Sunday, January 27, 2013

LLS 1st Annual San Antonio Herothon

We have some close friends who are big supporters of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. So when they innocently asked if we were going to do the 1st annual Herothon event in San Antonio, we heartily agreed.

This was before Spain, France, Christmas and a whole mess of time that meant we lacked the proper preparation because we did not make time to adequately train, even in a half-assed manner. We walked Wookie! 3 times last week. That and a 3- mile run our first day back from Europe is about all the working out we'd done. 

So when we were in the car at 5:50 this morning Justin calmly said "this is a stupid idea. We are going to die." 

I replied "You're driving the car, literally, so you can turn it around."

He didn't. 

We got to the parking lot and before forking over the $10 parking fee (a drop in the bucket in comparison to the race registration fee) he asked "are you sure about this, I don't want to disappoint you."

"You can decide, we have 4 hours to finish, I think we've got this," I said.

We paid and parked. 

And when we were under 15 minutes per mile for the first mile, Justin got pumped up. We weren't going to take 4 hours. No way. Even with a porta potty break at mile 1 (the lines right before the start were way too long). 

We were jovial enough to smile in front of the Alamo between miles 2 and 3:

And then we saw our pace at the mile 3 marker and I mentioned, that not only had Justin never trained for something like this, but he was rocking it, kicking ass and we might very likely beat my time from the SA R'n'R half this past November (3 hours 25 minutes)

Cue the competitive light bulb.  Justin was determined that I was going to set a personal record and he was going to make sure we did it together. 

In fact we were feeling so great between mile 5 and 6, when we saw a friend outside his house with his little one cheering the runners on, we stopped and chatted. 

Then we hit mile 8.56789 or something like that. Way more than half way complete, but still almost 5 miles from the end. It was the wall. But we we kept moving.

Mile 10-11, had signs from families cheering on runners and named those they loved and for whom the ran in honor, or in memory.  Then there were the survivors participating alongside us. 

Those last 3 miles were the hardest, but those constant reminders of why the event was happening were immensely motivating.  

We jogged the downhills, including the last big bridge (that we hit at the beginning too!), and into the finish line at 3 hours and 17 minutes.

And we were still smiling:

Justin received his first half marathon medal (my third):

And then we took a nap. 

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