Sunday, November 16, 2008

San Antonio

Alamo chapel
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Saturday is tour San Antonio day. First we checked out the path to get us to the shuttle bus so we won't be wandering around at 6AM. Next we walked through the quaint neighborhood next to the Alamodome where the original train station which has been refurbished into a restaurant and shops is located.

From that it was a quick walk to the Alamo. Yes, it is tiny but that is only the mission chapel we learn. The entire Alamo that was defended is huge. Most of it today is under streets and buildings. There were survivors of that fateful day in 1836, March 6, but they were women and children; all the men perished.

Next we strolled along Riverwalk home. This amazing project, a series of paths, steps and bridges along the river that goes right through town, was started in the 1920's and today is truly worth all the work, time and money. Someone had a great vision and followed it through. The Riverwalk meanders only two blocks from our apartment. Once out of the downtown area the complexion changes into wide landscapes and tranquil vistas. In the heart of the city it is bustling with cafes, shops and many walkers.

We have pasta dinner at an Italian restaurant a few blocks from home and then it is bed time. We agonized over the 31 degree weather for the start but our only choice is to plan clothing accordingly.

Race day dawns with the promised cold but it does not feel too bad. We end up in a monster shuttle line that is still huge by race start! We get on the first add on bus which happens to be a cushy upgrade from the city buses.

They are on corral 16 when I get to the start, good enough for me. Donny shoved me on wanting to adjust his shoes. He dropped into corral 21. In comparing our times later we paced each other perfectly.

Along the marathon way after we split from the half marathon at mile 10, we run out Mission Road. It is very tranquil and nice. We pass Mission San Jose, Stinson Airport and run alongside and back and forth across the San Antonio River coming back. I did great until mile 21 when everything fell apart. I felt bad and so wanted to quit and definitely wanted the race to be over. I spied a girl who was doing well but she kept stopping to stretch more and more often. Finally I turned back to where she was and asked her if her calves were bothering her. She said it was her hamstrings. I told her to come along, we could do this. I had no doubt that she would finish but I was thinking it was going to take her a really long time. And so we walked those last five miles in shared agony. We listened to our own music until mile 26 and then chatted. She is finishing up law school at UT in Austin and is headed to LA to practice. This is her first, and last marathon! We walked across the finish line together. She could not even sprint and I was okay with a slower time of 7 hours flat.

I so wanted to get my shoes off but first I had to walk the mile home. And then finally there it was with Donny, who completed his race successfully, waiting with a tub of hot water and fresh pecan pie. He had been tracking me online. Bless his sweetness.

We tried for a Tostada burger recommended by Donald but the place that offers them is closed on Sunday so we had a burger at the Hatters and free beer from Lone Star who had brewed a batch and shared a keg with the restaurant.

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