Monday, November 12, 2012

San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon Recap

Long story short, I sucked.  And no, it's not because of my ankle - that didn't bother me until mile 9.  But my head just wasn't in this race after a few miles, and I ended up walking most of it.  Ugh...not what I set out to do, but I just could not get into the run.  It was a pretty tense and miserable experience, as you might imagine.  I really don't know what to say - I seem to be having a rough time, mentally, when it comes to races...combination of anxiety and I don't know what else, but it was all me, and it's not something I'm happy about.  Honestly, if I don't get it together soon, I'm not going to bother with racing anymore - walking a half marathon (not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's what you set out to do in the first place) is not what I want to be doing.  I've trained, I've been running, I had a great 11 mile run a couple of weeks ago.  But I couldn't even get myself to do half of that today, running-wise, and it made for a really long, disappointing race.

This is obviously not what I hoped to come and write about, and I'm too tired to try and wrap my brain around whatever issues are causing me to fail myself like I did, so I'll leave it at that and move on to a quick recap of the race.


This was the fifth Rock and Roll race for San Antonio, and I have to say, it was done really well.  The expo was great - packet pickup was easy and not crowded at all when we got there (around 10:45 Saturday morning), they had lots of great vendors, the Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities was fun (and we both won T-shirts), we got to see fourth place Olympic marathoner Meb Keflezighi, and enjoyed shopping around, all the while walking on a carpeted floor - nice touch, not making the runners kill their feet on concrete right before the race.

The race was huge - take a look at the map of the starting area (click to expand it):
See the start line?  We were in corral 26...all the way down the street, around the corner, and halfway down THAT street!  

They started each corral individually, with about 30 seconds in between each - we were slowly moved closer to the start line, and when they finally counted us down to start, it was great because we weren't all mashed together and I didn't feel like anyone was particularly in my way (nor I in theirs) - smoothest start I've had, or seen, in such a big race.

The course had tons of support, from water and Gatorade stations throughout, to people spraying water to cool the runners, salt packets, Vaseline for any chafing, GU was liberally handed out (yes, we took advantage since both flavors were Jeff's favorite), cold sponges close to the end, and of course, the bands along the route.  Oh, and the course was flat for most of the way, which irritated me even more that I wasn't enjoying running it! 

It was hot and sunny - 75 degrees when we crossed the start line at 8:05 am.  Plus the sun was beating down on us...although I'm used to running in heat and humidity, we normally get most of it done before the sun rises so we don't have to deal with a fireball in the sky making you even hotter.  Occasionally we'd get a nice cool breeze, which was wonderful.  I was dumping water down my back so the breeze felt even better.  I wore sunscreen on my face and neck, but still ended up slightly pink.  Being outdoors in South Texas in November - par for the course, really.

And now, some pictures - not a lot, as once things went south neither Jeff nor I were much in the mood to take any. 
Tower of the Americas silhouetted in the sunrise as we walked toward the starting area.
Thousands of our closest friends?  LOL - this is just a small amount of the runners there.
Julia, Coach Will and I, ready to Rock and Roll! 
Gotta love a shoe picture!
Jeff and I, in happier times...
Much later, Will, Jeff and I went to Red Robin, where a burger, fries and iced tea made us feel human again.
Here's my medal.  It's really nice - love the Texas flag guitar and all, but I don't feel like I deserve nor earned it.


  1. Ive been waiting for this post.
    and you know what I wanna do.
    let loose.

    Im so so so sorry it was a sucky tense miserable time.


  2. First: you totally deserved the medal. If you feel you don't deserve it for the race (which I do), you definitely deserve it for all the training hours you put in to this.

    I feel for you girl, but I get you too. Been there, done that. I have the same thing with races and I haven't decided yet if I ever race again, maybe some 5K's. The disappointment after all the hard work put in, isn't nice at all.

    For what it's worth: I think you did great, I'm proud of you especially since it's been such a long way for you to get to racing day. You're my rock 'n roll rockstar!

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  4. You totally deserved that medal. Sometimes the best part of life is the journey and not necessarily the destination.

  5. It was hot, sunny and humid - that's a setup for misery right there. You are probably still reeling from all the bad news about your ankle last week. You might be feeling like your body is betraying you after all the hard work you put in to get it healthy (oh, how I know that feeling!). And all of that is more than enough to mess with your head.

    That doesn't change the fact that you did the race -- 13.1 miles! -- and all the hard training that came before it -- not to mention your whole "journey to fit." All those people sleeping snugly in their beds while you're out, day after day, putting in miles before sunrise -- they couldn't do a fraction of what you did yesterday (or all those days/years prior!)

    You totally earned that medal, and don't let those stupid voices inside your head tell you any different!

  6. Great photos. You look happy in your photo with your husband. Love that photo. Sorry the experience wasn't what you planned due the injury. Maybe as time passes, the answers and next steps will reveal themselves. Safe travels and healing.

  7. You totally earned that medal; wear it with pride!

    Here is my unsolicited advice: maybe what you aren't is a competitive runner. You have explained and shown us that you are a social runner, that you love running with others more than by yourself. Your goal is to beat your own times and continue improving, but that's not the same as being competitive, you know? Longer races bring out more competitive runners, and maybe that's what makes you tense and anxious.

    You always have such joy in the 5Ks, why not continue them? You can run longer distances with your club and on your own, but if you don't feel comfortable competing in the longer races, who says you have to? Not everyone has to keep running further and further; maybe it's just as much of an accomplishment to run faster and faster in the shorter races.

    Just me thinking out loud!

  8. You earned that metal. You came back from an ankle injury, surgery and months of training to get to this point. Don't tell me you didn't deserve to take home that medal.

    I am sorry the race didn't go as you wanted to. {{Hugs}}

  9. You earned every piece of that medal Shelley. You were not a spectator on the side lines, you were actively participating, and while I know this isn't the race result you wanted, you didn't give up, even if you walked most of it.

    Now had you walked off and headed straight to Red Robin, that would be another story.

    You rock Shelley! (get it? rock and roll half marathon!) Ha! Hugs!

  10. What everyone else said. Every endeavor can't be a mountaintop experience! You're the best, Shelley.

  11. I'm so sorry it was a disappointing experience. The longer we look forward to something, the more possibility for disappointment? And you know me. I couldn't (or wouldn't ) walk 13.1 miles now, so you ARE a rock star in my book.

  12. Aw shoot. I am disappointed that you are disappointed. Dang, I was so excited for you to enjoy this one.

  13. Oh, I'm sorry, that's a bummer. I don't run; wonder what causes that. I'm sure the heat is never a bonus.
    Sounds like it was a well organized race with some very positive elements.

    I hope/assume Jeff was supportive. It just occurred to me that this is probably a painful post to be getting comments on, & thereby rehashing it, so ima change the topic! Hey-Thanksgiving is approaching! Do you have some fall decor up? Any chance your parents can come in?

    Big hug!! Chrissy

  14. I am obviously with all the other folks who think you totally deserve the medal for all kinds of reasons, including the training, the showing up, and the finishing even when it sucked!

    However, I SO know that feeling of disappointment and "not into it" -ness. And as crappy as it feels, it's almost always part of a cycle that opens new doors and brings amazing things into my life that wouldn't have happened were it not for the sucky part.

    I have a feeling you are about to shake something up or even just discover a new perspective that will make you GLAD the race sucked so bad!

  15. You do deserve that medal. I just wanted you to know that I follow your blog, and you have inspired me to train for my first half marathon - slowly - it is not until April. But yours is the best running blog I have found, always inspirational. Because you don't just post stats or races and because your goals are high but not unatainable. I agree with Crabby. Just when you think things are at the worst, something happens, an opportunity, a new point of view. Thank you for being so honest.

  16. YOU DO NOT SUCK. You are wonderful, encouraging, inspiring to so many, a beautiful woman, friend, wife, mother.

    So, you had a bad day. A race that wasn't. Meh, it happens. I'm so sorry that it happened to you. You deserve the medal for finishing - gutting it out when you really didn't want to. Personally, now that I know you struggled, I think you actually did great.

    But you do not suck. Not even a little. {{{{Hugs}}}}

  17. Hugs.
    Everyone has a race like that. You know that. You are a runner and you do NOT suck. You just had a suck day. Big difference. You know you can do it because you've done it before AND you've trained. Shrug this one off and go out there nad have fun.

    Sorry it was a bad race for ya. But better ones will be around the corner.

  18. Shelley-
    I haven't been around here for a bit, but knew you were running and wanted to see how it went. I am sorry you had a bad day. I am not going to give you a pep talk, I am sure you don't want to hear it. Just know that I've been there, I get it and I'm with you.

  19. I am sorry you weren't happy with your race, never feels good. But all the training never goes to waste, and certainly earned you that medal. Great work leading up to the race and continuing to train. Don't let it get you down!

  20. Sending a hug hug your way!!!! Sorry the race wasn't the best experience for you. Hope you feel better today, and I think you deserved that medal more now than if you sailed through it. Most of us would have quit, but you dug deep and crossed the finish line. YOu are awesome!!!!!!

  21. You probqably put too much pressure on yourself. A race is just a run that you get a medal for. And you finished it. You will do better next time...yes, I think you need a next time. I also would recommend doing a lot of smaller will get more comfortable with the pressure of a race. The more you race, the more bad ones you will have. Also the nore you race, the more good ones there will be. I know you can do it. I hope you don't let it get you down.

  22. Of course you earned that medal (and it is a cool looking medal). You finished the half marathon. Just remember what an inspiration you are to many of us. Many times when I don't feel like running or even going for a walk, I read one of your posts and it helps push me out the door.

  23. Awe I'm so sad that it didn't go how you wanted it to. But that is one cool looking medal and you deserve it girl! You trained for it and you crossed the finish line. In my books that gets you a medal. I ran my furthest distance today - 5 miles. I'm proud of that. I can't imagine running the distances that you do! You are amazing and don't forget it.

  24. I'm on the list with everyone else. You totally deserve this medal. It was horridly hot and the final hill was obnoxious. You so earned the medal. Wear it with pride!

  25. Sorry the race didn't work out. Wonderful pics, thanks for sharing.

  26. I'm sorry the race sucked. I've had to walk when injured and it just feels like it takes forever especially when you want to be running. Maybe you just like running for running and not for racing. There is nothing wrong with that especially when you get to wear such great outfits.

  27. DONT YOU DARE say you didnt earn that medal!!! You may feel like you had a crappy race, BUT you didnt quit!! You kept moving for 13.1 miles!! (probably closer to 14 with that coral back around the corner) You did more than most Americans did!! Learn from it, and move on!!! And wear that medal with pride!!!


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