I came back to San Antonio to redeem myself—- to not end up in the medical tent with heat stroke! I chose to run the half instead of the full this year, and my race was paid for by Team Refuel. YAY! I would also be meeting up with some of my Got Chocolate/Team Refuel teammates and of course have my family/friends hometown support.
Lets begin this hot mess……….. I fly out of NYC in cold temps. NYC had its first snowfall, lows were in the 20s and SA was apparently having a “cold front” …… ha! that means 40 degrees at night and 70 by day. And that only lasted 24 hours. Everyone kept saying it might cooler this year — i knew it wasnt. I kept checking temps and it was getting hotter everyday. I was still excited and not to worried about the heat, I’ve been down this road before…….the other part of my excitement was having a bunch of my running cousins in town for the race. The Running Reina’s, including former Olympian Reuben (below in pic w/me), would all be running/racing. We all hung out the day before and I can’t think of anything else I would rather do on a Saturday morning. We talked running porn for a couple hours. I LOVED it! Fueling on breakfast tacos!!
The newspaper had written a couple stories on the Running Reinas coming to town and one of the articles mentioned me! eeeeeeeep! I am not worthy hahahaha. super cool & exciting tho, and at least one of the Reina’s was here to compete—- Rio . He ran the Half and placed 5th overall!
Race morning — hot hot hot. I was sweating getting in the car, it was only 6am. I had my dad drop me off as close as possible, I didn’t want to waste any energy. It was 75 degrees w/ 90% humidity at start (7:30am). One of the perks of Team Refuel – we get the VIP tent before race. Which means we get our own porta potties, sunblock, food (lots of it), drinks, beer, CHOCOLATE MIlK and fancy toilet paper. ha ha just kidding, same toilet paper (thats for you rachel!)
My ‘warm up’ was the 10 min jog to my corral. My goal was to run 7:40 pace— I maintained my fitness level since Toronto but humidity can wipe you out…. which it did- AGAIN. I tried to ease my pace the first couple miles but its sooooo hard to do when its flat & warm. Why is it so hard to master that?! At mile 2 my cousin, Nick the Honeybadger Bandit was waiting to jump in with me.
I quickly handed him my bottle of heed and told him he was my mule. I was already feeling the heat and we barely had run 3 miles!!!!!! He was instructed to pull me back if I started picking up the pace…… we stayed around 8 min pace and the big surprise came at mile 5…. Hills— what?! then another hill….. and another and another and another….. OMG. I heard the course was new this year but I didn’t bother to look at the map. I mean why– S.A. is flat, especially downtown where the race is…. oh but they found the five hills in downtown SA and routed the course thru them. I had totally forgotten about the hills at Trinity. Short STEEEEP hills…… Nick kept reminding me to slow down, which I didn’t….. I kept my pace. They were so freeking tough. I felt like i was breathing with a wet towel over my face. taking huge deep breaths, um was I running in altitude or something? oh no wait– its called HUMIDITY!!!! ugh. The only thing saving us was the cloud cover. Sun was playing peekaboo. After the hills I had a spurt of energy when I saw my parents and it was back to feeling sluggish. I didn’t want to tell Nick I felt like crap so I just sucked it up… but MAAN I felt like crap. Some fans were handing out beer and I wanted to grab one but Nick the Bandit said nooooo. Damn him. I was still trying to have fun. We laughed & I was amazed how “tough” this was, yet again SA is kicking my arse. Since I couldn’t keep a 7:40 pace my plan was to stay sub 8’s and try to push the last few miles. hahahah yeh right…. mile 9 I looked back and saw the 1:45 pace bunny not far behind. holy moly that wasnt good. Here I thought even if i went “slow” I would easily run a 1:40…… seeing that pace bunny made me pick up the pace. The last 3 miles was all gut. The heat was making me nausea ( I still didn’t tell nick), I was getting goosebumps (not a good sign!) and I was so happy not to be doing the full marathon. The last mile I kicked as hard as my tired body would go. Police yelled at Nick to get off the course, ha ha, BANDIT, I saw more family and started pumping my arms.
Lots of runners were passing out at the finish. Complete carnage. Temps were ridic, sun was now out, no hiding behind the clouds. I grabbed every type of fluid, water, gatorade, jamba juice, chocolate milk, beer, my hands were full. I threw wet towels over my head, face, neck, stood in the shade, ate a banana and quickly started feeling better.
I managed to avoid the medical tent— barely! I finished in 1:44 placing 5th in my AG Div, not what I wanted but happy I pushed thru. Ran a 7:57 pace and the last 3 miles I negative split. It turns out SA had record heat again, worse than last year. Temps soared to 89 with 90% humidity. I mean, seriously?! The medical director cut short the route for hundreds of marathoners. They didn’t want to risk more injuries so many who did the full only ran 20 miles. And hundreds dropped down to the half and many others stopped past the half way mark and were driven to the finish. SA RnR officially moved the race to Dec 7th next year hoping it will help… doubt it. Global warming people!! I know for a fact I still wear shorts when I come home in December. So I think I am done trying to redeem myself at this race. Shout out to all my awesome family who woke up early to cheer me on. Love y’all!!