[BEGIN BACKDATED RACE REPORT FOR 2/7/15:
Ultra #5 / Overall #15
Rocky Raccoon 50 miler (Tejas Trails)
Huntsville State Park
“I have to finish, I already put the [50 miles] sticker on my car.”
The Rocky 50 happened as a result of my injury from the double half marathons on New Years Day. I had been planning on doing the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler and had been training all summer and fall for it. But on New Year’s Day, I had a disabling injury of my right peri-achilles tendon from the New Years Double half marathon on New Years Day (temperatures were at freezing with freezing rain). That injury put me out for a whole month, as I had to defer the Houston marathon in the process. Mentally, I was already burnt out for a 100 miler and there would be no way that I would’ve even started. But I had been training for a whole half a year for the goal of doing a 100 miler.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
– Proverbs 13:12
It was definitely a hope deferred type feeling, not being able to do the 100. At this point, I had been chatting with my Maniac friend Erin (MM#3525) whom I met at Wild Hare last year, about what to do. And I was pretty depressed about it for the past month and especially the days surrounding it. I knew that at this point God shut this door of doing a 100 miler race.
But you know.. it’s all about perspective. 100 miles seemed impossible, but somehow a 50 miler seemed very doable in comparison. After all, it’s half the work! At least that’s how I thought of it at the time… hah.
Knowing that Erin will be there for the 50 miler, that gave me a reason to go for the 50 miler. I did a test run the week before at McAllister Park and it was alright for 10 miles… So I was like, yeah I’ll be ready for Rocky 50.
“I have to finish, I already put the “50 miles” sticker on my car”… LOL
This was a 13.1 shirt that I got from my teammates at RuNsane Running in 2013. It was just funny how during one run, I had bought a 50 miles sticker. It became a running joke between me and one of my friends Angie (on the RuNsane team) that we substitute the 13.1 for “50 miles”. LOL
We arrived at Huntsville State Park around 5:30 AM just in time for the start promptly at 6:00 AM. I met up with Erin at the start line as well as chatted with a few other folks…
The course consisted of three semi-out and backs from the start/finish area. There were plenty of roots, but there were also an abundant amount of rocks and loose gravel. I actually felt like I went out pretty hard, since I’m “only doing a 50 miler” that would justify going fast right? lol
The first time I was leaving out of DamNation (the most remote aid station), I saw runners turning back and I automatically assumed that I should turn back as well. Then I saw Erin on the outbound segment. I was running to keep up with another runner in front of me and wondered why we are going a little fast and why I felt like “one of the last ones” on the course… Until I realized…
“Oh CRAP!!” I missed that 3 mile out and back loop out of DamNation!! I thought I would take my time and then make up for it on loop 2.
As I was making my way through loop 2, I finally went on the 3 mile DamNation loop, and OMG how horrible it was!! There was nearly a mile of steep climbs filled with roots, followed by descents out the shores of Lake Raven… So I can’t believe that I skipped this part… and that I have to do it… AGAIN. Since I dreaded this portion so much… I decided that I was going to do it again for the 3rd time, and never have to come back to think about it ever again in the 3rd loop…
So here are the folks at the DamNation aid station (the remote one before that dreaded 3-mile loop). I made it back to the start/finish line still with a decent amount of energy left.
Here goes the third loop. By the time I hit DamNation again, I was tired, exhausted, and fatigued. But I kept on going and moving along. The weather got a little warm but overall tolerable…
At mile 47, I hit a wall, and my quads were too painful to run anymore. I remembered it being so painful that I wanted to cry.
Inspirational signs… I felt too tired to interpret or laugh at them…
Even with all that struggle in the last 3 miles, I managed to pull off a sub 11:30. Not bad for having been out for almost a month!! My right Achilles started to bother me again, but I knew that it was over and there’s a reason why it was injured…
Then I saw Erin coming in a little after 12 hours but she seemed fine!! Looked like she could keep on going!! I was like… congrats but how are you able to stay fresh? She said she walked some and ran some. Obviously she didn’t push herself as much as I did. And compared to over 12 hours, 11:30 wasn’t THAT great of a time anyways.
So instead of a 100 miler, I ONLY ran a 50 miler this year… I already put the 50 mile sticker on my car. LOL
END OF BACKDATED RACE REPORT – 5/20/17]