Wow! Let me just say...anyone who has ever competed in a half marathon, full marathon, triathalon or any similar event, I now have a whole new respect for you. The race was both amazing and awful at the same time.
We woke up at 5 a.m. on Sunday and were out the door by 6 a.m. We walked to the convention center in downtown San Antonio to catch a bus to the starting line. We waited in line for an hour by the time the bus dropped us and we made our way towards the starting line they blew the gun for the first corral to go. Luckily, Tamara was in corral 9, I was in corral 12 and Kristi was in corral 21. We had to take a quick potty brake between some poor individual's home and a fence because the port-a-potty lines were at least 20 people deep. By the time we stepped to the starting line they were on corral 7. So we had just enough time to stretch and calm our nerves. We all decided to start together in Tamara's corral. I know this may be a no no to some of you, but there were people with all sorts of bib numbers so we didn't feel too bad. The first several miles I was just overwhelmed with emotion. It was such a cool experience to be running with so many people. I think I heard that 31,000 people had signed up for the race, 26,000 actually showed up that morning and cross the starting line and only 20,000 people made it to the finish line. CrAzY! I kept fighting the tears back the first few miles. Seeing people run with signs like, "I'm A Survivor" or "In Memory Of...". I just feel so blessed to be able to have had the experience and I thank God every day that I am healthy enough to get out there and run. I started off ahead of my two friends and then Tamara and I fell in together after I stopped at the first water station. I heard someone say there was like 94% humidity when we started the race at 7:30 a.m. The temperature felt great, but as the sun begin to come out the hotter and more humid it got. Tamara and I ran together for probably the first 5 miles and were keeping a great pace, but I stopped at EVERY water station so we got separated at some point after mile 5. I hit a wall around mile 11, but picked up my pace from mile 12 to mile 13. However, the finish line was a huge hill and I slowed it way down for the last stretch. I had NOTHING left at the finish, but I didn't walk once and I FINISHED MY FIRST HALF which is a great feeling! It took me a while to recover afterwards. My second toenails on both feet were REALLY bothering me and when we finally got back to the hotel and I got my shoes off I saw why...they were purple and I'm 90% sure I'm going to lose them. Small price to pay I guess!
I'm pretty sore today, mainly in my back. The hot tub is calling my name!
Here are a few pictures...please ignore the sweaty glow and lack of make-up.
This was on Saturday before we left to get our registration packets. We stayed at Hotel Indigo downtown. I HIGHLY recommend this place. This lovely, chic boutique hotel was conveniently located and the service was superb!
Here we are Sunday morning pre-race.
Tamara and me, post-race.
And me with my #1 fan. She has missed very few of my races, so we figured we better not start now.
Lastly, the three of us, post-race.
Chip Time: 2:18:40
Overall Place: 6901/20021, Gender Place: 3190/12585, Division Place: 403/1109
I didn't make my goal time, which, for my first race, I'm totally ok with. I don't think I'll be ready for another half anytime soon. The spring may be the earliest I feel up to another event of that magnitude. But, I can look back on this race with pride. It's like a sign I saw someone holding during the race said, "Your legs will forgive you...eventually."
*Ok, those descriptions are in order for the pictures at the top of my post. Anyone have any idea why when I upload pictures they're now in code form (aldkja;fa'da) instead of showing the actual picture? So, I'm unable to move them around, but they show up normal after I publish the post??? Strange...*