Editor's Note: Okay, so my posts are WAY behind. I've written a few, I just haven't posted them...so, ignore the posting date, and pretend I actually posted this when I wrote it a few weeks ago...
Another race in the books! Rock-and-Roll San Antonio concluded on 14 November, ending my true "race" season. There is one more scheduled -- the Seattle Marathon on 28 November, but I'll run that race with the team, and won't really be racing.
Training for San Antonio has been an adventure. As long as I've been running marathons, I've trained by running on lunch breaks and Sunday afternoons after church. Well, that doesn't work so well in Texas, where it doesn't drop below ninety degrees until about 10pm, and only stays cool (relatively speaking) for a few hours. So, since moving to Texas in June, I've been getting up at about 4:30am and getting my runs in. I'm still using the "Run Less, Run Faster" training plans I've been on for the past year, and still think that program is one of the best around. Since starting those training programs, I've set a PR in every distance from 5K through half-marathon. So, on to San Antonio...
This was my first race in the Rock-and-Roll series, and let me tell you, these folks have figured out how to put on a great race. I've run literally dozens of races at all distances, including quite a few marathons and halves, and I can comfortably say that this was the best-organized race I've ever run. From expo through finish festival, every aspect had been clearly thought through, and was nearly flawlessly produced. The expo was quite crowded, and they really could have rented a considerably larger space, but they did well with what they had. Packet pickup was clearly marked, and if you couldn't see the well-marked signs, the volunteers were cheerful and helpful.
Race day was, again, very well organized. I arrived later than planned, and couldn't quite get up to my designated Corral, but managed to start in Corral 4 instead of Corral 2, and the difference was negligible. Let me just say I'm a HUGE fan of the wave start -- each corral was separated by about 30 seconds, which almost completely alleviated the problem of spending the first mile dodging and dancing through hundreds of other runners, many of whom had probably "corralled up". I was off and running at race pace with the first half mile or so. The course wound through the streets of old San Antonio, including some mileage along the historic Riverwalk and (of course) a lap around the Alamo. Surprisingly hilly for Texas, but nothing steep or uncomfortable. The full marathon route includes a great run out along the San Antonio mission trail, which I'm actually sorry I missed. Both the half and the full finished at the Alamo Dome in downtown SA, with the entire parking lot dedicated to sponsors and family meeting areas divided by last name. Only a minor complaint here -- I couldn't discern any rhyme or reason to how the letter were distributed, and it certainly wasn't alphabetical. Regardless, the wonders of the iPhone and text messaging made finding Pooh and Monkey easy, and they were in full "cheer mode!" Monkey even had her "LiveSTRONG" outfit on and her "Team Michael Moyles" shirt. Too cute.
1:44.12 (7:57 pace) for the finish time -- nothing spectacular, but right on my planned pace of 8-minute miles. I was very happy with my splits, which were remarkably consistent:
Mile 1: 8:23
Mile 2: 7:48
Mile 3: 7:47
Mile 4: 7:50
Mile 5: 7:50
Mile 6: 7:49
Mile 7: 8:01 (up the hill)
Mile 8: 7:43 (down the hill)
Mile 9: 7:54
Mile 10: 7:52
Mile 11: 7:55
Mile 12: 8:12
Mile 13.1: 9:05
Pretty much the most consistent race I've ever run. One down, and one to go! On to Seattle on the 28th!