Those were good. Those were really good. Each and every one of them. I use a 1 week taper, so I am not supposed to be there before tomorrow (for my next race at Peterson Rumble 40M), and thus I floated through all weights and intervals and hills, straight into Friday - when I slept in till 6:45!!! And then the work thing turned around and produced results! And then I went to Bikram yoga and was able to do a Standing Head to Knee full version, yay, after so many years I am coming back! And if anyone ever decides to think Yoga is not a sport, watch these video clips from my studio.
Anyway, there was a Hells Hills event an hour SouthEast of Austin, where I ran 50M last year, and I figured it's nice to put in last longish training run with other folks around, on trails that remind me of Wildwood (yes, they do, in the trees, covered in pine needles, soft and cushy). So, I did 25 km.
Took off after the guys, fooled in my mind by the fact that is where I usually run in a 50 miler. In a mile and change realized it is a 15M run, and those people are honking it, and I am not. Pulled back, settled in, enjoyed the morning (with all its 90% humidity, 75F, but cloudy, so at least no sun). I don't think this weather can do more damage to me than I endured at Grasslands, but I was thrilled that I was done and when the sun showed up past noon, I didn't have to be out there.
I flew a Superman somewhere mid-run, big time, while passing a slower 50k lady (from the earlier start), and no, I do not know how to tuck and roll, so when I fall, it's smack plant all body down, dirt eating, always right knee bleeding, and cussing. Couldn't swear too much, I think I scared the heck out of that woman just by falling and then being loud. Had to stop and shake off, while yelling (me: don't worry, honey, it's not that it hurts, it just helps me emotionally to deal with hurt. A-A-A!!!). Walked a minute. Limped another two. Started back running. You know, as usual...
Made sure to chat with friends who volunteered (them: why are you in a "mini"??). My long-time "catch me if you can" Chris Russel passed shortly after second AS (mile 7?). I kinda calculated it's a 3hr run for me, and ate gels accordingly. I still had a gel I was just about to take at 2:35 in, when a guy running backwards at us yelled "0.76M to the finish, almost done!". I was like, WTH? I even took the gel, thinking he said 1.76M, or may be 2.76, and I didn't hear behind the music. I was still taking it easy since at about 2 hrs into this whole thing I figured I am tired and deserve to relax and glide, and I thought I'd pick it up after last gel. Well, I picked it up. And rounded a corner into the finish. Great...
2:42, 5th female, I think Joe said 1st master, but since I always refuse awards at his races (I don't have a house, we live in an apartment, and Tejas Trails awards are rather special...), I may have to wait till official results. Not that I care.
They had showers!!! Hot! Tried to clean my knee, but was a wuss, and left it with grit. Hung out, was sent out for extra ice on Joyce's truck, bunged my head on it. Brought ice back. Hung out some more, gave grief to runners, laughed a lot, talked a storm (like: why are so tan? whatdayathink, I just ran at Grassland!). You know, as usual. 3 hrs post-race all together...
Came home by 2pm (ain't short races nice???), sent out email to local runners:
Well, it is ongoing and going, but for the news Paul Terranova, the intrepid in anything below 50k and famous Austin marathon pacer and 1st place finishers at Rocky 100 pacer (along with Meredith, who at this event marked the course the night before) ventured into 50M distance! We can thank huge rains in Northern CA for cancelling Lake Sonoma there (his target race) which allowed us to witness this dude to chase sub-7 (missed by a minute) in his first 50 miler. He looked good done too! And yes, he did the push ups. And wow, he said he'll do some more of those (50milers, not push ups, though push ups for sure)!
Steve Moore was 3rd in 7:34. No clue who that young kid was as 1st, but he had quite serious bloody blisters (Drymax, baby!).
I don't know much more. I mean, I was there, pretending to help after practicing a short run, but from what I remember Derek P. was 2nd, Flash was 3rd in 50k, Josue 4th and John R. 5th. Nobody broke 4 hrs. It was kinda humid, but till noon under the clouds, so I thought was survivable (not to everyone, though).
Famous Liza Howard played paramedic (while her son Asa played Firefighter) and pretended to use her wilderness skills she teaches on a couple of guys with sprained ankles and a few more with some mild dehydration. We chatted and both decided we don't do well as volunteers as we don't have all that much pity:) It's a joke, chill. New Balance has a new shoe coming out, and it may make our little treasure even more famous (see, I didn't say all the details!).
I let Chris Russel beat me in 25k, it was his only chance to find me at uncomfortable distance between my "more up my valley" races. I blame my spectacular Superman fall..nah, all his, clear and steer.
The course was in great shape, and I liked the new section replacing some of miles towards the end.
The $10 parking fee gave you a use of a HOT shower, and it was totally worth the money.
Aid Stations were manned by newlyweds Cheri and Jeff and by Mr. Hobbs and Crash on the course, as well as Juliana, Marc and more usual suspects at the start.
Joe and Joyce. The heart they put into these events is huge and pounding. Thank you. Makes up for the fact it's in Texas and prevents me from knitting full time:)
No, really, Tejas Trails are awesome! Anyhow, I am taking a taper week. I was playing with my knee at home, and I actually cried (more because I felt sorry for myself and the fact that Larry didn't express pity, you know, like you're tough, suck it up). Figured, would be nice to heal up before Oregon trip. Just in case. It might be wet out there, you know.
Tomorrow I am taking Harrison and my running club's friend's kids for a hike, to let them do their short run and to let Larry do a planned 20 mile run. Slacking. Wonder how this knee will work during squats, huh? Or Bikram? Anyhow, flying out Friday morning, meet with Alex, hang out 2 days doing mommy thing. Meet up with a few girlfriends. Drive with Bushwhacker on Sunday at 4am to Sisters and try and represent Texas. You know, may be get, like in top 10? Oregon is a tough crowd, they breed speedsters...I am pulling your leg, folks. I'll do my best for a given day, but I will mostly enjoy my old stomping grounds and hope for a good day. I always do. The rest - we shall see...
PHOTOS once I steal them from Josh, official dude. May be he'll even send them to me? :)