Remember the Alamo 13.2 (1:28.40)

After driving for four days, dad and I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a half marathon in San Antonio, Texas.  Last weekend after completing the Rock and Roll half marathon in VA Beach, I thought there was absolutely no way another race could be that hot and humid. (I was terribly wrong).  While Texas is hot it normally isn’t as humid.  That completely went out the window when we saw the low was 80 with the humidity at 80%.  (The high was 90 or so).

After walking outside I knew it was not going to be a fun race.  It was hot, humid, my legs felt heavy and I could go on with more excuses.  I chose to sign up for this race knowing full well everything else I had going on.

We got to the race, picked up our packets and I did my normal half marathon warmup.  Ie: nothing.  Every half marathon I’ve done remotely well in I’ve never done a warmup.  Every half I’ve done a warmup, I haven’t done well.  We lined up at the start and the race director said “in typical cross fit style I’ll count it down…3…2…1…go”.

And we went.

Mile 1-2, I ran with Tim and a pack of 4-5 other guys.  It felt hard and we clocked the first mile at 6:30 and the second was around 6:50.  My legs were heavy and I questioned if I would make it through the race.  I passed one female around the half mile point and remained first female overall.


Around mile 3, the lead cyclist misled the top 5 males in the wrong direction.  The course was a bit confusing and you did a “red loop” twice and a “blue” loop once.  However it was hard to tell which loop which and when each of them started.  The first lead cyclist (There were four) led the males to cut off half of the first loop.  I started to follow (they were about 20 seconds in front) and the second cyclist shouted no no no wrong way.

I quickly turned around, said some four letter words under my breath and followed the cyclist a different way.   I was still wondering whether I was even going the right way.  Then we saw mile marker 3 and I was feeling a lot better.

I felt bad for the other males and I know I would have been livid (I already was) but at the same time I’m happy I got t follow a cyclist because I would not have made it through that race and taken a wrong turn…or ten.


Miles 4-6 I began to roast.  The heat started to take a serious toll on me.  It was getting hot and humid and I had sweat through all my running clothes.  Around mile 5 I saw Stephanie and my spirits instantly skyrocketed.   (photos taken generously by her) I tried to keep my mind off of how hot it was and noticed a dozen deer on the side of the path in the park.

Stephanie and I (post race)
Stephanie and I (post race)

At mile 7 we met up with the 10kers.  They started a bit later and were about a mile into their race.  Mile 7-13.2 were on the same course as the 10k.  I met up with 10kers running between 7:30-8:30 pace which was fine, it just meant for a lot of weaving in and out.  (Mile 7: 6:43)

It provided me with more scenery because I had essentially been running by myself for the entire race.  When passing some high school boys they really started to pick up the pace to hang with me.  I think without fail, high school boys do not like when women pass them.

Miles 8-10 were a bit of a blur.  I was hot and just counting down seconds until the next Gatorade/water stop.  My electrolytes were low and I knew if I didn’t take Gatorade I would have had issues.  I was also started to cramp.  My legs had finally started to feel decent but my stomach was cramping.

Look mom friends
Look mom friends

Mile 11 has always been my favorite mile of a half marathon.  For some reason seeing that I have less than 20 minutes to go motivates me. I started to pick it up and pretend I wasn’t being stabbed by a serious side stitch.  (6:28)  Honestly by this point I wanted the race to be over.

Mile 12 I met up with a 10ker who would not leave me alone.  He asked me my goal time, my PR, everything about running then proceeded to tell me his life story.  I was truly happy for him but please don’t tell me to pick up the pace.  He then proceeded to start coaching me to the finish line and my rage was honestly building.  My anger was building mostly because it was hot, humid, I wanted the race to be over but I was getting really annoyed.  The last thing I wanted was somewhere to tell me to pick up the pace and yap away.

sir leave me alone
sir leave me alone

I finally crossed the finish line in 1:28.40.  Since it was 13.2 miles (as stated in the race registration) my overall pace was 6:43 and I was 1st female overall.

I did win this growler and it goes down for best race prize ever
I did win this growler and it goes down for best race prize ever

Overall thoughts:

It was the most hot and humid race I’ve ever done.  I have never sweat that much.  I didn’t set any goals and was using it more as a training run because of driving and the heat.  I’m happy with my results and my effort was high.  It does make me hungry for a half marathon in decent weather where I could potentially PR.

Questions for you:

Hottest race ever?

Have you ever gotten lost on a race course? 

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  1. I get lost running on trails – either because the blazes aren’t marked frequently enough or I’m busy looking down for rocks and roots….or just daydreaming lol. Congrats on your first place finish on a tough temp day!

  2. Hottest race had to be the Utica Boilermaker this past July. You could feel the humidity and heat like a giant weight while in the coral. As of yet I have not gotten lost. But they say there is a first time for everything.

  3. I raced a half in 90 degree weather once. I don’t think I’ll do that again. Maybe, but not anytime soon. You seriously take the best race pictures every time. I usually look like I’m about to die in all of mine lol great job despite the heat and your tired legs!

  4. I did a 5k in Syracuse where they set up the race barriers to split the road into a Y for some reason. Of course as soon as the first person went down the wrong way of the Y, the rest of the field followed until they fixed it (The first 25% of the field went the wrong way). They listed the race as a 2.7 mi and 5k race in the results. I was quite confused when I leisurely passed the finish line at 18:15.

  5. Way to go! I secretly love “chicking” guys during races and training runs/rides. It’s funny to see their reactions. 😉

  6. Man, I’d kill for your speed!! I’m hoping to finally sub 1:30 in a half I have next month and it’s a mostly downhill course and in cool fall temperatures!! You are a beast!! 🙂

  7. I was in San Antonio for 4 months one summer for Army training and I thought it was SO humid!!!!! But we woke up at like 1am to train cause of the heat and right when the sun comes up, the humidity dries out a bit. Good job being first! That is an awesome prize!

  8. I ran the Herothon Half in San Antonio in January and it was a lot better. I never thought that San Antonio had hills, but they found some for that course, especially at the end coming back into the Alamodome. Nice race Hollie!

  9. Even though it was hot and humid it looks like you had fun! I’m glad you did get lost a bagilion times. I actually got lost 1x during a road race in high school- I went from dead last to finishing 3rd overall…. turns out I had missed a turn and cut off a good chunk of the race! Needless to say, I didn’t get the trophy 😛

  10. I haven’t got lost on a race course, but I’ve gotten lost on plenty of runs. It’s the worst when you can’t find your way back to your own car. LOL I love the fact you pretty much killed the guy who was trying to coach you during the “kick” (if that’s him). What a douche.

  11. Wow! I have no idea how you did so well in that humidity. The Texas heat and humidity really slowed me down… and just 7 days after your other half- amazing!! Congrats on first place! And too funny about the guy coaching you to the end. I would have been annoyed, too.

  12. Congrats! I literally LOLed about the high school boys comment. Not surprising at all. Egos, egos. You and Tim make a really cute couple. Hope you’re getting settled in nicely!

  13. I’m seriously jealous of your growler. SHare please.

    I’m happy Tim and Dad were able to run with you

    I miss you already. UGH!

    Anyways- awesome race, and way to pass those HS boys, I’m sure they didn’t like getting passed, but maybe they enjoyed the view? LOL

  14. I love all of the pictures! Especially the one of you and Tim!! LOL! Way to do well despite the heat and humidity!

  15. I HAVE to do that race! I love the Alamo (native Texas over here). And since I’m training in THE most humid conditions I’ve ever been in (Oxford, MS), I think I might be able to handle it. Great job on your win!

  16. You never cease to amaze me with your times. Another great win for you!

    I am a professional at getting lost on (badly marked…) courses. I’ve gone nearly two miles off course during a trail/beach marathon, and that was the worst two miles of my life. Many times on well-marked courses, marshals have had to yell at me that I was about to go the wrong way. I have no sense of direction.

    I’ve run some pretty hot races in the 90s, but nothing as bad as the conditions at your race!


    1. Thank you Jess! I’m actually generally talking throughout races so it looks more that I’m smiling…I wish they would have captured some photos of where I looked like death.

      I remember reading about the marathon you got lost in and I could not even imagine. I do not have a good sense of direction either so that would not have been pleasant for me either.

  17. Hollie you are amazing. I seriously can’t wrap my head around the fact that 3 years or ago, you ran a 10k in 70min and now look at you. Definitely the fastest (and fittest) women runner I know on the internet blogs AND real life!

  18. What the frick Holly, why do you always look gorgeous when you are racing?

    (and amazing job. I couldn’t run 13 miles period in that weather. You’re going to crush your next cool temp race so hard)

    And real question: why do you wear the compression sleeves? have you already discussed this?

    1. I actually run really far on my toes. Not because it’s “proper” running technique but because I’ve always walked really far on my toes way before running. I get mistaken for a ballerina more then a runner.

      Long story short, my calves get incredibly tight no matter what I do. I could foam roll until the cows come home and they will still be tight. So needless to say I wear compression sleeves to try and loosen them up as much as possible. If anything it’s more mental for me but I try and wear them to bed most nights and during longer races.

  19. I agree! You look pretty gorgeous! Maybe it’s because you are just so in your element. Haha 🙂

  20. I had so much fun race stalking you Sunday. I can’t get over how at ease you looked, given the miserable heat and humidity!

  21. I love how you’re always smiling in race photos. Also, my mouth and temper is far too vulgar to let somebody coach me to the finish in a half marathon. Thanks, but no thanks dude.

  22. Lol, welcome to racing in the south! I’m just astonished that the race directors planned a half so early in the fall – they knew it would be in the 90’s. Great job beating the humidity.

  23. I love Tim’s face in the picture. I also like your comment about high school boys, wish I could have seen them as you passed them by 😉

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