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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I grew up in San Antonio loving its rich history and the stories of the Alamo and other old Spanish missions. I haven’t lived there since I was 16, but I’m still enchanted by all it has to offer. So when I found out about their race that starts at the Alamo and winds its way through various historic sites such as the Riverwalk, and Mission Trail, it was a no brainer for me that I would run this race.<br><br>
The disadvantage of this race is that it is in November, which means that training for this race begins in the middle of the brutal Texas summer and race day itself could be cold, a nice cool fall day, or even what some would consider summer temperatures. There were many times in my summer training that I wondered how I could make it through. Many times when I wondered how I was ever going to accomplish my time goal when I was crawling through my training runs. My only assurance from my coach was that summer training sucked. Somehow I persisted in my stubborn attempt to not back down and eventually, the temperatures and humidity started dropping, and I started to reap the rewards of summer training. Things were looking more optimistic.<br><br>
A week before my race I started to really focus on preparations for the race; drinking more fluids, taking in more calories, getting more rest, and trying to avoid stressful situations. (which is easier said than done for a mother of 14 and 11 year olds) I loaded my mp3 player with enough songs to get me through the race and arranged them in order of various stages. This alone took a couple days of going through songs, playing them, putting them in places that I thought would benefit me the most, listening again, taking some songs out, trying to find replacements, this was serious business.<br><br>
The day before I left for San Antonio, various emails came in wishing me luck. Emails from people I hadn’t heard from in many moons, and that touched my heart! However, my favorite one said “Good luck on your race and REMEMBER THE ALAMO!” I fell out of my chair laughing. REMEMBER THE ALAMO! Yep, that was to be my motto for this race.<br><br>
Saturday morning I drove into San Antonio, picked up my childhood friend Chris, and we headed off to the expo to pick up my race packet. As we’re driving along he looks at me and says<br><br>
“If you keep running like this, you’re gonna be one of those skinny freaky looking people.”<br><br>
I was confused. “Man! You’re saying I look like a skinny freaky looking person?”<br><br>
“No, but if you keep running like this you will.”<br><br>
I emailed Marathon Princess. “Send me a picture of you” (aren’t Blackberrys wonderful)<br><br>
When I got the picture I showed him. “Does that look like a skinny freaky person to you?”<br><br>
“No.”<br><br>
As we walked towards the convention center my friend asks me “How do you know where to go?”<br><br>
“See all the people with plastic bags coming towards us? Head in that direction.”<br><br>
“None of these people look like runners. How do you know that’s what they are here for?”<br><br>
“They all have bags that have “Hammer Nutrition” on them and look at their shoes. Asics, Brooks, Saucony, those are all running shoes”<br><br>
It soon dawned on him that he had a preconceived (and misguided) notion of what runners look like and it was wrong. There were skinny people, average people, larger people, old people, and young people. The running world was all inclusive.<br><br>
After getting my race packet, and chip, and wandering around the expo briefly, I made him take me to the Olive Garden for lunch where I chowed down on Chicken Marsala in remembrance of my first half marathon in Vermont. Chris started asking me more and more questions about running and the training and it was nice that he was taking an interest when before he would tease me and give me a hard time.<br><br>
When lunch was over, we said good bye and I drove to my aunt’s house where I would be staying the night. We visited for a while and they fed me Taco Salad for dinner. Not the MOST carb loaded meal, but I’d have my bagel in the morning. We tried to figure out where they could spot me along the course or in the Alamodome where the race finishes, but neither one of us new specifics so I opted to just drive to the race by myself and they could cheer for me in spirit. With that, I headed to bed. Normally, sleep is not an issue for me, but that night I tossed and turned and don’t remember really sleeping. 4 a.m. came too early!<br><br>
One of my things about races is I like to get there early. I don’t want to have to fight the crowds for parking or race to get to my race I like to take my time getting to the start line so I can get acclimated to my surroundings and relax. I was one of the first people to arrive at the designated parking giving me easy access. All I had to do was follow the other runners to the Alamo and so I set my sights on a nice pair of calves and followed. Eventually I caught up to him and we chatted all along the way to the start and then sat and chatted some more.<br><br>
The crowd began to gather at the start line. I spotted the pacers for marathon times of 4:30 and 4:40 and thought I would settle myself in between those. People were busily chatting. The energy was high and full of laughter and in the background was the beautiful site of the Alamo glowing in the sunrise; a dream come true for me. I don’t recall thinking of anything as I stood there other than saying a short prayer for a safe injury free run. I was simply in the moment. 7 a.m. came and in true Texas style, instead of firing a gun or horn at the start, we fired a CANON! Everyone heard it, and the crowd erupted in a roar and the race began.<br><br>
The first third of the race I was just trying to get my muscles warmed up, break free of the crowd, and trying to settle into my pace. The pace was coming without effort. It was nice and I would run up to someone and keep pace with them for a while and then move on. I tried to figure out exactly where I was as I was running, looking for familiar surroundings, but the only things I recognized were sites in the distance and occasional street names. I couldn’t place in my mind where I was in the city, it had been too many years. When I came upon the first couple of water stations and saw the chaos ensuing, I was frustrated. I had heard that their water stations were not very well organized in the past and it seemed to be the case with this race as well. In fact at one point I actually had to stop and wait for someone to pour a cup for me. I was not a happy camper.<br><br>
The next third of the race, my pace was still feeling pretty good. The waters stations seemed to be getting a little more organized, and I was nearing the halfway point. My MP3 player had come into the 80s hair band section and “FIRE WOMAN” by the Cult played. I thought of Marathon Princess running down the middle of the road dancing and so I did a little of that myself for her. The direction of the course began heading east and the sun was starting to come out. Things were starting to heat up and I really needed to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, there were only 2 porta potties at each water station and the lines were long so I kept running. Maybe I could hold it. We ran through the nice shady neighborhood of the King William’s district with all their old Victorian houses and then back into the sun as we hit the mission trail. At this point I saw runners coming up a hill on their way back meaning the turn around point was close and there was a pretty significant hill that I’d have to climb around mile 10. GREAT!<br><br>
Shortly after I went down that hill we came to the first of the missions, Conception. This would be the only mission I would see during the race. At that point, I spotted 2 porta potties and no lines. 2 other runners spotted them and we were racing for them. Not a very good move. I still had to wait. Finally I found relief and began hauling ass to catch back up. Another not so smart move since I had about 5 more miles to go and a nice hill in there. Sure enough, I had expended valuable energy and my pace was dropping. I was still pretty close to my target pace, but things were getting hotter as the sun rose higher.<br><br>
At mile 9 was the turn around. 1 hill, 4 more miles, it was getting hotter, my pace wasn’t what I wanted and I was mad at myself for stopping to go to the bathroom. (even though it really was necessary) How was I supposed to do the full marathon here next year when I’m dying after two thirds of a half marathon??? We passed the Mission Conception again and I purposefully looked at it and marked it in my mind. After all, seeing these things was one reason I wanted to do this race.<br><br>
At mile 10, the hill came. My MP3 player was blaring “Set it Off” by POD. <i>Rise! Let your spirit fly! Rise! Stand up for yourself! Rise! Hold your head up high! Our time has come! SET IT OFF!</i> I dug in and some how made it up that hill. I wanted to walk, but wouldn’t let myself until the next water station which was luckily right after the hill. A cup of water in the mouth, another all over me, and off I went. No time to waste.<br><br>
The sign for mile 12 came and we all touched it as we passed. The end was near. Whether I did good or bad, the end was near. Songs that made me smile played on my MP3 player and I picked up the pace. At this point, I was near delirious with joy of seeing the Alamodome in the distance and I was gonna be happy when I came in. It was almost a wonder I wasn’t skipping at this point! People were lined up with signs along the route…I thought how lucky those runners were to have that support! As we entered the shoot into the Alamodome I let out a WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO that echoed down the hall as I passed a girl and crossed the finish line. I heard my name called, a medal was placed on my neck, a bottle of water was put in my hand and my chip was taken! It was done.<br><br>
Official chip time was 2:17:04…a 5 minute PR!
 

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You rock babe!!!!!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Loved the race report and I am so proud of you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Chele! - Girl, you were two hours away! I would have come to support you! I've never been to a race that big before. Would have been fun! Great great race report and PR too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well...how bout you come in January to Houston! That's on 3 hours away and the race is much bigger than San Antonio!
 

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great job Chele<br><br>
I looked up the results and was curious why the multiple women's winner didn't win when she can easily run 2:49. She collapsed at mile 24. Apparently she ran a 2:30 3 weeks ago and caught something on the way home and still tried to win SA Marathon for the umpteenth time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jan 13
 

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Well lookie, lookie!! It's Shell!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
GREAT JOB on the PR!!! You did awesome!! I am so proud of you!!<br><br>
Miss you!! {{{SHELL}}} It feels like it has been forever!!
 

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CHele!!!! 5 minute PR!!!! YOU ROCK!!! Great job toughing in out there girl. That's my Texan!<br>
Loved the part about wretching over the musical selection. Did the same thing pre-marathon and it went right down to the wire! LOL. You did awesome. Nice job!<br><br>
Stop over once in a while stranger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks CJ
 

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Shell!!!!! That sounds like a great race to run - congratulations you did awesome!!!!!!!<br><br>
Way to tough it out and keep going.<br><br>
How will you run the full next year? Because with every run you're getting stronger, so just keep training - great race and RR!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Anything past 13 seems impossible right now...once I get past that in training, then it'll seem more plausible!
 

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Congratulations, Chele! What a great race for you -- and a great RR, too! It doesn't seem that long ago that you were agonizing about getting beyond 5 miles, because that was where you had gotten injured. You've had a great year running!<br><br>
What's next?
 

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5 minutes is huge! Congrats on your PR! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank ya Jen and Lynette...one more half marathon and the big M next year
 

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SHELL!!!!!!!!!! awesome Race!!! You are getting so fast!!! You have come so far, from your 5 mile intimidation! and, the BIG M next year!!! I am so glad to hear it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rock The Casbah!
 
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