I’m not going to write what happened in each loop but rather try to express some of the feelings that I had through this race. The race consisted of 5 X 20 miles loops, I had run parts of the course back in December when it was hotter so I was happy to see the weather working in our favor. There are plenty of aid stations: Dogwood, Nature Center, DAM Nation X 2 and Park Road, each of them with awesome volunteers.
Finished the race in 23:27:02 and got a nice buckle for the accomplishment.
- The hill right after we left DAM nation the first time seemed like it went forever those last two loops, so it was just a step a time, one foot in front of the other.
- Rolling hills on the fourth loop took an exaggerated amount of time, at some point before I reached the Park road aid station, was hiking with a guy that nailed it: “These hills seemed to have gotten longer at night”
- Being in pain every single loop. In typical fashion and after a lot of subliminal messages from Joe of course I signed up out of impulse for Rocky and before Bandera. Needless to say, tendonitis/shin issues bugged me the entire race which were left overs from Bandera mud fest 2013. Ended up with some nice bruises in my calves and left shin.
- Hitting my right toe 8 times vs. my left toe only once, should have kept it even.
- Fell only twice, once the first loop and once the second loop, hardest thing was avoid falling the rest of race 🙂
Most fun and awesome moments
- Seeing Lety and the kiddos in the middle of the race and at the finish, this was a big boost of positive energy and the best thing that happened all race. Jorge (my son) asking me how I was doing was hilarious…
- 365 ways this race can wrong or right 🙂
- Race, can’t go wrong with a Tejas Trails race, Joe and Joyce (along with their entourage of volunteers) always put up quality races. At the end of the fourth loop Joyce comes running and asks if I’m ok in a typical worried Joyce kind of way.
- Help from Jorge, he graciously helped empty my trash on the second loop and assisted me as I was getting out of the station
- Volunteer aid stations, I think having run a lot of Joe’s races have spoiled me 🙂
- Running with David Z and trying to keep up with him the first 2 laps
- Nailing my nutrition, started off with 4 Honey Stingers gel’s per loop (went down to 2 for the 4 and 5th loop since I was eating more solids). Solids and others:
- Fruit: bananas and oranges
- Rammen and mashed potatoes, about 4 cups worth of Rammen, about 11 cups worth of mashed potatoes
- The most delicious wiener and american cheese burrito (two halves)
- Chicken and cheese quesadilla
- 1 salt cap every aid station starting the second loop (might have been the first loop). Double dosage the third loop
- 1 cup of potatoes
- Whole avocado, one half the first loop, second half the second loop, had one extra to spare but I was lazy and didn’t want to waste time cutting it.
- For what it’s worth, gluten-free pretzels about half a ziploc bag (sandwich size)
- 3 cans of coke (90 calories), I think I might have done an extra 2 or 3 cups at aid stations
- Approximately 1 bottle of water per section (ran out of water on the third loop when it was hotter made up after that), that’s a LOT of water
- 1 tylenol tablet to mask the pain on the last loop (or at least an attempt to because the pain was still there…)
- Running with a brazilian friend Alex who had just run the Brazil ultra as relay
- Running part of the first loop with David Jacobson
- Meeting new running friends and old ones too (David from endurancebuzz.com, Ben Martinez, Colin from Team in training and many more)
- Support from friends (running and non running ones (what’s wrong with you non running ones? just sayin’ haha), family, coach
- Told myself I would not walk the dam and ended up running it all 5 times, even if sometimes it was more of a shuffle
- Bringing my own food for pre-race dinner.
- Awesome sunset from Huntsville
- Hearing Alex yell weird noises from the top of his lungs
- At the end of my fourth loop, a female runner vomiting (could hear her about 200 meters before we crossed paths). I asked if she was ok her response “yeah I’m ok”, crazy ultrarunners…
- Moving shadows on the fifth loop
- Sleepiness, having now been awake for more than 24 hours on the fifth loop I started feeling like I needed a nap
- Renting what apparently was an RV camping site and getting approached by a guy that asked: “Excuse me, do you have a reservation for this site?”, to which I replied “well yes I do”, with his somewhat polite answer, well it’s not typical that non RV people pay more for a camping site. It is obvious that there is a whole brethren of RV campers out there
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – that’s what it was on my mind the last loop a quote from Pre that resembles toughness and perseverance. To think I almost slowed down when I saw my watch and thought the race had started at 5AM rather than 6AM, in my mind my goal was sub-24hr. Took me a few minutes to realize that I had 2 hours and 15 minutes to run the last 2 sections, whew! that was close.
Very special thanks to Lety for her support, for putting up with sleepless kids and for her never-ending love. Thank you.