5 years strong and going of 26.2’s in different states!
Usually before a marathon, I make sure to have my pre-marathon meal of chips and salsa.
This year, I just needed to sleep.
I’d been going seemingly non-stop with lots of work hours and moving into my new apartment and just all this stuff.
So, I needed sleeeeep.
After the 10k, I grabbed some nearby food, picked up my marathon bib for the next day, and headed back to the hotel.
There was a pantry place where you could buy snacks. So, I bought a few packs of Doritos and went back to my room and slept. I slept practically the whole day and night away, just getting up every once in a while and eating Doritos.
(I didn’t want to overeat… But I knew I would need fuel for the race… And I didn’t have that many packs of Doritos.)
Finally, the morning came and I was a little unsure what to wear.
It had been so wet outside the day before, and the forecast called for even more rain.
I have Under Armour gear that I love. Heck, I did a 50k in it in the rain and hail.
But it was so cold in San Antonio! And so consistently rainy. I was worried that wouldn’t be enough.
So, I put on multiple layers – and wore my coat.
Thank goodness I had a coat!
Had this been a year where I was living (full-time) in Los Angeles, I wouldn’t have even thought to bring one. After all, I didn’t own one at the time. And I was going to Texas. Who would’ve though it would be cold?
Well, it was. So, thank goodness for my coat.
The one thing I wasn’t wearing, that I felt a bit of sad nostalgia for not wearing, was my friend’s bandana from the time he was fighting in Afghanistan. I’ve worn it in every marathon since my first one. And in the midst of moving and having some stuff everywhere (in a storage unit, some stuff in my new apartment, some stuff with friends, even in other states, and on and on, I just wasn’t able to get it before I went to Texas.
But also, everything’s a mess and it happens. I mean, I barely was able to find my “Who’s Bad” hat in the midst of everything in storage. (And Ty wasn’t mad in the least about his bandana not getting one marathon.)
Singing the National Anthem before the race started was really fun. I met the City Manager who’d come out to support everyone. And she was very nice.
And before you knew it, it was time to start the race.
I was slightly scared about this race, because I’ve heard many times if you can’t keep up in Rock ‘n’ Roll races that they rope off parts of the course and divert you. So, you’re cutting off miles before you even know it.
And being that I’ve promised myself I’d run a marathon every calendar year for the rest of my life – and that I couldn’t, in good conscience, count a marathon toward that goal if I knew it wasn’t truly 26.2… and being that it was December(!)… I was gonna be in trouble if I didn’t make it to cutoffs in time!
My phone is on its very last leg, and had totally died during the race (even with putting it on airplane mode and being fully charged in the morning). Thankfully when I made it to mile 19, that was the beginning of a loop that came back around. And the person manning the 21 mile timing mat had a van with him and charged my phone while I looped around.
I was so happy to have music back once I got to the 21-mile mark. Yee haw!
I was doing pretty okay-ish for most of the race, but I took what felt like forever to get through that loop.
The miles felt longer (even though almost certainly they weren’t). It just felt like that loop was never ending.
And – yet again – as though I didn’t learn my lesson in SF to not use the bathroom, I stopped to use the bathroom! (This time there was no line, though.)
I don’t remember usually stopping during marathons to use the bathroom. I gotta start eating differently, I guess… Anyway.
At least what felt like my two longest miles were the ones in which my phone was charging. Let’s just say my lack of energy was all on purpose so I could let my phone charge as long as possible. Why not?
I got my phone back and started blasting my jams (Carly Rae Jepsen a lot) as I went the rest of the way.
And then, I saw the sag wagon behind me.
It was scary how it just came up behind us all.
I always thought I’d have more of a warning if that happened… I mean, I did see it in the distance. So, I tried to run away from it. And yet, one minute it seemed pretty far away. The next it seemed within striking distance of me. dum dum duuuuuuum [scary chords]
In between mile twenty-four and twenty-five (so we are seriously nearing the home stretch here). This man comes out of the sag wagon to collect us.
He runs up behind me with a really cheery peppy attitude and nicely says, “Hey, I’m gonna give you a.. [oh, I forget what word he used… boost? nudge? – something positive-ish sounding, but we all know it’s not…]. And even though he was being the nicest, I whipped around and turned my head to him as though I was in that movie The Exorcist. I yelled at him, “I’ll die first!”
And he said, “Okay, then you better start running. You’re about 5 minutes behind pace.” He pointed to a stoplight not terribly far in the distance (but far enough). He said, “Just make it to that stoplight. Not that first one, but the one after. We need to close this street. You turn at that stoplight and if you can make it there and turn, I won’t pick you up.”
So I run as though I’m trying to get on the Olympic team… Having the sag wagon behind me feels the same as having a terrifying villain behind me in a horror movie. I go for it.
And [eeeeeeeew, gross alert]. As, I run faster, all my blisters start popping. I can feel them in my shoes. Ow, my feet.
Thankfully, I made it to the stop light and turn. The sag wagon drives ahead of me and lets off the people it’s picked up. But I eventually catch up to most of them.
Once I get see mile marker 25, I know it’s all celebration mile from here. I love the final mile.
The sag wagon cheerleader guy even passes alongside of me and looks back, kind of winking/waving and says something like, “Great job,” in a really fun/inside joke kind of way.
I feel so bad that I came off so mean. But he seemed to agree that it made us best friends. So, yay!
At the end of the race, of course my phone was dead all over again. (Hence, why the finisher pic I had of myself is me in the hotel jacuzzi.)
I got my remix medal (for doing the 10k and marathon in the same weekend). And I got my sweet finisher jacket they were giving out. This is the first marathon I’ve done that gives out free finisher jackets – and I. am. into. them!
Then I went by the medic tent to ask if they weren’t too super busy if they wouldn’t mind helping out with my feet…
[Ew alert again.] We all were pretty surprised at the amount of blisters on my feet. And apparently something about all the wetness everywhere in the world from all the rain made them even worse. But they very nicely bandaged my feet up.
Then I headed back to my hotel. As I waited for a cab (at a hotel by the finish), I asked the taxi stand guy (I’m sorry I don’t know the name of that position, really) what I should do if I’m from out of town. And he was like, “it’s so rainy. Just go enjoy your hotel.”
It was rainy. Even Sea World closed. (Not that I was going to go to Sea World – especially for a half day or less, and especially after I’d already gone in San Diego…)
Either way, San Antonio was tired. i was tired. I went back to my hotel, hung out in the hot tub, pigged out on some food, and went to bed. then I flew into New York and went straight into work the next day.
Another race complete! Woot!