RnR San Antonio Marathon Race Weekend Recap! Part One – How We Got There!January 10, 2018 / byrunningwhilevegan / Categories : Uncategorized
As I’m getting ready to go to Arizona for a Rock’n Roll race weekend in a couple days, I find myself reminiscing about my previous RnR race, in San Antonio last month! I love this race series. Mike calls them Razzle Dazzle races, and maybe they are, with the bands, and the medals and the hoopla, but fun is fun! My favorite thing about the RnR series is how they bring together a running community from all over the world. They hold domestic and international race weekends in cities I’ve always wanted to visit! Currently, I’ve run RNR races in Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Antonio. This year Mike and I gifted ourselves a 10 race tourpass each, which means we can sign up for 10 races in any location we want for one bundle price. We’re going to see the US (and possibly another country or two) by racing our way through it! To me, that is just so exciting!
The road to San Antonio started last Spring, when upon completing LA Marathon, I wanted some more races to train and look forward to. I purchased a RnR 3 race tourpass, with the idea I would for sure run the San Diego half, Vegas half or marathon, and either Brooklyn, LA or San Antonio, depending on what my funds looked like. I really wanted to run San Antonio – my grandparents used to live there and I hadn’t been back since they moved when I was a preteen. Something in me has always wanted to visit as an adult; I have such fond memories of spending a couple weeks each summer there with my family. Last March, Mike wasn’t interested in going to SA, but I didn’t completely neglect the idea of running it. We had time to figure it all out.
San Diego came and went. I applied to be an LA Marathon Ambassador and got it! I quit my job, started a new one, and moved in with Mike. The summer flew by. Come September I had a few races lined up, including two races in one day! I signed up to run Long Beach Marathon taking place the beginning of October. I applied (among the ambassadors) to be sent to France to run the Nice Cannes Marathon, representing LA Marathon. Brooklyn was coming up in mid- October and we just didn’t have the funds to fly out and stay in New York. That was okay, I planned on doing LA and my very favorite half marathon, Vegas. I was actually leaning towards the marathon distance in Vegas so I could get the complimentary 26.2 finisher’s jacket.
I got the Nice Cannes Marathon! Now I haf Long Beach Marathon beginning of October, RnR LA end of October, and Nice Cannes Marathon first weekend of November. I didn’t know how I was going to pull it off, I just knew I wanted to. I’m still a pretty new runner, so this was going to be quite the feat. Vegas was happening the second weekend in November, and even though I considered signing up for the half, I knew it would be rigorous on my body. What really what stopped me was the fact there was no way I could get the time off work. We were short staffed as it was, and I was taking off already to run France. That meant San Antonio was still an option! Except Mike had unfortunately lost his job, and even with him making more on unemployment than me working full time, we were on a tight budget.
One fateful night while I was making dinner, a week before we were leaving for France, a knock came to the door. It was Mike’s new landlord and it didn’t seem like it was going to be good news. The complex he had been living in the last seven years had just been bought by this new man, and there were talks of buyouts among all the tenants, plus day to night construction happening. We were bought out that night. Which meant we wouldn’t have to be in France broke, but we’d also have to move. It was a blessing in disguise. We had a month to leave. After we got back from France, we’d have three weeks to pack up the last seven years of his life. Fortunately many of my belongings were still in boxes from my move a couple months earlier. So what drove Mike crazy, these boxes in the corner, actually ended up also being a blessing in disguise. It’s as though I had a sixth sense about it all, not what Mike might call an aversion to unpacking and organizing. It was kind of a bummer; I was in love with living and running in Santa Monica, but we were scraping by, even in a rent-controlled apartment and we were craving a space of our own, a fresh start. The fact we were scraping by meant that we didn’t have the money for a deposit, except! Now we were getting a buyout! And also going to France. How was all of this going to play out?
I had one tour pass stop left. San Antonio was the only race left in the series. I was tired from two full marathons and a half in the span of one month. But I am also stubborn with an adventurous streak. Or vice versa. Whichever makes me sound more appealing. We decided to move in with Mike’s parents, as they so generously offered. This would give Mike the freedom to find a tech job he would be happy at, and as BOH and FOH trained restaurant employee, I can go anywhere. It also meant San Antonio could be a very real possibility. I just couldn’t let it go. I wanted to use my last tour stop and I had my heart set on a finisher’s jacket. My stubborn streak wanted to complete three marathons in three months. I wanted to go to Texas! I wanted to figure out how to make it work. A huge part of making it work meant putting a place of our own on the back burner, and moving in with Mike’s parents in the suburbs outside of LA. His parents are fun and I truly love being with them; they’ve always made sure I feel welcome in the family and I liked the idea of staying with them while we figured our stuff out. France lit a fire in us to make traveling a priority in our lives – there is so much of this world to see and experience, and I for one was tired of telling myself “next year, definitely next year”. It had turned into a decade of “next year”. Running has changed my life in so many glorious ways, and one of them has been the ability to see the world, one race at a time.
Well, that was a lot of information to get us here. Thanks for sticking by, dear reader! And so, San Antonio weekend came! I was signed up! We agreed it could happen, it would just take a lot of elbow grease, with little sleep. Because of course the day we needed to leave to Texas was also the day we had to be out of our apartment. And sweet Mike’s birthday had been a couple days prior – we had to celebrate! He is so kind and selfless, I had to make it special. And we were still short-staffed at work so I needed to go in for a shift before leaving again for another weekend. Somehow the moving truck got packed up and I made it to work in time to open. Somehow Mike was able to get the moving truck to the storage unit next to his parent’s house, 50 miles away. And unpack it and return the truck and meet me at the Ontario airport at 2:30pm. Did we get into and argument on the plane? Possibly, but can you blame us? We were dog tired. We made up and checked into our hotel and got some drinks and a late dinner at Yard House.
We had a blast in San Antonio. We used Priceline’s feature where you book a hotel at the last minute for an Express Deal – you don’t know where they are going to place you, and you have to stay wherever they choose after you commit to an Express Deal, you just choose the location and whether you want a 2 star or a 5 star hotel (based on price points). I’d never used it before because I am so neurotic about planning. But we found our hotel on our layover in Phoenix and it was perfect. It was SO nice, for three days we paid what one night there costs, and it was next to the starting line of the race!
The next day, Saturday, we went to the race expo. I cried a little bit walking in, I just couldn’t believe we made it to Texas and I was going to be running another marathon, this time through San Antonio. I had hoped I’d make it to this race since March, and here we were. We bumped into another Los Angeles runner. I bought some Gu Packs and a tank top – I really like buying the RnR city tanks of all the places I’ve been running. It’s kind of an expensive habit next to the actual races themselves, and I keep telling myself to stop, but I still bought one in San Antonio. Since we had used all morning to relax, time was ticking and it was dinner time. We were both pretty hangry; one of us more than the other, the one who isn’t me.
If you are vegan and traveling, you know how it is. It’s so much fun, you get to try vegan cuisine in new places, with new flavors, but it also gets expensive, because you dining out vegan style does not usually come cheap. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Taco Bell is one of my favorite restaurants, but I can only eat so many bean burritos made fresco. Subway sandwiches get old on the road too. Thankfully the sweet onion sauce is vegan – it makes every sandwich a masterpiece, but you know what I mean. You can’t just get some eggs, pancakes and potatoes for $6.99 and call it day. It’s always gotta be a $15.00 tofu scramble, which you are happy to pay because you want to support vegan options in restaurants, especially vegan restaurants you found on Instagram the locals love. And there’s never a bottomless mimosa option either! An accidental $40.oo – $150 a person later (a scramble and a couple cocktails or organic coffees) I always had the best meal of my life, and then commit to eating only Top Ramen and 99 Cent Stores produce as soon as I get home. As neurotic as I am about planning, I simply have to be better about traveling with dry goods, especially if this travel race thing is going to be our 2018 lifestyle!
I’ve gone on way longer that I thought I would, and breaking this up into two posts! I knew I was a long-winded writer (not talker though, sorry in advance when we meet and I’m awkward and can’t make small talk to save my life, but not that sorry, it’s just how I am!) Food and actual race recap next, otherwise known as the fun post!
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