RnR San Antonio Race Weekend Recap! Part Two – The Eats and the Race!

February 5, 2018   /   byrunningwhilevegan  / Categories :  Uncategorized

(Read Part One here!)

We made it to San Antonio! We had a place to stay, restaurants to check out, a race to run, and the burden of moving out of our apartment off our shoulders!

Getting there was stressful for both of us and emotions were running high. We had gotten into an argument that was threatening to put a damper on the whole weekend, and the victory of getting there in the first place. Good news; the night was salvaged and we made it to Yard House on the River Walk for some drinks and vegan eats. Yard House has a vegan burger, which Mike got, and hummus, which I got. Both were decent, but nothing worth going on about. Mostly we just wanted to celebrate our voyage, and since we got in late, not much else was open. I’m super thankful these large chains have vegan options nowadays and Yard House was steps from our hotel! The days before this marathon, I did something I hardly ever do before a big race – I drank alcoholic beverages. I was excited to be running, but I was burnt out. This was going to be my third marathon in three months. I wasn’t going for a PR, I was going for the experience and the finisher’s jacket. Based on how this marathon went however, I will not be partaking in adult beverages before anything more than a road half-marathon. Ever. (Probably ever.)

Don’t mind me, just sampling some local libations!

Saturday morning we had grandiose plans of exploring the city, but as you can imagine, we were incredibly tired. The bed was just so big, and so fresh, so clean. The room was super nice. We used Priceline’s Express Deal, and found a 4 star hotel near the start (and finish) line. It was pricier than what we normally would go for, but we paid for three nights what one night normally costs and it was worth every penny.

Mike had lost his passport between boarding the flight and getting to the room, which was panic inducing for many reasons, including the fact we had just received them for my Nice-Cannes marathon a month prior. American Airlines had his passport, he went back to the airport, and I took my time getting ready for the expo. A lot of time. Taylor Swift’s new album had dropped on Spotify and I listened to that (a few times on repeat). I decided not to go to the expo alone; I waited for Mike with a delicious San Antonio-crafted IPA at the hotel lobby bar. And then around 3:30pm we were off.

I cried a little at the expo. We made it! My dream of traveling for races was happening! The volunteers were all so friendly, we greeted  a local LA runner – this was it! I wasn’t necessarily prepared to run another marathon, but I wanted to. I wanted to be there with every part of my being! We got my bib, we took pictures, I bought a RnR San Antonio tank top, some Gu packs and a Clif Bar. 5pm rolled around and we were hungry. Maybe one of us was hangry, the one who isn’t me. It was time to EAT! My other favorite activity!

Pure joy, reading the dinner menu!

We had decided on Viva Vegeria. I had put a post on IG up, asking people for recommendations for vegan food, which I like relying on more than YELP. People love Viva Vegeria and after eating there, I can say we do too! It’s completely vegan, gluten-free, the staff is sweet and friendly, it’s and BYOB, which isn’t made very clear on YELP. I got us a bottle of white wine at HEB shortly after we were seated, which looking back was unnecessary, but I was in the mood to be on vacation! Never mind the 26.2 miles in the morning! It’d be fine!

In the forefront, our buffalo cauliflower wings and poblano dipping sauce! We loved the Tex-Mex flavors!

 

Mike is a nacho connoisseur so we get them everywhere we go! We were blown away by all the flavors and textures in these nachos!

 

The chik’n flauntas dinner special. SO TASTY! We loved all the flavors and colors incorporated into all of our dishes.

Viva Vegeria is a warm, vibrant restaurant on 1422 Nogalitos in San Antonio. They are 100% vegan and gluten free. Expect to have a long meal there, as staffing (and menu count) doesn’t exactly match the amount of seating they provide. They more than make up for it in flavors and hospitality. This is based on one visit, one time, on a busy Saturday night on a marathon weekend in the city.

Almost go time!

Marathon morning came. It was muggy and warm, so at 6:30 in the morning I left the room in a tank top, shorts, and compression socks. I’ve taken to wearing compression socks during my longer races, as I feel they help with my soreness and recovery! I’m a late arriver to the corrals – I know some people like to get there hours before the start but I am not that person. Mike stood with me until it was getting closer to my corral go time, and when he left I confidently stood waiting, munching on my Clif bar. Or so I thought. Mike says he’s never seen me so nervous before a race. He took video of me staring with a panicked look in my eye, chewing my bar. It’s true, I had no idea how I was going to pull this distance off. My mind was in it, my body was not.

The first few miles were fine! There was a torrential downpour around mile 3 that lasted a few miles. Then the weather was mild, warm enough for me to dry off, and comfortable for running. When the half marathoners branched off the course at mile 12, that’s when reality finally hit. I had a decent half marathon left in me, not a full. I wasn’t even to the halfway mark yet and I was feeling done. I’d never experienced this before. Around mile 18, 20 I usually start to wane, but that’s with a manageable amount of race left! This, this was new. Between miles 12 and 13, I was already walking. It was going to be a long day.

Course support of my dreams during a tough race.

Things got kind of dark the last half of that race. I walked most of it. There were definitely highlights, but I wasn’t having it with the cheer squads or fellow runners asking if I was ok. I was fine! It was my fourth marathon in a year! I was just tired! Mike rented a city bike and rode alongside me most of the second half, handing out candy and being moral support. I didn’t ask for that and I am eternally grateful. Afterwards, he said something along the lines of “You looked defeated, accepted it, and kept going.”  The second half of the course was not as exciting has the first, which I’d heard about these races. The sun started coming out, the temperatures were rising and I wanted to be done. Walking a marathon can be so much harder than running it. It ruffles my feathers when I read articles where elite-type runners really make a point to congratulate the 5 hour plus marathoners as the “real athletes”. It sounds so condescending to me! But man, after walking the greater part of a marathon, I’ll take it. It was rough, and it was never-ending. “Finisher’s jacket, medal, finisher’s jacket, medal” was on repeat for hours in my head.

With my mind on my medal and my medal on my mind.

I started the race around 7:30 in the morning and finished around 2pm. It took me 6 hours, 14 minutes to finish. I finished mile 26 with .2 miles togo, and garnered all my strength to run through the finish line. I MADE IT! THE JACKET WAS MINE! I got my medal, my jacket and went to get my free beer as Mike returned the bike. The finisher’s fest was almost over, the bands had played and cleared out. I found a place to sit and took some selfies with my medal. I was beat. Was it worth it? YES!!!!!! IT WAS SO WORTH IT! I don’t want to experience a race that fatigued again, but I wouldn’t take back my decision. I finished! I came to accomplish another marathon, get my jacket, and have fun. While the race wasn’t a blast (for me personally — the course was flat, the weather was pretty much perfect, the volunteers and cheer squads were amazing), the weekend was! And it wasn’t over yet. Mike met up with me and I gave him the remainder of my (almost full) beer, which never happens. With Mike and I, it’s usually the other way around. I was done, ready to go back to the hotel. Mike was hungry and went to get us Chipotle, while I staggered back to our room. Naps were had.

The interior wall of Green restaurant! I love it!

Post-nap, I was ready to see the city on our last night in San Antonio! One thing about running races slowly is that the recovery period is much shorter! We got ready, I admired my new jacket and medal some more, and we were off to Green in the Pearl District. Another BYOB restaurant – now I was ready for my celebratory beer! Diet Coke it was. Green is a vegetarian restaurant – everything on the menu can be made vegan. Service there is also warm, and the place is cute! I LOVED our fried pickles, but I wasn’t crazy about my eggplant parmesan. I am used to Los Angeles vegan food, what can I say? I was expecting Follow Your Heart parmesan or a vegan mozzarella. I don’t always need vegan cheese to be satisfied, but with a dish of this name, yea…I do. Sorry not sorry!

The fried dill pickles with house-made ranch was my absolute fave! I love fried pickle spears over chips!

 

More fried foods! I liked this eggplant parm but wasn’t crazy about it. They do make cashew cheeses in house, but I was hoping for a vegan parmesan flavor, or melted cheese (something creamy with a slight sharpness), to bring the eggplant and pasta together.

Green Vegetarian Restaurant is a fun, casual, 100% kosher vegetarian restaurant with three locations in Texas. Everything on the menu can be made vegan. The service is friendly and quick. It is BYOB.

Our Lyft driver recommended a snazzy hotel bar to us, the bar in the lobby of Hotel Emma. It was walking distance from Green and beautiful. One thing I have to say I love about traveling outside of California is the astronomical drop of the price of things! Fancy cocktails in San Antonio are on par, price wise, as happy hour in Los Angeles and San Francisco. We had a few rounds, we saw Charles Barkly, we walked around admiring the Christmas decorations – it was such a beautiful end to the weekend.

The in-photo captions speak for themselves!

Monday morning came along and it was time to pack up, squeeze one more thing in, and board our flight. I insisted on an afternoon flight so we could have time for lunch or the Alamo if we chose. Plus, we’d be getting back two hours! One thing we consistently joked about on this trip was the time change, because going to France the month before to run a marathon was a little tough – travel wise. There was a nine time difference and 6 hour layovers – it definitely made flying out to Texas a breeze! A two hour time difference was barley registered!

Fried avocado spears at Green for a lunch appetizer! We got some more of that house-made ranch as well!

 

Enchilada plate with house-made cashew queso and sour cream! I loved it!

We decided to get lunch at Green again, as Mike had very much enjoyed his dinner, it was close to the airport, and it was close to a statue of boots outside of a mall that I wanted to take pictures of. The San Antonio boots! Everyone takes pictures there, right? My grandparents used to live in San Antonio and we, as a family, took a photo under them. 25ish  years later, I wanted to relive it.

The Boots!

This time at Green I chose an enchilada plate, which I thoroughly enjoyed. We saw the boots, we got on our plane (me wearing my jacket of course) and we got home safe and sound. Another travel race in the books and my 4th marathon in 2017. Would I run that many in one year, in the future? Doubtful, but never say never!

And that’s a wrap on our RnR San Antonio adventure! We loved the city, we loved the food, and even though I had a tough race, I still had a blast and learned a lot about what my body is capable of and when I’m pushing too hard. I’m still a newish runner and this was the first time I had an “uh-oh moment” during a race! There will be more, there will be tougher races and all I’ll be able to do is my best to push through!

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