A race report by Gary Grambley
I have spent the day mapping different routes around San Antonio for any travel I may do that would otherwise take me through that town. I have forbidden the use of any reference to that town in my presence. I will now and forever refer to it as “South Schertz”.
Seriously though, I felt going into the race that I had done everything I needed to do to reach my goal of a sub 4 hr marathon. I hit my times in most of my training runs. Hell, I trained in the crazy desert heat of Austin this summer! But there was nothing that could have prepared me for the hell I was about to voluntarily subject myself to come Sunday morning.
A little background: I trained with Rogue (not Bobby) last year and ran White Rock. I was injured and couldn’t participate in any long runs for the last SIX weeks. I wasn’t even going to run in Dallas but decided to give it a go at the last minute. Terribly unprepared, I ran my first marathon that day in 4:26. So the idea of busting 4 hours was very attainable to me.
Half way through the parade yesterday I was on pace to reach my goal. Me, Marissa, Sarah, Stacey and Melinda were all together and just under 2 hours at the half way point. From about mile 10 I had the urge to pee (yes I said it) so right after we crossed the mat at 13.1 I veered off the course and claimed my birthright as a man – I can pee anywhere I want to! Looking back I wish I would have been arrested for public peeing or whatever the charge would have been!
From that point forward I didn’t feel well. I know now that I was dehydrated, but then I just felt lightheaded and my calves started to cramp up. I knew I’d have to pick up the pace to catch the girls ahead of me so I forged ahead. At mile 15 I still hadn’t caught them and the cramping was getting more painful. I stopped to stretch at a medical tent and they told me to take some salt. Oh, they also told me I didn’t look well. I wanted to punch them.
As I’m writing this I’m just now remembering that I also spent some time in an air conditioned bus. Unfortunately it was stationary.
A few miles up the road I wandered into another medical tent. What I was looking for I’ll never know. They also told me that I didn’t look well and suggested that I call it a day. All humor aside, I was running this race for a nine year old cancer patient named Olivia. I raised about $6,000 to send her and her family on a Disney Cruise. I told the donors I was running this race and by God I was going to finish it. I made a deal with myself – I’d walk a half mile and run a half mile. I saw Alan at one point (Alan, where were we?) and he walked with me for a minute. When he said, “Ok, let’s run a bit” I had to let him go. I couldn’t do it. Alan, that was my half mile to walk and by God I was going to walk it!
We’re all runners here, and we all know that no matter how wacked out we are we can still do the runners math, so I got to mile 25 and realized that I’d have to actually run it in to bust FIVE hours. Ryan, did you hear that? You were showered and sipping Mimosa’s by then I’m sure! But I did it and it’s over and I may never cast a shadow in South Schertz again!
Thanks to all my training buddies. Your friendship is worth the disappointment I endured on Sunday. The Rogue Sole Survivors really ROCK! When I first joined the group I just wanted to train on Wednesday and Saturday, so I defaulted into a group that was coached by one Robert M. Garcia. Is it any coincidence that we’re the happiest, closest group out there? I say not. Hold on to your membership card because some day soon there’ll be a waiting list to train with that guy. He really cares!
As for my future running plans, I have some unfinished business.