[BACKDATED RACE REPORT:
Marathon #5 / Overall #6
Rock ‘n Roll-San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
It had been one month since my “Spark Overdose” from the Hill Country marathon… Never that again haha..
So I had been part of RuNsane Running (running team in Harlingen, TX) since February of this year, and the team had decided to train for a marathon together – and it was the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in San Antonio, where I am at!
In the meantime, I had discovered this place called Marianito’s Extreme Tex Mex Grill (and had completed their 7 lb burrito challenge back in March this year in 35 minutes ha), amongst the other things I tried (including a 8 lb nachos challenge, 3 lb burger challenge…). I got to know the owner Felix (on the left), who said he’d be willing to host a private party for our team after the race!! I felt really honored that he would do such a thing, and have his restaurant logo on the back of our team shirt.
The Expo on Saturday
About half of the teammates came up on Friday evening while the other half came on Saturday (it’s a 4-5 hours drive from the Rio Grande Valley). That morning, I met up Angie, the Sams at Lulu’s off San Pedro (where they had their 3 lb cinnamon rolls lol). Afterwards, a group of us went to the expo.
Weather had been great in the preceding days and even on the day of the expo. But they had announced that tomorrow (the marathon day) will be the hottest day in the entire month and that was unseasonable. How unlucky… I thought. But I did not let that deter me much at the time. I knew this wasn’t gonna be a day of PR’ing, but just getting out there to have fun.
The Evening Before the Race
Carb loading with 22 slices of pizza after a Catholic mass
Angie found this Catholic church in downtown San Antonio for us to go to mass before the race. I had never been to a Catholic mass before and this was my first experience. To be honest I was so confused the entire time – when we’re supposed to stand up, kneel down, or sit, and stand, etc… I found myself chatting with Cameron (Alma and Jose’s oldest son) during service, and I’m pretty sure someone gave the stare lol…
To “carb load”, I took my teammates to DoubleDaves pizza works – it was all the way out there in Stone Oak (Blanco and Huebner), which (looking back) was kinda far from where most people were staying at. To my adventure (more like stupidity ha) I had about 22 slices of pizza… lol.
Kristy and Benny picked me up from my apartment at around 5:30AM. I was so stuffed from the night before. Benny drove us to downtown and dropped us off at one of the hotels, where many of my teammates were staying at.
It was indeed muggy and humid, as we walked out to the start line (Alamodome parking lot) after taking our group picture. I would say about half of everyone ran the half, and the other half ran the full.
Since my “inaugural” run with the team (at the Get Up and Train half this February) was ran with a Ukulele, I decided to bring the Uke again. This would be its second marathon… haha
Start Line – Outbound to St. Mary’s
The race started at around 7:30AM in waves. It was super muggy, and I felt bloated and can’t breathe (22 slices of pizza the night before… may have done it??). By mile 1, I had to take off my shirt because I was unable to perspire. Within the first 3-4 miles, we traversed through downtown, went right by the Alamo, through St. Mary’s by the Pearl Brewery, and past the San Antonio Zoo. That’s when I came across Jesse Robles after the gigantic hill climb going westbound on St. Marys St.
Inbound – Southbound to Downtown
There was about a hill that’s 100 feet elevation as we were coming through St. Mary’s St back onto Main Street. I was feeling so heavy at the time and fatiguing already. At around mile 8, I couldn’t take it anymore, and guess where I was at… Lulu’s!!
I ran in there without a shirt, did my business (LOL), and asked them for a cup of water with ice because I was DYING on the outside and inside…
Spectators were lined up pretty well at downtown. The half and the full split at mile 11.5 ish. I was looking out for big Sam as I remembered he was out there taking pictures of us, as well as Benny (Kristy’ husband).
Half/full Split – Outbound to Presa St / SE Military Dr
At this point the sun was intermittently coming out, and the temperatures started to rise to the mid to high 70’s already. At this point I was at mile 15-16, and could not run anymore by mile 17, having a bad hamstring tightness at that time.
The marathon course made a turn onto the Mission trails by mile 17. I ran into Hector and Alfonso (hematology techs at UH), who were also doing the full. At this point, people were hardly running and all walking.
Inbound via Mission Trail – Return to Downtown
This was probably the most miserable part of the race. Here is when I started seeing my teammates, but many of them were in pain or walking because it’s too freakin’ hot… Temperatures were at least in the high 70’s at this time, and the skies have completely cleared up. It was so miserable. At the turnaround point, someone was cooking up hamburgers for the aid station volunteers… I asked if I can have one… lol. After all, I’ve already flushed the PR down the toilet right?
The Mission trails were supposed to be somewhat pleasurable, but turned out to be painful and miserable. First of all, the trail was COMPLETELY paved with concrete. Second of all, it was NOT flat, although it ran along the San Antonio River. It looked like a death march of people walking miserably along concrete… They had a couple of spots along aid stations where they sprayed cool water.
Halfway along the trail I saw Kent, Melissa, and Rolando walking the other way and I asked them what they were doing… And Rolando said, “I’m pissed off, they shut off part of the course because it was too hot! We are going to get our 26.2 miles in today and thus we’re going backwards.” I was like wow… I’d probably give up by now if this was my first LOL.
In fact, it got so bad, at around mile 23, I took a detour. I went off course, and stopped by a gas station off Pleasanton Rd near Southcross Blvd and bought a cold Gatorade and chugged it down, for there were no cold beverages at the aid stations anymore.
Honestly, the course wasn’t too bad if it hadn’t been so HOT and HUMID… This was the first marathon for many of my teammates, who spent a whole summer training, hoping to get some cool weather up in San Antonio, but no, it was had to be miserably hot that day. So much for our luck… lol. One by one, the rest of my teammates came in, all beat up, and glad that it was over. It was my worst marathon time to date but I didn’t give a rats.. haha. For many people (including Jesse Robles, a fast runner), they felt like they could’ve done better if it wasn’t for the weather.
The highs got up to 88 degrees that day. Absolute miserable. And because I took the detour to that gas station off Pleasanton and Southcross, I ended up with a little over 27 miles…
“Celebration” at Marianito’s…
This was probably the best part of the day… the post race MEAL at Marianito’s, which was free of cost sponsored by Felix Mariano. The restaurant is now at SH 151 and Westover Hills Blvd, which seemed far for people in the Valley… By the time I got there, most of my teammates were already there. Chef Felix offered everyone a choice of burger of chicken fried steak. I don’t know… but I heard that a few were complaining about it. As the one that put a lot of effort into coordinating (as well as Chef Felix), I was a little disappointed at that. But I think most everyone else were happy and glad to be over. I am grateful that Felix opened his restaurant up just for us, and printed the restaurant logo on the back of our shirts, as the restaurant sponsored our team. A lot of people went back to the Valley that evening… as for me, I went back home to my apartment nearby.
This hotter than hell marathon was the first for many of my teammates, and hopefully not the last for them. At least we had some time of bonding and making memories as a team, something that we worked together to train for, and although circumstances were beyond our control, we did it together.
END OF BACKDATED RACE REPORT – 9/26/17]