees, a knee brace on one leg, and another knee brace on another leg, calf compressions on both legs, and running shorts. I barely had any skin exposed…
Alex, on the other hand, had running sandals. And I was like, dude are you crazy??!! You’re really gonna run in those??!! LOL. Alex is a more of a minimalist. Obviously I’m more of a maximalist haha… And Angel… he’s more or less “normal” if there is such a thing for anyone running 26.2 miles or 42 km haha…
The Start Area
This was a moderately large sized event, as there were thousands of people lined in corrals waiting to start. The port-a-potties lines were long, and all of us would have to take turns waiting.
So here’s a story that I was completely oblivious to – as I was stretching my quads, apparently my foot came down at just the right angle, and at the right moment, that it pulled some old guy’s pants down!! I was completely unaware of what happened, I just heard a bunch of commotion in the back, and then Angel told me everything because he saw everything…. LOL!!! He was like, “why did you have to pull down HIS pants??!!!!” 😳😳😳😳😂😂😂😂
Alex said, “Hahaha I’m sure that ruined his PR for the day”…. LOL
The Start Line
We were on Commerce Street and facing east. The sun was coming up in the horizon. The temperature was in the low 60’s. It was a little warm and humid, but nonetheless not too bad.
The Rock ‘n Roll Marathons had an extensive wave start. I was in Corral 26 but asked to move up to Corral 10. Even though the start time was 7:30 AM, some of the people in the back didn’t start until close to 8:30 AM!!
The marathon course zigzagged along downtown for a few miles, passing by the Alamo around mile 3. We didn’t go too far north of downtown and turned back towards downtown at San Pedro Springs Park and made our way back into downtown on Main Ave. Everyone were running the race together – the half and fulls. Aid stations were spaced about 2 miles apart. By mile 10, we were at the King Williams district.
I remember at one of the aid stations they were handing out vasoline (for your armpits, legs, and nipples – for all y’all men who chafe there 😀 ). I honestly thought it was GU (energy gels), I took one on a stick and put it in my mouth and they were like no no no no!!! Haha…
I loved some of the motivational signs that people would hold up during the race such as:
“That’s not sweat that’s your fat cells crying”
“There’s a taco at the finish line”
These next miles became a little more challenging as the sun came up more and temperatures were rising, and we were heading into the south side. At around mile 11, the half and the full courses split.
I had to get a picture at the halfway mark. For this is the halfway point of the longest run ever in my life!! And even at this point I felt okay, to my surprise!
Around mile 16-17 the marathon course made its way by Stinson airport and looped back around. One thing of note: I was doing run walk the entire time, for this is how I trained. And I had been consistently eating and drinking at all the aid stations and honestly may have overdone it.
Mile 20 to the Finish Line
At mile 20, I hadn’t been feeling fatigued and exhausted, but I had felt somewhat nauseated. Perhaps I ate and drank too much… or it was the heat. But nonetheless, it wasn’t as bad as I had expected. People always talk about the dreaded “wall”. I remember people mentioning their former marathon experiences that he walked the last 3 miles in an hour or some other horror story like that…
But again, my goal today was to finish. Yes it did matter to a certain extent how fast I did it in, but the most important thing is to finish.
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” – Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
Even though I was run walking, I did indeed notice that by mile 20, a lot of people were walking. And to my surprise I was actually run-walking PAST them!! As I was coming back north on Presa St, the clouds were beginning to cover up again. Temperatures went up into the high 70’s to maybe the low 80’s, which is supposedly quite warm for a marathon, but it still felt manageable.
When I saw the 40k mark, I knew the end was near. Right before the finish, we had to go through an underpass before finishing up at the Alamodome… I could just sense that feeling of accomplishment come and that I’ve did it!! I was able to train for a marathon, and complete a marathon, and that I would never run again after this!!!
The Finish Line
I reconvened with Alex and Angel, who finished not too far ahead from me. I could’ve sworn at mile 18, I saw ?Angel? on the ground or something??!! He told me he had a hamstring cramp and had to sit down for a bit…
Alex ended up with a huge blister on his left toe from the Sandals, and he blamed not wearing socks and the humidity as the cause of this blister… haha.
It was hot and humid and I was thirsty… I took a bite into a bagel, which tasted more like a dry crust… lol, and immediately spat it out 😦 So much bagels… just looking at them makes me nauseous, Angel also commented.
First Marathon Experience
Looking back, I have to say that a marathon is more doable than most people think!! If one is able to commit to training, running, and a routine, of course it is possible. Even the next day, I went back to work sore, but I could still walk and be fine. I think the run-walking definitely helped. Although I desired a sub 5 hour finish for my first marathon, I was happy with just being able to complete the marathon and checking that off my bucket list. I did have to tape/wrap myself quite a bit… perhaps something I would be able to “wean off” on my next races to come… haha
That afternoon, we came back to Angel and Alex’s apartment, took a huge nap, and went to a buffet at Luby’s that evening… OINK
END OF BACKDATED RACE REPORT – 9/26/17]
I was so wrong when I said “I’ll never run again after completing this marathon!!” LOL