Before the Race
Imagine waking up at 5 am, it’s incredibly foggy outside with a hazy light mist. You get dressed, you brew your coffee, and you hop on the road for a little over an hour north. There is no one but a few random cars in the haze. It had the eerie feel of the beginning of a zombie movie. You pull into an outlet mall in the early hours and misty fog, with a few bright lights lighting up the parking lot. You’re not in a zombie movie, you’re about to run the San Marcos half marathon with Scallywompus!
The San Marcos Half Marathon is the second race in the Texas Hill Country Half Marathon series. Honestly, this race was the one I was the least excited about. But, I was definitely proven wrong. This race was AWESOME! When reading the description for this race, I imagined a long run around the huge outlet mall just south of San Marcos. However, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy a run around the hilly countryside to the east of the mall. With the misty morning and the low hanging clouds, the weather was absolutely perfect for a long run.
Before we started, I met up with a couple other running bloggers: Halfcrazy Mama Kris and AnthonyRunsforBeer. Super kudos to Kris for rescuing this blog post. With the weather, almost all my running pictures came out very poorly, so she let me borrow some of hers!
During the Race
The race started in the middle of the outlet mall parking lot, looped us around, and we were out and into the country in under half a mile. And the rolling hills began immediately. As you can tell by the pictures, the grass is already starting to green here, but our trees won’t catch up for a few more weeks. Much of the farmland we ran past was pasture, so lots of cows were entertained by a few hundred humans running in the rain.
As I ran, I kept hearing this low grade rumble. At first, I thought it was a wave of oncoming heavy rain, but it never came. It finally dawned on me that the sound was coming from the large powerlines we were running parallel along. It was a surreal moment.
Hitting around mile 5, I was starting to hit my stride. The farmland around this area reminded me a lot of Central Kansas, where I grew up. Trees were sparse, mostly right off the road. And a lot of cows! I moo’ed at a few as I ran by (because I’m a weirdo like that). I had “Take Me Home, Country Roads” stuck in my head for most of the race. It was really nice and refreshing running in the cool mist through these hills.
Around mile seven, I took my energy gel. Now, I’ve had a few of different brands of gels. I’ve found that Huma Energy gels are lighter and I don’t experience any nausea that I sometimes feel. I didn’t have my regular Huma gels, so took a Gu I had gotten as a sample from another race. Not used to taking the heavier, stickier gel, it settled hard in my stomach and created some terrible nausea. Instant regret that I felt until I finished the race. While I’ve used Gu as my gel before, it’s been a long time since I’ve taken them on the regular and I blew up my own rule: Nothing new on race day! I’m definitely going to make sure I have my standard gels in the future.
One thing I really loved about this race is that the 10k was on the back half of the half marathon course. This meant that once we reached 3.1 miles from the finish line, we started catching up with the 10k runners. When I come across the 10k’ers, its always a boost. After several miles of being fairly spaced out, and a bit lonely, returning to that comradere is just a amazing. I pick up a little speed and I have a winded smile on my face.
After the Race
Scallywompus puts on a party! I grabbed a beer, got an awesome brisket taco and a bloody mary. Sadly, with the large amount of 5k and 10k runners, a lot of the food and drinks were out by the time many of the half marathoners finished. I think that’s mostly just growing pains though. These races are getting bigger ever year, so it’s hard to keep up with the amount of runners that want to run these races.
Finally, I got 2nd in my age group and got an awesome beer glass! I’ve been meaning to fill it with a VERY colorful beer, but life has been getting in the way. (Might be why this blog post is almost three weeks late as well.) I have a few more 5ks to talk about soon, and I’m attending the Cowtown Half Marathon in Fort Worth next week. I can’t wait to share that experience!
First off, I absolutely LOVE this medal design. It’s fun, it’s different, and while I’m not sure the connection of the lizard with San Marcos, I love the colorful reptile. This will definitely one of my favorite for the year. Second, I love the country course. The rolling hills provide a good challenge, but are not nearly as ridiculous as the River Road Half Marathon that was the first race in this series.
Enjoy this review? Make sure to check out my other race recaps!