Ultra #5 – Rocky Raccoon 50 miler – 2/7/15

[BEGIN BACKDATED RACE REPORT FOR 2/7/15:

Ultra #5 / Overall #15
Rocky Raccoon 50 miler (Tejas Trails)
Huntsville State Park
2/7/15

“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…

IMG_1368IMG_1371

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]

 

 

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