San Antonio Marathon was the 2nd marathon I ran this year. My goal for the RNR SA Marathon was to break 4 hours. I was shooting for 3:59:59. No, really I was. I had told myself that if I didn’t break 4 hours I would be happy with anything between 4-4:15.
The morning of race day Stacey, Pat, and I made our way to the Grand Hyatt. That was the designated meeting place that was discussed during dinner the night before. We met up with Sarah, Marissa, Gary, Janet, and Carey. We made our way to our corrals and waited. I was so nervous at the start. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach but I had to constantly tell myself to calm down. Finally, I hear the start gun go off. We start moving up and up and up until it is our turn to…. GO!
I started the first half with Gary, Stacey, Marissa, and Sarah. We had planned on pacing each other as much as we could since we all had the same goal time in mind. That first half was AMAZING! We were hitting each mile right on target. I felt great! I was so excited and kept thinking of that goal time. I just KNEW I was going to make it. That thought brought a huge smile to my face as I continued to run. The weather wasn’t great but hey at least the sun isn’t out, right?? WRONG!
Along comes mile 14 or so and here comes the sun with a vengeance! Ok, so at this point I had to keep telling myself you are prepared for this. You trained in hell, remember? Yes, YES I do remember… ok keep going. Sarah had made her way a bit ahead of me and I had lost the others. Ok Mel, you can still see the 4:00hr pacer and Sarah so that is good just keep them in sight and you will be ok. I kept trucking along. I felt my pace start to drop a bit so I looked at my Garmin. Yep, just as I thought I had dropped to 9:45/mile. I thought to myself, Mel, that is ok you are still OK you can still see Sarah and the pacer. Why yes, yes I can! Awesome, just keep going!! I hit mile 20 and looked at my watch …damn I am 7 minutes off. Oh well, just keep going but by now I could not see Sarah or the 4:00 hr pacer. DAMN IT! I knew right then and there I wasn’t going to break 4 hours so I moved on to Plan B (4-4:15 finish time). As I continued past mile 20, I noticed I was getting slower. My feet were hurting like a mofo and my right quad was cramping up. I took some salt tabs for the cramps but I was just going to have to endure the pain on my feet. At this point, I was at 11:11/mile. *sigh* I told myself to stay calm and keep going! I finally picked up the pace a bit (10:45) and then I see our wonderful coach! I shouted “I am almost there Bobby!” I started to see people walk in pain and boy did I want to join them! NO walking Melinda!! Stop that right now!! At that moment, I was having a fight with myself. Hahaha Yeah, funny now but not so funny at the time! Mile 25 came and went but that last 1.2 was the longest ever!! Coming close to mile 26, I turn the corner and see my husband and mother in law cheering for me. Rob is clapping his hands together and shouting “Good job babe! Come on go faster you are almost there!!” I smiled and then thought to myself, “go faster?!?” I am going fast, can’t you tell?!? FINE, I will go faster! I started to pick up the pace since I knew there wasn’t much more to go. GO, GO ,GO!! I am almost to the finish line and I hear Heather Stanley cheer for me. I turn to smile for a pic (Hey, I always smile for the camera!) and start to sprint. Or at least I thought I was sprinting. My feet were numb at this point so I may be making that part up but it sure did feel like a sprint!
DONE! DONE! Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, I am DONE!! I looked down at my finish time 4:16:51. I almost started to pout because the time wasn’t in my Plan B but I thought of my Austin Marathon time of 4:30:25. Holy Crap, I just set a new PR by 14 minutes! There will be no pouting here!
I am so glad I chose to train with the Rogue Sole Survivors. Bobby, you are one hell of a coach! Thank you for everything that you do for us.
To my fellow Sole Survivors: Thank you so much for the past 6 months. I am so glad to have met each and every one of you. I know our journey does not end here because we are all full of crazy. (26.2 miles of craziness!!)