After surviving running through the night at Pedernales 60k I had to run the 2nd race of this series. I need the miles at night on trails and I'm a glutton for punishment I think. Like last race my buddy Dale went along to do some volunteer work at a aid station and my friends Carl and Jeff went along as well to run the race. These night races are unique because of pre race meals and driving down the day of the run. No hotels so that makes it more attractive to me. Go run and get home! Race am Dale asked me to pick him up at Bachman Lake in Dallas after he did a 5k with his family so I got up and headed that way. Upon getting there I realize the 5k hadn't started so I decided to join them. I was wearing flip flops but I went ahead. That race was fun just chit chatting around the lake and off we went after meeting up with our friends in FTW. We decided on Bucee's gas station food for a late lunch and that was cool. They have a great brisket sammich! Off again for Muleshoe Bend near Marble Falls!!
On the drive down I discuss the race and because of the heat I made a decision to go slow at the start, run a fast 3rd or 4th loop and just get a respectable finish. This is a 4 race series and don't do anything dumb. After arriving n walking up to check in I saw the dumb part had already been done as the pads on my feet were sore from my little flip flop 5k but I had to run this race. It's 37 miles. 4-9 mile loops with a out/back to start out to get the extra mile. Loop courses are tough mentally when you get tired and if you linger at the start between loops it's easy to talk yourself into a DNF so I sent all my gear with Dale to the 1st aid station making the start line just a place for water n watermelon. 1st loop was just easy. With a 7pm start I had 2 1/2 hrs to see most of the course in the daylight without pushing. Another friend,Chris, was at the 2nd aid station and I loved seeing a guy that I really look up to out there giving back to our running community. 1st loop was pretty even just talking and trying to get back to the 1st aid station on the course. I got passed by quite a few friends doing the 30k and it's always good to see them. 1st loop - 2:41 and I was happy.
Loop 2 I took it down even slower and decided to make loop 3 the one that counts after it cooled off. I just power hiked, jogged and stayed on top of nutrition & hydration. Zero issues and a 2:58 loop. I knew I had some cold Snickers at the 1st aid so away I went for the chocolate and see how fast I could go and try to catch a couple of friends. At the 1st aid I took a little break and got my calories up and filled my pack for a hard loop and see how fast I could do it. I was shooting for a 2 hour loop and away I went. Watching my watch I knew about where I was until I passed a guy going the opposite direction. He said I was going backwards but I continued on. About 30 minutes later I run into a married couple I left at the start line and they convinced me I was almost back to the 1st aid station instead of where I needed to be. I was sunk mentally. I've never been in this spot before and so I decided to just stick with them. We walked forever it seemed til we got to Chris's aid station and looking at the clock I was about to be short on time. I had to start loop 4 at 4am or I was out of the race. My feet hurt like heck and my morale was in shreds so I let the couple go on and I just walked. Not power hiked but just a simple walk feeling sorry for myself. About a mile from the finish I see the couple and the lady is laid down and the hubby is trying to get her going. I pass them and soon they are off running and pass me. I'm just like wow! That girl was done and she found some run somewhere so I hustled on into the start line at 3:53am. 7 minutes to spare! I get there and the couple was long gone so I headed out alone.
Loop 4- I knew I had 3:07 to finish it and I couldn't do any more dumb things today and miss the 7am cut off so I power hiked and jogged to the 1st aid. About a 1/2 out my buddy Dale is waiting on me to hustle me along. We get in to refuel and head out chewing on my last Snickers. He goes out a 1/2 with me and I just jog the flats and power hike for the next mile until I see a headlamp in the bushes. The lady that was so tired earlier was lost. Her hubby is trying to reach 400 miles in the Tejas 400 and couldn't risk a dnf so she was alone. This girl was like a angel to me and gave me a reason to move with a purpose. She was going to finish this race! We power hike and run when we can and soon I can hear the 2nd aid station. We get water and head out. Daylight is coming and I knew we had to run ASAP. Run we did and soon she passed me but I kept her in my sights just so she wouldn't stray. About a mile out, my buddy Dale aka #TexasYeti is hollering for me to move a little faster. Soon he joins me and we top the last hill and finish with 15 minutes to spare. Daniela, it was nice sharing some miles with you and thanks for the motivation when I was beating myself up so bad. Angels come in all forms and her along with Dale were mine and carried me through the finish. Takeaways- That person you could easily overlook in life could save your bacon in an instant as well as couples running ultra's together is too cool! They are very blessed people! Ohhh And never be ashamed of a DFL. The medals are all the same. Til next time #RunStrong