We, The Lantz Clan, have just returned from a trip to Texas which was successful on many fronts. The family had plenty of fun going to visit Brad's friend, Joey, and all made new friends with his lovely family.
While there, we visited the Alamo which for me was just too cool, having seen the old movie so many times I have lost count. We also visited the River Walk in downtown San Antonio, which was just as cool, and I will attempt to post a picture.
We arrived at Joey's house on Thursday night, spent Friday at his house, Saturday in San Antonio, and then left for Austin and the big race for which I have been preparing. Both Austin and San Antonio are just great places, and I would love to have more time to go back.
Before I left, I printed out all pertinent information to the half marathon, maps to the hotel, the race map, a map to RunTex where I was to pick up my packet, etc., but failed to bring said papers with me! How annoying! I am such a list person, and tried to tell myself that I did not need a list for this trip. Boy was I wrong. Much to my chagrin, I also forgot swimsuits and the hotel had a hot tub. Here is a pic of the 3M Half Marathon goody bag, I know you will all be jealous:
To my relief, Joey was kind enough to let me use his Internet access and write down phone numbers and directions to my destinations, so all was not lost and it was beginning to look like I may still be able to run my race.
Thursday and Friday, I will say that my runs did not feel good. I did not feel like a fast person at all. I think my pace for those runs were in the 9:15-9:20 range as I did not push it at all, but I just felt so tired and slow and stiff. The battle of the negativity was on. Every little demon of negative thought I discarded and replaced with a different though --- or a song --- or a glass of wine ---- or just about any distraction I could think of that would keep me from talking myself out of a good race.
Our plan once in Austin was to pick up the packet, and then for Brad to drop me off at the hotel to put my feet up and then take the kids to do something that they would enjoy. Instead we ended up going to REI and a bookstore. Ha. It was actually fine with me because a race to me feels like such a self-serving event, and there are all manners of feelings of guilt associated therein as a mom, so I did enjoy just spending that time with my family. Once we got to the hotel, I did lay out my race stuff, make sure I had chip, bib and pins, socks, sport bra, shoes, gloves and shorts. I am a minimalist. After this I did lay down on the bed and put my feet up. I kept my phone handy for a few text messages coming in.
After a great dinner with a bunch of really cool people who I have only ever met online, I was ready to just crash, as the weekend had already been pretty full and taxing, so after a hot bath I was a goner. I never sleep well the night before a race, it is not going to happen. I had not really gotten any quality sleep in 4 days, but once again just trying to ignore the negatives in the matter, and focus on the positives, which all seemed to boil down to one thing - I was trained.
It was quite unusual but the morning of the race dawned 42 degrees, quite chilly, but I maintained that I would only run in a sport bra and shorts. It was a good choice. I never even felt the cold, and by mile 2 I was flying down those hills just enjoying the breeze. I was thankful for the gloves, and thankful for not wearing anything that I had to take off and carry or worry about. It was just me and the road, and running, and that's how I like it. The first mile was congested and slow, but the next 3 miles flew by and before I knew it I was halfway through. There were about 3 times that I briefly had thoughts that I couldn't hold the pace and I should just slow down, but I tried my best to dispel them and just keep moving. I was quite surprised to find a pretty good uphill at mile 10 and it was a difficult thing mentally. Everything I had heard was that the last 4 miles were flying downhill. There is nothing for it though, it's you and the course. You really can't depend on what you hear, you have to just use it as a gauge. The last time that I had a PR race, my last 2 miles were close to 7:00 flat, but I just did not have that in me this go-round. I suppose I wasted those on the 6:45 5th mile, and the 7:06 8th mile, but that is in the history books now. It never ceases to amaze me how long you can see the finish line clock and how slowly the seconds tick by as you come down the chute. I remember seeing the clock at 1:34:XX and thinking it was so cool, but it was 1:36:15 gun time by the time I crossed, and 1:35:49 chip time. A great race for me, though I know I could have run faster last Spring. This is the first 1/2 marathon in which I did not run a single split over 8:00.
I'm happy. I did not have any emotional fits because it wasn't a huge surprise according to my fitness, but I am happy to have returned to this place and feel confident that 2008 will bring great things in the running aspect and fond family memories.