Well, we completed our 4th half of 2011 and 5th half overall this past weekend at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio! So many of our running friends were out there too, but we’ll touch on everything we did when not racing in another post!
We were both REALLY excited for this race! We signed up for this half back in June and began our fundraising efforts for Team Cindy then. We spent 5 months talking about Cindy Marshall-Death in blog posts and tweets, and so many of you out there read her story and donated to us! Because so many people stood with us by donating and because Cindy’s story touches both of our lives this race meant A LOT to us!
We started the race day by waking up at 4:30 a.m. to drive to the shuttle bus pick up, but that ended up being a cluster and we ultimately parked for $18 (ahhh) by the start line. We ended up standing around basically for an hour and a half, but with friends so it was all good! We both ate peanut butter sandwiches around 6:30 a.m. and were already hungry by the time our corral started the race at 8:00 a.m.
Overall the beginning of the race was great. We seriously felt awesome! For Teal nothing was hurting, well besides her knee that does not like to stay in socket, but other than that all good. We kept a good pace to get across the finish in under 2 hours and that stayed until about mile 9. It was in those first 9 miles that we ran by a woman wearing a shirt that said “I kicked cancer’s butt twice” and both of us were on the verge of tears. It was shortly after that we began to hear spectators saying “Go Team Cindy,” and the first time we heard that the tears wanted to come again! Neither of us talked about this during the race, but did afterwards and discussed how we both had to get it together to keep going. Also, Rock ‘n’ Roll – why do you not put names on people’s bibs?? It would make it SO much easier for the spectators to cheer us ALL on!
During those first 9 miles we basically moved in and out from people pretty easily but it was annoying and slightly exhausting. We did fairly well for the water stops. Teal had decided to carry a straw this race because she wanted to run sans camelbak and Beth thought she’d try it out with her. It seriously was awesome. We both just tucked the straw in our sports bras. Teal just took it out when she needed water – wish we could have somehow gotten a picture of her running and drinking out of her straw at the same time. People probably thought she was nuts, but it’s better than choking! Beth never actually used the straw and just crunched up the cup to get the water and keep up with the running.
Teal – At about mile 9, I lost my patience and let the annoyance get to me. I ended up stuck behind people at the water stop, the roads had narrowed a bunch, the crowd at points was in the run path and I was like, GET AWAY, I slowed down, I had felt at this point that Beth was running faster than me and I didn’t feel like I could keep up so I slowed down a little.
Beth – It was at a water stop in mile 9 that Teal and I got really separated for the first time. We were doing some serious dodging at that specific water stop more than any other. It was around this time that I knew I was teetering a fine line of making it less than 2 hours and just barely missing the goal, so I knew I had to step it up a little bit just to be on the safe side. I kept thinking about how people would yell for Team Cindy and I’d responded with “Thank you” and send them a smile – did I have more in me and I wasn’t pushing hard enough?
Teal – I ran mile 10 about 30 seconds slower than the previous 10 miles. The last 3 basically sucked in my opinion. I thought I would still make it under 2 hours even with the 30 second slower pace because my Runkeeper kept saying a pace that I knew would make it under 2 and at mile 12.05 (yes I remember it because I was like under a mile) it said I had like 10 minutes and something seconds to make it to the finish under 2 hours and that my current pace would get me there in time. I picked it up a little but was sure I would make it.
Beth – I was keeping my pace pretty consist around 9:00 minute miles and I would say the last 3 miles were hard! I don’t remember there being much shade and it had gotten HOT and HUMID! Somewhere in mile 10, I believe, I saw our friend, Heidi, and she asked me if I was on target for finishing sub 2:00. I told her I thought I was and she told me to go get it! Appreciated that encouragement right then! Thanks, Heidi! 🙂 When I got to the 11 mile marker I knew I had roughly 20 minutes left before two hours. I just kept telling myself you are running 9 minute miles, you got this, keep it up! Don’t give up now when you are so close. And honestly I never felt like I wanted to stop or give up. Was it hard? Yes, but I was determined and hungry for the sub 2:00.
The last part of the race before you turn and haul to cross that finish line was freaking uphill! Pretty sure we both saw that and just thought you have got to be kidding me! Don’t worry we made sure to take a picture at the end of the race so those of you who weren’t there could see just what this hill looked like.
Teal – I picked it up a little but was sure I would make it. As I was running up the last hill the stupid 2 hour time sounded in my ear from Runkeeper and I was literally in sight of the finish. Slightly pissed I crossed the line and turned off my timer. 2:01:15. I thought well maybe just maybe my timer was off and I didn’t know the official time. I found out a few minutes later because our dear twitter friend Betsy (@WarriorBetsy), was tracking Beth and I and she tweeted our finish times- 2:00.56. Initially bummed, but a PR is a PR. I ran that race the fastest I have ever run a half-marathon. It was hot, humid, crowded, and slightly stinky and I still ran it the fastest ever. Oh and I learned something knew about my runkeeper that I feel dumb for not getting before, but it doesn’t tell the current pace- or at least I am not set on that, so my final 3 miles were actually too slow to make it, but my updates confused me and I still thought I was fin. Live and learn! When I got over it I was super proud of both of us- I am impressed by Beth who was able to get it under 2 hours and super close to her PR, we are definitely stronger than we were when we started all this! Oh and plus, I will have another ½ this year to get in under 2 hours—New Years Double – ekkkk I said it, but first, 3 weeks to the marathon!
Beth – When I crossed the finish line I knew I had to have made it! It might have been barely, but I knew it! I couldn’t get my Runkeeper turned off because 1. I’d needed to go the bathroom (no. 1 only people) since right before the race started and was so focused on getting to a port-a-potty [Sorry mom if you are reading this :)] and 2. I’d turned down the brightness on my iPhone so low to save battery power I couldn’t even see the screen with how bright the sun was. It was a good 15 minutes later I found out from Betsy what my time was! 1:58:46! But then looking at the official results yesterday they had me clocked at 1:58:47 – oh my, a whole second longer! Haha 🙂
That was a hard race! We are both VERY proud of what we accomplished out there. We ran smart races! We drank water, we fueled up a little after the one hour mark of running, and we only pushed ourselves to what our limits where for that day given the temperature and the humidity! We are proud of our friends who were out there with us! It was a hard race and no matter what crossing that finish line was a big feat! So congrats to each and every one of you!
Thank you to Betsy for tracking us and keeping others updated on where we were! It was so cool to see your tweets after the race! Thank you!
White Rock Marathon or BUST!!
Teal – 2:00:56, a new PR!! Finished 3,074th overall, 1,055th out of all the females and 209th in age group
Beth – 1:58:47, finished 2,710th overall, 890th out of all the females and 177 in age group