Sunday, November 14, 2010

San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon 11/14/2010

Arriving at the Alamodome at 4:30 AM, the cops watching the parking lot
entrance were dosing off in their cars. I found a way in through the service
vehicle rear entrance. No worries, The parking pass was prominently displayed on
the dashboard. Seat reclined, the nap was short as a visit to the potty was
needed. Another little snooze and back to the potty. The two pints of water
along with a pint of Energy-C, water, and Dulse (seaweed) I consumed wanted out.
Soon the parking lot was filling up with volunteers and some runners. The
bicycle patrol, aid station attendants, and runners were making their way to the
start line.
6:30 AM and it was time to head to the start. Oh, better make one more trip to
the potty. This was a good decision. The potties at the start were being hit
hard. Long lines at every one. Met Marissa! Hadn't seen her in quite awhile.
Some catching up and the race begins. Struggling to keep a steady pace among so
many runners, then a train horn! Not yet at mile1! Not all found this hilarious.
Some showed their immaturity as we waited. Me? No big deal. Time? Not really
worried about it. Yes I want to do well. But set a PR? Naw, I've had my small
running victories. Materially and emotionally. Now I'm enjoying my effort and
people watching. Am I getting old? Yeah, probably. The train gone, and the race
resumes.

I began to wonder, will the Vegan diet I've adopted provide enough energy? Will
the homemade energy drink of coconut water, dates and agave nectar do the trick?
Cytomax at the aid stations have provided only stomach aches in the past. Two
Hammer gels and dried dates, along with the energy drink mentioned would be all
that was needed.
Being advised by a friend to run the half because of previous injuries crossed
my mind. No, going for the whole thing. At any opportunity to run on a natural
surface, there I was. At times I would jump up and down on curbs and road
medians. I'm sure some people thought I was nuts. Or showing off. I just wanted
to break up the monotony of striking the same muscles over and over. Running on
the grass and dirt when possible did provide relief to the muscles. I saw many
friends along the way. Some took my picture. Early on, the pain in my chest from
my fall last weekend,was almost unbearable. I forgot my ibuprofen. I tried to
concentrate on the pace of my breathing rather than my running pace. Wondering
if maybe I should just run the half I thought, "No negative thoughts"
Many were running with headphones. Why? There's music every 3 miles? Tons of
people are cheering along the way! In the King William area I saw Orlando and
then LIz who took my picture (Liz met Chris R. at Prickly pear and thinks he's
nuts, In a nice way) Both of them were smiling from ear to ear. This made me
feel great. As did the frail looking little old lady who stood at her drive way
waving to runners as they went by. At mile 13 I spotted a medical aid station!
Heading straight to it for some Tylenol, the attendants rushed to me as though I
was in distress. They took my name and bib number before handing the pain
reliever to me. workers at the aid station stared as I took off back into the
race. Soon the pain in my chest subsided only to be followed by pain on the top
of my left foot. My shoelaces were too tight! Instead of loosening my laces I
tried not to bend my foot too much as I pushed off. Good choice. It made me run
with a mid foot strike. Good for my PF, which gave me no trouble. Thanks
Domingo.
I had a couple of low points where I did not feel too good but knew this would
pass and convinced myself of it. Robert B was at mile 18 and I paused as he took
my picture. I was enjoying the new route until we reached S.Presa Rd. Not a good
choice I thought. Although it was marked off for the race, this road is slanted
too much and too busy. I recalled riding my bike on this road with friends as
teenagers on our way to Calaveras Lake. And again was reminded of my teen years
when the band at the river played War's "Cisco Kid". I enjoyed all the bands and
always looked forward to the next one. After mile 20 I started walking at aid
stations and thanking the volunteers.
Now at mile 23 runners were beginning to falter. Many were struggling to run at
an even pace. I was OK and only felt stiff as I walked through aid stations.
Near the end and I thought, "this is great" So many people lining the course.
Loudly offering encouragement to all the runners, and by now the walkers in the
half Marathon. Then with one mile to go I see a runner on the ground. EMT's
attending to him. So close. They will not let him finish, I thought.

Paul as Leonidas, was there with half a mile to go! And Carol, Miss Leonidas.
We high fived. Coming up the ramp to the finish, I hear people screaming my
name! Orlando and Elda, and others caught in the excitement, yell encouragement!
what a great way to finish.

4:08 official time. No Laurel wreath awaits me, but my joy is exhilarating non
the less.
I'm not crazy about road runs, But this was fun.

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