San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon – 3 December 2017

This was my last race of 2017 after a long but productive race season.  I visited my family and friends for the holidays so figured I’d race while I was home.

Pre-Race – I had brunch on Saturday with some friends and ate some egg dish, so nothing too heavy.  My friend Lexa took me to the race expo to show me the best parking spots and we scoped out the area.  For dinner, I ate Italian with Suzy and had a Veal Parmesan, so nothing too heavy.  I ended up staying up until ~1230am playing World of Warcraft and preparing my gear.  I got up around 430am, grabbed 2 bananas and coffee, then headed out.  I got to parking downtown at 545am then walked over to meet Lexa and her run crew.  We did some band warmups and dynamic drills then I got a quick run in.  The weather was so humid that I was already warmed up and my heart rate was high (100-110 bpm) before the race started.  I snuck to the restroom at the last minute then worked my way through to Corral #1 and waited.  We went off around ~720am.

Weather – terribly humid, overcast and not too hot, with some sprinkles of rain before the race started.

Run – I’ll break this up a bit:

Mile 1-3:  I let all the fast kids go while I malingered in the back and focused on settling in a good pace.  I focused on staying under a 6:40 min/mile pace and going from there.  Nothing too hard, but my heart rate was already redlining towards 180, so I knew this would run would hurt.  I took a lot of water and gatorade during the first 3 aid stations to prepare for the onslaught ahead.

Mile 4-6: I had settled in a rhythm and started picking folks apart.  A lot of people went out way too fast and were gassing out, so I dropped them and kept my pace consistent.  We didn’t hit any hills at this point so my goal was to focus on keeping my hip drive alive and using arms to gain momentum.  This still needs a lot of work but it’s coming.

Mile 7-10:  We got a nice splash of rain around mile 7-8 so the humidity went down a bit and we got to cool off.  My legs were starting to feel the beatdown and my form was breaking down, so I just kept focusing on pushing forward.  I still continued to take lots of water and gatorade from the aid stations.

Mile 11-13:  We hit some gnarly hills that knocked the wind out of me and hurt my pace.  Another runner that I had passed made a move and surged at mile 11 so we battled it out a bit.  Thanks to the hills, we had a series of descents.  At mile 11.5, we both started turning on the afterburners but he dropped me as I couldn’t hang.  I managed to pass several other folks during the last half mile as they were gassed.  I sprinted through the finish line and I was cooked.

Final Time – 1:26:48 (PR)

Race file is here

Strava Results is here

Official results aren’t up yet, I’ll post those once the link goes live.

***Update***

Official Results are up – 9th AG, 55th OA – link here

Conclusions / Misc:

  1. Here are the splits from Garmin (link here)

Of note, I redlined this entire run and barely kept it under 180.  If this was in California or somewhere not as humid, my HR either would have been lower at this pace or I would have had a faster pace at the same HR.  I don’t do well in humidity and I’m glad it wasn’t too hot…otherwise I would’ve crumbled hard.  The pace had fallen off a bit at mile 10 and 11 when we hit the hills, but sped up quite nicely on the last 2 miles due to the descents.

2.  I hadn’t weighed myself since the end of September so I had assumed I only put on 1-3 pounds.  However, I weighed myself this morning and came in at 161.6 pounds, so that’s about ~9 pounds heavier than I was during the tail end of my race season.  That’s far heavier than I anticipated so I realized this race may not be as fast as I had predicted.  However, I was still able to move alright so having the extra “padding” during the off-season will help when I slim back down for Oceanside in April.

Best Race Weight of 2017 – 153 pounds

Current Weight (Dec 2017) – 162 pounds

How much faster could I have moved if I was at race weight?  Unknown, but I hazard a ~1:24 may have been in the cards then.

3.  After the race, I weighed myself and was at 158.8, so I lost roughly ~3 pounds (this was after I ate/drank at the expo post-race).  The humidity wrecks my body and I lose a lot of sodium and fluids, so I may need to supplement even during an open half marathon which I haven’t done yet.

 

4.  My limiter in these open races is not endurance – the engine is good.  My limiter now is technique, mobility, and strength.  My calves, quads, and glutes ran out of juice towards the end of the race and I lost all my hip drive, rebound, and snap.  Pilates has helped greatly with learning how to use my body and I owe much of today’s race to the Pilates training.  The next phase of training will be to focus on releasing my left hip flexor so my left glute is firing properly and balancing both legs so they’re performing equally.  Then, it’s off to strength work to get stronger.

Overall, I’m pleased with this race effort, especially since I’m at off-season weight and have spent the last few days doing nothing but playing World of Warcraft  and Destiny and eating lots of lumpia, adobo, fried rice, and Mountain Dew.

Congrats to everyone who raced today!

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