Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Brazos Bend 100

  WOW! I'm not sure where to start putting my emotions and feelings in words on completing my 1st 100 mile race. I keep going back to a conversation I had with Janet in January when she said I had told her I ran but she hadn't seen it. I didn't want to be "that guy." She didn't run but wanted to try it. Together we ran our 1st 5k the next month with my sister Paula. It was cold & crowded and lasted forever. My 3/3 walk run strategy got us through in like :43 or so but we had just conquered the world! 25k at A-OK a month later was colder n icy but me and Janet trudged through it. ALL of the Dallas Dirt Runners pushed me on to higher goals through the spring. I heard of people running 100 miles in March this year and secretly I knew I had to do it. I creeped on FB following Jason B & Aaron C finish their 1st 100 milers and one of Janets co-workers also ran a couple as well. At Possum Kingdom I met my future coach- Jennifer as well as Matt Crownover. Matt said something about a card carrying badass Steven Moore that ran 100's. I knew then if there is another Steven Moore doing it then I could sometime. At Jemez I was blessed to become friends with Steven Monte and I set my sights on Cactus Rose 100 as my goal. Jenn wrote the schedule and I put in tons of miles. Monte was my sounding board all year when I wanted to complain. Cactus was a DNF due to a few mistakes on my part. It dang sure wasn't running the Hot Chocolate 5k! 65 mile training run was good and so the next day I entered Brazos Bend 100. Coach Jenn probably wasn't happy but Monte was willing to pace for 50 so I thought why not? After Big Cedar 100 Monte was eligible for the Texas MegaSlam (run 3 100's & Bandera 100k) so he had to enter the race as a competitor but he insisted on us running the entire race together. What a gift he gave me! Jeopardize his chances at a huge goal to help some guy that just started running......
Loop 1
After giving my front running friend Pompy a quick hug I went to the back and we were off. My strategy was just to grind it out and finish. We ran near Dale the first few miles at a steady pace laughing at his jokes. Well that and giving nicknames to people to identify them later. I had a 6hr goal for the 1st loop. There was 12 water stops so I handcarried water and used my gear for nutrition. The loop was great until 17 and the water stops were empty..... Monte spotted me water until we could get back to the start line.
Loop 2
I was afraid of going too fast after having 8 miles without water so we settled into a 3/3 walk run. Mile 27 stomach issues hit me hard. The Tailwind I drink for calories as well as the Cliff Bars wreaked havoc on my stomach and I was off in the woods before continuing commando. Near mile 37 we picked up a older lady to run with us. She was doing her 1st 50 miler and just wasn't sure. It was awesome having her. I'm sure my stomach issues will make her stay off trails in the future but we got her to the finish. We laughed a ton and just made the best of a crappy situation. Embrace The Suck! That's all you can do and keep running.
Loop 3
We wasted alotta time. Changing clothes, aid stations, etc. my stomach was wrecked and all I could eat was Gu's,a little coke and water. Every aid station Id just load up on Gu's and try not to throw up whatever food I tried. In spite of all this we were still laughing.... We finished that loop at 3am.
Loop 4
The 1st 3 miles I could still walk/run and maintain a decent pace. After that we were just waiting on the dawn of a new day and walking. It was Steven's fathers birthday and we were finishing this race. We laughed and cried a lot during these 25 miles. LOTSA stuff is between us but I'll take this loop to my grave. Just a real emotional gut check. Mile 87 aid- we were told we were in last place and might not make it. I called BS and started back running. I think we made up close to a hour until mile 98 and I got in a dark place. Monte was patient and let me sort it out and we pushed to the finish. He wanted me to cross 1st and I wanted to cross together but he won that arguement.

 This year has been a crazy ride. Dallas Dirt Runners have helped me soooo much. There is just too many to name individually. Everyone I met at a race this year had a hand in this. Janet got me going. Jennifer Kimble & Steven Monte believed in me 110%. I had a few naysayers along the way. I didn't have a running base, blah blah blah.  They were probably right but I pushed on. A lady named Chris told me in March that you have to want to run a 100. You can't do it for anything else.  Dang she was right! It's hard and not something you can push people to do. Everyone who has been a part of this journey I thank you. God has blessed me with great friends and supporters and all of you were on my mind during this run. Runners & Non Runners alike. What's next? Ehhh I dunno yet but it'll be a distance with 3 digits. I guess I really like to suffer as John Sharp would say. LOL I want to help others. Not just to run 100 or even a 5k but to help them take control of their lives. 5k to 100 miles in 11 months has shown me that the human spirit is capable of anything it wants to do. Til next time- Run Strong


  1. Good reading! ;)
    Maybe in 2015 I'll be ready for my 3-digits run...

    1. You could kill Bandera 100k next month sir! It's just 11 miles past your 50!

  2. Good reads Stephen, I relate to your journey in a way. As humans we may or may not agree on some stuff but I have nothing but admiration and respect for you sir. Now keep the shit going and never give up.

    1. Agustin, You are a beast and I'm proud to call you my friend! I can't wait to see you running again!