What a weekend! This all started with conversations after Bandera. At Brazos Bend100 I met a lady-Rachel that ran the race but got to 55 n had to drop. Went out to fast and that magnifies other issues. If you have never ran a ultra- n I've ran just a few- it's tough to explain. It's pace, nutrition, hydration and unless you are a superb runner (I'm not) it's also time management. Anyway- we met at Brazos and when Bandera rolled around she asked me to pace her the last 20 or 40. I was like sure! A week or so later, her friend wanted to pace her so I thought, well I'll just jump in the race n hold her back til 60 when her friend steps in. Most of my close runner friends are people who run ultra's n most choose the 100 mile distance without much difficulty. I wouldn't trade my friends for anything but it's easy as a new runner to lose respect for the distance. I have a great coach who has shown me so much about running. I honestly think she is the best around and I hope she will guide me for as long as I run. During my conversations about Rocky, I didn't say anything to her. Actually I didn't about Bandera either. Epic fail on my part and it was a total lack of respect on my part. We had a plan after Brazos and I've really butchered that. Hopefully it'll be mended and we can get on to the business of making me a better runner.
On to Rocky Raccoon 100- me & Monte drove down to Huntsville and camped out. Dale Cougat, Kerri and Rachel fixed us a great dinner and we went back to our tent and crashed. Race morning we arrive 4 minutes before the start and I find Rachel just as we start. I knew timewise where we needed to be in order for her to have enough stamina to run 100 miles if she had the heart to suffer through it. We started loop 1 and 2 miles in I faceplant in the ground #stupidroots so we just slow it up and feel our way through the dark waiting on sunlight. Loop 1 (20 miles) was uneventful and we finish in 4:57. I knew Loop 2 would be a tad slower but again uneventful. It's fun running these events and seeing all my friends and making new ones. Sure enough Loop 2 was 5:27 and Rachel was as strong as ever. Loop 3 was more of the same. Run the downhills, walk the ups and walk/run the flats. We picked up another friend-Yvonne at about mile 53. She was fun to have along and another ear to hear me mouthing off. Mile 55 I lost Rachel at a aid station so I pushed on to the start line to begin the 60 to 80 mile loop. I knew Rachel had her regular pacer there and would be fine til mile 100. I started the 4th loop feeling strong so I thought heck, Id push the pace and see if I can get my loop times back in the 5's. Along about then is when light rain began but I tried hauling the mail when I was able to. The cutoff time to begin loop 5 was 6am n I was looking at a 4:30am. I was in great shape until I hit a #stupidroot and went flying. I tried running but could barely walk. It's very humbling going from something epic to walking a 25 minute mile. The leg never got better so at about mile76 I caught a ride to the start line to throw in the towel.
Takeaways from this race? While in a aid tent, my friend John Sharp was trying to get my shins loose. That was great but our conversation about my awesome coach & listening to your coach resonated louder. I had a plan for 2015 and I've ran 2 races that she was not privy too. Total lack of regard and disrespect for her. John, thanks for reminding me of that. Hopefully I can learn to be a better client to her from my shortcomings. I've always said that life is a journey and we must learn lessons along the way. I think I did this today about 5am.
Rachel and her pacer went on and finished the run and she earned her 1st buckle. I'm proud to know Rachel and hopefully she will keep on doing ultra's. For me? I think I need about a month off and go to a gym to make my core stronger and be kind to my legs. This and hopefully learn to be a better person through this. Til next time RunStrong!
PS- MANY friends of mine earned their 1st 100 mile buckle and many of my veteran friends got them another!