I did many things wrong the morning before the race, including not giving myself enough time to get to the start, not bringing enough money for parking ($10!), not having any suitable food before the race, not having any gels or anything to bring, and forgetting my watch. I got there only 20 minutes or so before the start, but it was enough time to find my buddy Holden, and my other buddies Phyllis, Rex, Tonia and Bart, and chit chat a bit.
I liked the San Antonio course. The first part is around about the downtown area that squiggles around for about 4 miles before heading South. Some people don't like it when there's a lot of turns, but I do, it keeps things interesting. The majority of the course is South of downtown and passes by the missions. The scenery is nice and a lot of it is much like the bayous of Houston.
I ran the splits of a veteran marathoner, with almost even pace for the two halves (2:14:25 for the 1st half and 2:14:42 for the 2nd half), and since I was telling people I wanted to run around 4:30, it seems as though I'm pretty freaking awesome. If you'd like to believe that then skip down to where it says "Overall, it was a great time".
The truth is, I wanted to run a 4:20, and I had two major problems slowing me down, one in each half of the race. In the first half, I had some issues with my stomach and had a lot of trouble finding my rhythm for the first 11 miles. Perhaps it was the Powerade and the candybar that I grabbed at a convenience store. I eventually got over it and felt better, and the splits from the race do show that I had a section in the middle where I was running about 30 seconds per mile faster than the beginning or the end.
In the second half, about mile 22 or 23, I ran out of gas and crashed. I'd muster up some gumption to run again, and about a quarter to a half mile later, I'd walk. When my heart rate slowed down again, I'd do it all over again. The problem, I think, was just plain-old lack of fitness. I hadn't run anything longer than the Houston Half Marathon since the last marathon, and I think I should have. Perhaps my problems could have been masked a little better if I had brought my own gels, but I was relying on those from the water stations, and they were not always available when I needed them.
Overall, it was a great time. I'd like to do this race again. And for the next race, I know what I can do better: prepare food and money for the morning before, bring my own gels and maybe water, and run some more long runs.
The Sunmart 50K is only 3 and a half weeks away already. It seems very short. I'd like to do another long run before then, maybe 20-22 miles, and it would have to be next week.
Above is the gang from the CLFC, chilling out by the finish line with their aches and their pains and their medals.
Listening to: The Killers - When You Were Young (Can we climb this mountain? I don't know; Higher now than ever before, I know we can make it if we take it slow.)
Rock on please.