Monday, November 18, 2013

That time I nearly sh!t my pants and more race recap deets

So yeah, I always wondered how runners sh!t their pants during a run, and I now I know. They have no control of it! Let me just start by saying that this race suuuuuucked!

If you've read my blog for a while, you know that my half training round 2 has been plagued with injury (sports hernia), sickness (sinus/upper respiratory infection with a pinched nerve), heat (almost ALL the time, and humidity (imagine running in a vat of soup), so why would I ever think race day would be any different?! Despite all of this, I still remained hopeful that the San Antonio Rock n Roll Half would still be a great race day for me. That is until I woke up to 72 degrees and 94% humidity... at 6:30 in the morning. As a side note, San Antonio would later go on to have a record high day at 88*.

Major WOMP WOMP! Still, I thought, "I can do this, I may still be able to make my adjusted goal time of 2:10." I just kept chanting John 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

We got to the hotel on Saturday after hitting up the Expo (which was super lame btw), unloaded our bags and set out to find some grub. Ah carb loading, probably my favorite part of race weekend :) We quickly realized that a) there were only 2 Italian joints on the Riverwalk and b) the waits were atrocious if you didn't make a reservation. Uhh, yeah we didn't make a reservation. Luckily, we started our hunt fairly early (around 6p) and after an hour and a half wait, we finally got to feast on some delicious pasta. OK, if we're being real, the pasta was just meh, but considering I NEVER eat pasta anymore (paleo, holla!), it was pretty good! I guess most of the food on the Riverwalk are just meh, you're pretty much just there for the atmosphere. We finished up, stuffed to the gils, and made our way back to the hotel, laid out all my gear for in the morning, and hit the hay for an early night.

Well hello there Alamo!

The next morning, I woke up and got ready to go, a little deflated to see that the temperature was nearly 72 degrees and the humidity was a staggering 94%... yeah. J and I finished getting ready and made our way down to the lobby where I downed a banana and some PB toast (which the nice people at Einstein Bros made for me) before heading toward the corrals. The lobby was buzzing with energy and optimism, and I let it pump me up. We made it to the corrals (33 of them to be exact, with no real rhyme or reason for how they were divided up, I was in 6), and figured I'd get a potty break in before the start. This place was a mad house! There must have been a million port a potties and the line for all of them was a mile long!

I finally made it through, took care of bit-ness and ran, dodging people left and right, to get to my corral before the start, but alas I had to jump in with corral 8 because I missed the start for mine - whatevs. By then, I had already drank almost half the water in my bottle, and there was NO WHERE to re-fill. So I knew I would be stopping at several water stations. The only good thing I can say about the race at this point was that it was cloudy, so I had that going for me.

I started out pretty good, working hard to keep my pace around 10 min mile, as I have a bad habit of going way too fast at the beginning of a race and then burn myself out. Things weren't going so well for others, however. About a mile and a half in, I already saw people stopping to walk, stopping to stretch, and people already drenched in sweat! No bueno! I was trucking along trying to stay positive and focused on my breathing and my pace, rockin' out to my jams (cuz the Rock n Roll portions of the race left much to be desired). But in spite of my focused breathing, I had side cramps off and on the ENTIRE race - it sucked!

And then mile 6/7 came along. Ugh, one word... HILLS! Ugh, shoot me, it was awful! There were seriously 3 hills in a row and I thought I was going to die! I totes walked up the first 2, and by mile 8/9 I knew there was no way I was going to make my goal time. You see, in addition to the hills, I was feeling the all too familiar abdominal cramps. Yup, there was a little shituation a brewing. Lovely. At that point my new and only goal was to beat my first half time of 2:24:48, oh and not sh!t my pants.

It continued to get hotter and hotter, and I was stopping at every single water/Gatorade station, and grabbing 2 or 3 cups! I was chugging it, praying that it would some how give me the magical powers I needed to finish the race. Thank God for the awesome people along the race spraying us with water - It.Was.Awesome! And just what I needed to keep going! Several times I wondered if what I was feeling in my downstairs was a case of swamp a$$, or if I had actually done the unthinkable! I was mortified at the thought! It had never been this intense before. I was all, "This butt is on fi-yah". Too much? Yeah probably. Mkay, moving right along... At mile 12, I began to doubt if I was even going to PR and was feeling like a total failure :( Finally, the end was in sight, and I had every intention of using every last ounce of energy I could muster and push out that last mile as fast as I could. Boy was that a joke. I would sprint, and about 200 yds later have to stop, huffing and puffing. I would do a little self talk and try again. That last mile, I felt like the little engine that could. Less than a half mile left, I saw this poor woman on the side of the course surrounded by medics and thought how depressing it would be to give everything you have, and come that far, just to go down right there at the finish! There were people who were dropping like flies all throughout the race, but right there, right at the end, how much would that SUCK?! Eying my watch, I started jogging and worked up to the fastest my worn out body would let me go and kept going all the way to the finish line. My head was on a swivel, not looking for the hubs, but rather a port a potty. And wouldn't you know, there was not a single one ANYWHERE! What the hell?! So I rushed through the finishers corral, grabbed my medal, a water, a Gatorade, a chocolate milk, and a banana. Whew, that's a lot of liquid! My hands were full, but I would have dropped it all and hauled ass to a bathroom had I seen one! FINALLY, it was like the clouds parted and the sun shone down on the glorious blue rectangle, alas I had made it to the land o port-a-potties! I b-lined it, and thank God, there was no line! I took care of business and then discovered there was no tp. REALLY?! I mean REALLY?! Are you freakin' kidding me?! Ah, but you see, they were handing out these nice ice cold towels to put around your neck, and you best believe I made other use of it :) I totes realize that all of this is TMI, only my runner peeps will truly understand and empathize with me! I felt like a new woman, a woman who in fact DID NOT sh!t her pants! FTW! Ahh, now to find the hubs and get my free beer!


I wasn't for sure what my official time was, but I knew it was within seconds of my first half time, which is super weird. I finally met up with Jason, who had been tracking me on his phone, and found out that my time was 2:24:46.


Major WOMP WOMP! To say that this race was a humbling experience would be an understatement, but to see the pride in Jason's eyes as he looked at me, in all my sweaty, tired, and spent, glory, I managed to find just a little pride in myself.

My bathroom woes continued for the next couple hours, but after an ice bath and a nap, they finally subsided, and we were able to salvage the rest of the day with some delicious Pappasitos fajitas. I'm pretty sure they make everything better!

Later that night, I looked up what my time was for my first half, and could NOT believe it...

I did indeed PR, by 2 freakin' seconds y'all! TWO SECONDS!!!! How cray is that?! My time in the Metro PCS Dallas Half Marathon last December was 2:24:48, unbelievable! But hey, a PR's a PR, right?! Take the victories where you can!

That night, we decided to hit up a comedy club, and as fate would have it, we sat next to a couple who had also ran the RnR Half, AND were parents of 20 year old twins AND had also adopted a child when their twins were 3 and half. Cue the Twilight Zone music here. THEN, as if that weren't weird enough, the comedian had this whole joke series about adopting. So weird!

All in all, I probably won't do the San Antonio RnR again, but I am glad I did it, if only to remind me get my butt in gear! I am hopeful that the Austin 3M Half Marathon in January will yield better running conditions and a better outcome! As for now, I think I will take most of the week off, maybe get a recovery run in on Wednesday or Thursday as I contemplate whether I want to continue on with marathon training, or ditch that idea!

I hope everyone else who raced this weekend had a better experience than I did! Hope you all have a most excellent week! Stayed tuned, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW!!! So excited!


1 comment:

  1. lol love the I didn't shit my pants pic. I was lucky and didn't get sick until after I was done with mine AND there was still TP TG!