Sunday, August 7, 2011

Captain Carl's/ The Falls 30k Trail race

Wow....wicked good times. I really missed trail running and this was a great way to kick it back into gear.
My race started at 7:15 PM and it was a little over 100 degrees when we started. Freaking HOT! I started the race towards the middle of the pack as I knew that I was not trained for this distance and terrain. I stayed with a group of folks for the first 30 minutes. Then when we hit the dried up river banks I decided to move forward. I started moving through the other runners focusing on keeping my heart rate as normal as possible. I was concerned about blowing up towards the end of the race and going to hard at this point would totally make that happen.
After the second aid station I was in a really good grove and knew there were people ahead of me that I wanted to catch. I just stayed focused and made sure I putting time into them. By the next aid station I caught them. Big smile here! I topped off my water bottle and as they were walking back to the trail I ran quickly to get out. Right out of the aid station there was a really really long downhill. I forgot that I might actually have down hills running skills as I flew down the hill passing more people than I thought I would. By this time the sun was gone and it was time for lights. Running in the dark it a totally different type of racing. Shorted strides and you never take your eyes off the ground.
At this point I had a girl right behind me with this crazy bright light so I just kept mine off and used hers. She was a cool cat and we watched out for each other for the next 4 miles.
By the next aid station I was starting to feel the pain. I was pretty dehydrated as my black J&A's hat was totally covered in salt. The angel Leah Neyfler was there and she made me take on my electrolytes that I normally do and then forced me to eat a Popsicle. That totally helped as I started feeling a little better.
With about 3 miles left there wasn't much company which is fine by me. I just followed the glow sticks hanging from trees and tried not to step on any spiders. Yes...spiders we hanging out on the trail as we ran. You could see them using the your light as their eyes reflect the light from your light. Yes....creepy! At the last aid station I stayed for a little longer than I usually would to take on extra water. Well....that didn't help because when I left I had 4 guys right on my tail. Running int he dark on the trail is way harder on the guy up front and I wasn't about to let those guys come around so I had to pick it up and do my best without killing myself.
The last aid station was 2.82 miles from the finish and I ran like it was. I dropped all 4 guys and caught 4 more people. I had one more guy in my sights with a half mile left and I tried to catch him but he saw me coming and he held me off.

Absolutely awesome race. Not too hard but just tough enough. The hills weren't too bad for me at where I am right now and I am happy about that.
After the race I was talking with the race director Joe. He asked where I had been since I dropped off the face of the earth from trail running about 5 years ago. I laughed a little and he says to me, "It's that triathlon shit.....that stuff sucks." I had a really good laugh at that and promised he'd be seeing more off me more often. I really like Joe so being able to speak with him after a while was nice. He's the god father of Texas trail running.

I have no idea what my actual time was but it was something like 3:25 for 18.6 miles.


KenConnolly said...

Congrats on the run. It is good to see you still running races at your age.
Be well-

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Mandie Hayes