Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Little Bit Country A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll

Let's begin by laughing at me with me about what a doofus I am. If you've ever read this blog and assumed I had my shit together, you'd be wrong.

I am a member of the 2015 Rock 'n' Blog team for the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series. That means I help them promote their races by blogging about them and sharing on social media and in exchange I have the opportunity to run a few races with them for free. Pretty good deal, right? They gave me a Tour Pass at the beginning of the year which gets me into three races. Spoiler alert: All I had to do was register for them. This year I chose the Dallas, Las Vegas and San Antonio rock 'n' roll half marathons. I actually managed to register for two out of the three races, I just thought I registered for all three.

I had a pretty sweet deal with Toyota for the San Antonio race. Toyota is a rock 'n' roll marathon race sponsor and they offered to host me in San Antonio. They delivered the crazy-luxurious Land Cruiser on Friday morning and sent an email on Friday night to check in the night before we were scheduled to hit the road. They wanted to know my bib number to verify I was all set for the race. I log onto the site to look up my number and terror struck with the realization that I never actually registered. Online registrations were closed. I've been talking about running San Antonio all year, I just never actually did it. D'uh.

I had this amazing Land Cruiser parked in the driveway just itching to get on the road and I wasn't even registered for the race. Time to freak out.

I called my Toyota contact in a panic and she quickly saved my weekend by calmly assuring me that they would get me registered when I arrived at the expo on Saturday. Whew. Note to self: Register for the races you plan to run.

san antonio rock n roll half marathon road trip
San Antonio is about a five hour drive. Time to hit the road!

San Antonio rock n roll half marathon road trip
Posing with my Fancy-Shmancy Land Cruiser, Keyless start, whaa?

San Antonio rock n roll half marathon

San Antonio rock n roll half marathon
No Texas road trip is complete with a stop at Buc-ee's
San Antonio rock n roll half marathon
We made it to San Antonio!
San Antonio rock n roll half marathon
Me and my new BFF Jody at the Toyota booth at the expo.

Hotel swag courtesy of Toyota

Is this what they mean by carbo-load? lol 
San Antonio rock n roll half marathon
Toyota media dinner on the beautiful riverwalk Saturday night.

Toyota hosted me at the Grand Hyatt downtown San Antonio. It was so nice to wake up on race morning, roll out of bed and walk in the dark to the start line. It was a little chilly in that early hour before the race, but the excitement (mostly the coffee) warmed me as I headed over the VIP tent for a Rock 'n' Blog meet up. I found Margarita from Cupcake Cardio. We took a picture, wished each other well and headed our separate ways.

san Antonio rock n roll half marathon

I scarfed down half of a bagel, took advantage of the short porta-potty and gear-check lines in the VIP tent then made one last stop at the Toyota booth for a pre-race photo. I could hear the early corrals kicking off, but since I registered at the very last minute I was in the very last corral and I knew I had time to spare. (It kind of reminded me of Pittsburgh when we ended up there by accident.)

San Antonio rock n roll half marathon

I was finally at the start line and my knees were hurting just standing there. This was odd since my knees never hurt just standing or walking and especially since I just ran Las Vegas three weeks ago with no pain at all. I always have pre-race jitters before a half marathon (13.1 miles is hard, y'all) but this weird knee pain was really freaking me out. It took quite awhile to make it from corral 32 to the start line, but eventually I was off on my fourth half marathon of the year.

a little bit country a little bit rock n roll
San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon: A little bit county, a little bit rock 'n' roll

Now let me preface this next sentence by saying San Antonio was wonderful, the weather was perfect, the course was lovely, the weekend was magical and Toyota rocked my socks. 

My run sucked so bad. So bad.

A few years ago I used to chase PRs (personal record) at races. My half marathon PR is 1:59 at Dallas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in 2012. But back when I was busy chasing PRs I soon realized I was chasing the fun right out of it. I learned to slow down a bit and enjoy the race, but something different was happening here. Several miles in I was feeling pain in my knee. I stopped to walk and call hubby at the five mile marker. I had eight miles to go and I really wasn't sure I would make it. He encouraged me to keep moving forward, run or walk..and so I did. For the rest of the race I proceeded to send curse words via text to him during walk breaks at every mile marker (just kidding mom, I would never do that). 

san Antonio rock n roll half marathon

It was a rough road. My head wasn't in it. My body wasn't cooperating. I've never been so glad to cross a finish line. I didn't finish strong and I certainly didn't finish fast. But hey, I finished. I tried to answer the big question...why? What did I do wrong? Was it something I ate? (those stupid nachos?) Was it too soon after Vegas? Did I push it too much by running four half marathons in one year? But sometimes there is not a straight forward answer.

One lesson that I learned a long time ago as runner is, simply put, they all can't be good ones. If you run you know that sometimes running is awesome. Sometimes running is easy. And sometimes running flat out sucks.

Some of it is controllable. You can train for months, fuel properly and get enough rest. But even when  you do everything right, sometimes things go wrong. You just can't control the outcome of any race and that has to be OK. This is fun, remember? I won't let a bad race get me down. In the grand scheme of life, I went on a kick-ass road trip in an amazing Land Cruiser, spent quality time with my husband and good friends, met some awesome new people, ate well, slept well, crossed another finish line and collected another medal. I'd say I had a pretty good weekend.

Toyota vinyl

running with ollie blog
Looking a little tired. Buc-ee selfie on the road trip home. 

Land Cruiser
A smooth ride back to Dallas. YAY! Toyota! Thanks for the fab weekend!

I think I'm funny.
After my fabulous week of outrageously luxurious driving, it will be hard to go back to my old wheels.

Have you ever had a disappointing race?

How do you get past it?

Don't you just love this Land Cruiser?

What was your last race?

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Keep Running,


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  1. That's too bad you had a crappy run. You're right though sometimes it just happens, with absolutely no explanation.
    How cool that you got to work with Toyota.

  2. Sounds like a pretty luxurious weekend! I have had my share of bad races, too. I'm not a cocky, over-confidant racer, but the bad races almost always catch me off-guard. Once in awhile, I'll know something feels "off," and I can try to overcome it (or prepare myself for the gloom and doom that might be coming). More often than not, I'm blind-sided by the race going suddenly bad. I have learned that the more you race, the odds of something going bad actually increase (that stupid law of averages) because you put in more miles in training, and put yourself more at risk of injury (due to the extra mileage). Even if you train smart, you're still increasing the wear and tear on your body. Add in less-than-ideal weather conditions, or a not-so-great breakfast, lack of proper sleep, etc. and everything can go south. Like you, I have learned to accept that some races (and some runs) are just not meant to be. I always say that the bad races allow our strength to shine. Those finish lines don't come free...there's got to be some blood, sweat, and tears along the way to make it all worthwhile ;-)

  3. Your text at the end had me cracking up. It looks like an awesome vehicle! I think we've all been there on bad races...they can't all be good, right? I had a disaster at Disney earlier this year. I could not wait to be done with it. The trip was awesome and the company was great though.

  4. Bad races sucks--but then, they motivate us to go out and have a better one the next time.
    So cool that you got to be an ambassador with all the cool perks...and not being registered for a race is my nightmare! So glad they helped you out!!


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