The Connection Runners + [running]

Rock n Roll San Antonio 2011 part 2

you can read part one HERE.

I went to bed Saturday night super optimistic and slept surprisingly well for race eve. We woke up at 6am, I peeked out the window and saw thousands of people already in their corrals. I was once again happy I booked my hotel 6 months from the start so I could stay at the start line. Extra sleep is always nice.

I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a Marathon Bar. I got dressed in a RunningSkirts.com capri skirt, figuring the compression capri's would give my knee some much needed support. I filled my handheld up with tropical nuun and the pouch with candy corn,my fuel of choice for this race.

We then strolled outside to check out the VIP area. It was indoors, had seating, VIP gear check, and a full breakfast spread. We had a great time chatting with some of the VIP's and avoiding the humidity.I got a few comments on the super sweet bib Rock 'n' Roll had printed up with my Twitter handle.

We headed outside and of course I realized I needed to go to the potty, but not just any potty. I got to "Pee Like A Rockstar" in the Brooks VIP Porta Potties (running a RnR race?I'd check out that link)

(source)

Gu chew while you wait? Running water? Spare tampons if you need them? Yep,they had it all.

Soon enough it was time for the elites to start. The announcers were reminding everyone that it would be hot, that this was "not a day to PR". At the time it made me giggle... since that's not exactly a way to pump runners up on race morning, but I understood where they were coming from. They went on to remind runners to hydrate and pay attention to their bodies.

We were supposed to be in corral 10, but the corrals were already moving forward so we squeezed in right and then realized we were in corral 9. I'm standing shoulder to shoulder with someone, in a sea of tens of thousands of runners when the guy taps Charles on the shoulder.I look up and it was my DOCTOR, the one who gave me steroid shots some weeks before. So crazy to end up next to someone you know. He asked how the knee was... I brushed the question off... we made small talk and soon we were starting.

I'm going to be bluntly honest here. My knee was hurting from the word 'go'. I knew going into this race, in light of the recent injury, that I may not finish. I had made a promise to myself to respect my body. This was no longer a goal race for me, I just wanted to enjoy myself. If the pain got to where I no longer had joy in running, or I felt like I'd injure myself further, then I would stop.

That moment came pretty quickly. We pushed out a couple 9min miles, and with each step I was wincing. I tried speeding up and slowing down, the pain was consistent. It was taking extreme focus to overcome my bodies natural desire to stop the pain. And suddenly I realized I didn't want to do it. I simply wasn't willing to push myself to finish, knowing that I may jeopardize a future of running. I knew,even that early on, that the best thing to do was step off course.There was no joy in those miles. I let Charles know what I planned to do, he offered to join me, but I sent him on.

I ran over to a nearby curb, and watched him run until I could no longer see him. And then I started the walk back. I'll be honest, it sucked. I wasn't familiar with the city enough to take an alternate route, so I walked on the sidewalk along the course. While I knew I made the right decision, walking the opposite direction from the way the runners were going made me feel like crap. It was like the walk of shame.

I hobbled my way to the finish line area and sat down, took my bib off and put my head in my hands. I sat there and thought about my decision. Did I do the right thing? Could I have pushed through? SHOULD I have pushed through? I have zero doubts that I could have pushed through... but I believe I made the right choice not to.

Soon the elites were coming in and I got caught up in cheering. I was super excited to see Shalane Flanagan win the womens half.

I started seeing tons of people I knew come in, including fellow ZOOMA Ambassador Jennifer, who won 1st in her AG. That lady is crazy fast! I also got to cheer on Kim from my Nuun Platuun team. I just got caught up in cheering and watching for Charles. He came in at just under 2 hours and I rushed off to greet him.

Rock n Roll has designated family meeting areas, organized by the first letter of your last name. This made it super easy to find him in the crazy amount of people. He had scooped up some water and food and had even been given a wet towel at the finish. It was definitely warming up, so he was super thankful for the towel.

Our VIP bands granted us access to a finish line area too, with rumors of champagne, but we had to rush to our hotel to make check out.

This weekend was my first time to DNF. It wasn't ideal, but despite that I had a fabulous weekend in San Antonio. I'm looking forward to Rock n Roll Las Vegas,whether I walk it or run it.

(sidenote:I had a knee MRI yesterday.Results pending)