1:56:32, which is a second faster than my Timex time. Hee hee, so my P.R. drops by an extra second. This translates to an 8:53/mile pace. How cool that I ran it under 9/mile pace?
What really happened in San Antone?
I got up 5:30 that morning, hoping to jog over to the Alamo around 6:15. I figured I'd get there by 6:30, perfect time for a potty break and looking for some familiar faces. Well, the Alamo was only 2 blocks away and I got there before 6:15 and the place was pretty dark. I started looking for Keith right away and walked up and down the plaza looking for him in the dark. Despite my futility, I kept up the search for about 20 minutes. It was cold on this fateful Sunday morning so moving around to keep warm was the best action. Soon thereafter, I gave up, took a potty break and found a warm spot by the Ripley's wax museum. Just a little while later, Keith walks up to me and says "Hi." As it is, it is always great to see a familiar face before a race. It was even better seeing one away from Houston. Keith introduced me to some of his running club friends from Clear Lake. One of them asked me if my son came over with me to San Antonio. My guess is that she saw my picture from last year's Houston Marathon where I was crossing the finish line with my son. So cool to know that other folks actually ready my humble blog. While chatting with his friends at the corral, a lady next to me asked, "Hey, are you with the Woodlands Fit?"
"Why, yes I am....."
"The yellow tag on your shoes gave it away, that and I've seen you on Saturday runs..."
So neat to meet folks at the race.
The half marathon shirts were the best designed shirts I've seen. It's not a technical shirt so it wasn't great or anything but it was a deep maroon shirt with a cool graphics on the front and no sponsor logos on the back. I can wear this one and not look like a running geek. But race directors, WE LIKE TECHNICAL SHIRTS. PLEASE STOP GIVING US COTTON T'S.
Keith asked if I was going to go for a P.R. Having stayed up past midnight the night before and having succumbed to beer and runner non-friendly food the night before, I wasn't sure if that was in the plans. However, I told Keith that I was going to position myself between the 3:45 pacer and the 4:00 pacer. If I can do that, I figured the P.R. was in the bag. With the excitement of the cannon blast start, I rushed forward with incredible adrenaline. As everyone rushed forward, I maintained a fix on the 3:45 sign and followed. When 10 minutes went by, I realized I missed the first mile marker. I had no idea what my pace was. Runners around me all kept pace with the sign and it was crowded. The first 4 miles weaved through the down town area and the pack kept pretty tight. I missed mile marker 2 and 3. The Hilton hotel was where mile marker 4 was and it was there that I was going to meet up with my family. I found my family and then the mile 4 marker. Up to this point, I had kept up with the pace group.
First 4 Miles: 34:08
Mile 5: 8:44
Mile 6: 8:45
Mile 7: 8:40
Mile 8: 8:51
Mile 9: 9:00
Turn around was just past mile 9 and then I all the mile markers became the marathon markers and I got confused and was not able to hit the splits until the end.
Through 13.1: 38:23
I knew the errors of my ways but it was too hard to slow down. When my mile 5 split came in at 8:44, I was so excited that I kept going strong. Then I had a continuous strings of sub 9 minute paces and on and on.... By the turn around point at mile 9, I ran out of gas. Then it was a struggle all the way to the finish. From this point on, a desire to live and a desire to finish under 2 hours started to fight for the control of my body. The 2 hour siren call won the day.
Finishing inside the Alamodome was an interesting experience. The big jumbotron was fixed on the finish area and all the finishers were displayed. Very neat. Kudos to Starbucks for having a free coffee stand in the finish area.
I'm still sore but very content with my accomplishment. San Antonio is always a pleasure to visit and now that they got rid of the looping course, I highly recommend this race.