Sister 2: I recorded you crossing the finish line! It’s right…. wait. Huh. Yeah, sorry about that.
I didn’t mind. It always looks like I’m walking, instead of running.
8. Fight to the Finish
I don’t know if there’s still a costume contest, but runners are invited to dress up to capture the Texas Revolution spirit.
I ran with a wooden sword. I was exhausted when finishing the last part of the run on the riverwalk. When I saw a hotel which I knew was near the finish line, I detached the sword from my belt and charged. I kid you not that helped so much. It gave me a bit of energy I desperately needed.
9. Falling on Your Sword
So here’s the bad part of running with a wooden sword. It shifts away from your hips and sometimes get caught between your legs, causing you to trip. So note to self about that.
10. My Beloved Cheerleaders
I never actually thought I’d write that phrase, but it’s true. While slowly trudging along the last mile or two, I saw the wonderful women of Black Girls Run at a water station, cheering us on.
(In case you missed an earlier post, that running group has possibly the best slogan ever: Preserve the Sexy.) The energy was desperately needed, so thank you ladies!
11. Stop? What do mean stop?
Part of the race included crossing a road to reach the University of Incarnate Word. There was a police officer directing traffic. Unlike other road crossings, traffic wasn’t immediately stopped for runners. Traffic was allowed to pass for a minute or two and then runners could cross.
You want to annoy runners, especially those trying to set a personal record? Stop them.
While some of us were slightly irked, only one person voiced her annoyance about how it would affect her time. However, shortly after being allowed to cross the road, she was walking and slowing down to take picture of mile markers, so she probably wasn’t as concerned as she thought.
12. Rockin’ Route
I really liked the route. It covered downtown San Antonio, the riverwalk, Brackenridge Park, and Incarnate Word. And most happily, it did NOT include that horrible hill next to the zoo.
13. Blistering Run
So here’s one of the reasons I’m listing highlights in reverse. It hurt so much.
If I put that first, I’d take away from all the great things about the run. Two weeks ago, I did my usual pre-half-marathon 10-mile run. I got blisters and blamed new socks I had just bought.
It wasn’t the socks. On Mile 3 of the Alamo 13.1, I could feel blisters forming. Mile 3!
That’s when I realized the problem was with my shoes. I bought them almost a year ago exactly. It was time for a new pair.
It was a beautiful route and it was a good day to run. Unfortunately, I really didn’t get to enjoy it because of the blisters forming on my feet.
13.1 Oh, pretty
I mentioned some motivators that got me through. I admit another was the medal. It’s beautiful. That seems very superficial, but it worked. I crossed the finish line.
I ran the Alamo 13.1 this past weekend. With this run, I’m writing the highlights in reverse order.
1. The Last Runner
I misread the times and was really worried I’d finish after the award ceremony. I wasn’t, but I was there to see the last runner cross the finish line. I joined everyone else in their cheers.
It’s great to the amount of support she got. The emcee even reminded the people helping her to grab her food ticket from her running bib, which brings me to...
2. And the Winner is
That award ceremony I mentioned included a cash giveaway. Winners are randomly selected by their food ticket. The last runner’s name was called. She won $100.
This was after someone helping her won also. I was sitting nearby. I joked to my family that I should move close to the woman, as people near her kept winning.
3. Race Bib MIA
You had to be present to win the cash giveaway, so I hung out at the finish area. Then I noticed I was missing my race bib, which matches the number on the ticket used to name winners.
I tried to desperately remember what my number was. My mother took some photos earlier, so I checked those to verify my bib number.
It was all for nothing, as I didn’t win. But I am curious as to where that bib ended up.
4. Post-Race Race
I’ve mentioned this before. Hotels don’t have friendly check-out times for slow runners. The Menger, which was located right next to the finish line, had a special rate for Alamo 13.1 runners. But the rate didn’t include Sunday night. Soon after finishing the run, I ran (waddled really) back to my room, stuffed everything into whatever bag I could find, and checked out.
5. Potato Time
The Alamo 13.1 includes a 5K/10K Donut Dash. Participants of those runs have donuts waiting for them. I was jealous that those wouldn’t be available for the half-marathon runners. When I finished, there were baked potatoes waiting for us. It totally hit the spot.
6. Missed Signs
I made a sign for earlier races that read, “Malena, stop your watch!” (Yes, I made it myself.) Because I always forget that. My mother made a makeshift sign, but it wasn’t easy to read and I thought she was yelling encouraging words. She was actually yelling, “Look at the sign.”
I eventually stopped my watch about three or four minutes after I finished the run. I suggested in the future, perhaps my mother should just yell, “Stop your watch.”
I’ve been eyeing the TomTom Runner Cardio for a few months. It has a built-in heart monitor. I know my skin, which is constantly scratched by my heart monitor would appreciate the upgrade.
I was set to buy it this year and then the Timex Ironman One GPS+ showed up on my radar. It’d let me go running without a phone and still reach my family if needed. It includes free live tracking and a built-in MP3 player.
So there is my dilemma. The Timex costs at least $100 more than the Cardio.
I’m leaning toward the Timex, but I was so looking forward to giving my skin a break, so it could recover from the heart-monitor cuts. Plus, I’ve grown accustomed to the TomTom interface.
I guess I’ll end up creating a pros and cons list for them. I know I’d really like to just go out for a run without have to find something to carry my phone. But those are usually quick runs, and I don’t know if the convenience is worth paying more than $300 for the Timex. (My hydration belt has extra pockets during long runs, so the phone’s not a big inconvenience.)
With my phone, my family can already track me with Find My Friends. They never us that and end up texting or calling me, so I don’t know the likelihood of them contacting me through the Timex app.
Plus, I can’t play Run Zombies! on the Timex.
I may scratch both of them from my list and invest in some new Bluetooth headphones. When I splashed water on my head during a run, the water got into the headphones. I can’t understand what anyone's saying when they call, and they can’t understand me.
I’m sporting my participant shirt from the Pharr St. Patrick's Day 5K today. It’s a keeper.
I confess the things I appreciate the most about the event probably aren’t the most exciting to others. Those would be the restrooms and the misting fans.
The Pharr Parks & Recreation Department included a hand sanitizer in the race packet. Those are always handy; however, it wasn’t necessary to carry for this event. The race was held at a football stadium with a a line of clean restroom stalls, which was a blessing to a runner with a nervous stomach.
A lot of runs I participate in have either port-a-potties or at parks with don’t have the best restroom facilities. (Note to volunteers, spectators and others: Use hand sanitizers. Use it often. Yes, you’re supporting people and giving them high-fives. Good. Apply hand sanitizer.)
I don’t know why more races in the RGV don’t setup the water-misting fans. (Maybe they're very pricey.) They’re great. I feel selfish when I stand next to them for more than a few seconds, but I could stay there, even when it’s not a typical melting South Texas day.
I tried to convince my sisters to let my toddler nieces join the kids’ run. I hear they’re fast. “No, Malena. They’re not going to win the mini iPad,” one said. Ah well.
That was the prize in the kids’ run. For the costume contest, I got my green kick lights for my shoes, some green-lit bracelets, a St. Patrick’s Day cowboy hat, a green sequin tie, and some makeshift boot covers for my compression socks. I strung some green clovers from my FlipBelt and used red temporary hair color. I amended a sash to read, "Kiss Me. I have an Irish In-Law." (Spoiler Alert: I didn’t win, hence the green with envy blog post title.)
I came in a slower than I was hoping, but my average pace seemed to improve, so that’s good. And I relearned a lesson (which seems to never stick), do NOT eat a banana afterwards. I need to make myself a sign for that.
Anyway, thanks for the run, Pharr.
Below is a link to the city's YouTube video of the event. For event photos, you can visit the city's website.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.