Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hells Hills 10K Report

This was originally supposed to be a 50K. But ITBS that would not go away followed by strep had me begging to downgrade, and luckily Joe obliged. Luckily, too, because my family came down for Easter weekend and my dad's birthday and I really did not have time to run a 50K on that particular day... but on to race day... or day before.

It all starts with the pre-race dinner, right? Luckily, Barefoot Jim came over and we had a good chat and some okay pizza and beer the night before. What I planned on being 2-3 beers became 5-6 as my dad came over after him, but that is just race fuel! 

The morning of the race, Jim got out there earlier to wish others well and I planned on getting there at 6:30, having a pre-game poop and running the 10K at 7:15. Unfortunately my iPhone told me to turn right instead of left at exit 157 and I barely got there at 7... the beer and the pizza were begging to come out, so
I had to rush to get my packet and then wait in a huge line to the portapotties... all of which were out of toilet paper! Luckily, after my first half marathon bad experience of wiping butt with credit card receipts, I came prepared! I did my business, then ran back to the car to wipe... now, I was one of the last cars there, so not many people were around, but some lady was smoking and decided it would be a good idea to just watch me wipe my butt... whatever floats your boat lady. So I bagged up the Sooner paper, threw it away and dashed to the starting line.

Now my goals were A: Place 1st, if not then B: place top 5, and if not then C: beat last year's 1st place time. Unofficially, with 48:10, I did C, I don't know about B yet, and A I did not do because some teenager got a 42 minute time.

I really need to learn to be more aggressive. At the 5K I did well at I was real good at getting to the front of the pack. This time I tried, but people were not budging even with an "excuse me" and a gentle push... not sure why people who are slow want to be up front so bad?

Anyhow, then I dashed up and tried to get to the front of the pack. I was behind a teenager and just following him... on to the 50K course... so we had to find our way through some non-trail area after adding some distance and get back on track. Other than that, my biggest problem was not being able to pass the people who were now in front of me on the trail. It was barely wide enough for 1 person at points, so I could not bring myself to making them get to the side... I got better at it as I went, but spent a lot of time right behind people who were going a pace I did not find challenging.

I also had to pass the people doing the longer races, but it seems they were much more likely to be aware and be willing to move than the fellow 10K runners. One lady was walking up a hill and offered to move, which would have been a lot of work for her, so I said no, it was a nice excuse for a rest, not meaning anything, but I realized right after what a jerk I sounded like... sorry! I only mean it was an excuse for a 10K runner! Not a 50K!

There were some real fast youngins out there too! It was fun to see a particular father son team who was right in front of me for a long time. 

I really liked the course and it felt like a roller coaster to go quickly through those little hills. The course was super rocky and I was glad I brought my VFFs instead of going barefoot. On a longer run, I would probably like to have the trail gloves or something heavier. 

Jim also did the 10K and I think he had a great time. He went in Trail Gloves and even did some barefoot. Some guys from our sister group in San Antonio ran the 25K and 50 miler! Running that 50 miler is damn impressive to me! Maybe I will do that next year! But I have to say, while I love running ultras... I also love the 5 and 10K distances because I get to go much faster. The 10K for this was so fun because, like I said, it felt like a roller coaster.

All in all, it was such a fun race! My next Tejas Trails run will be Cactus Rose 100! Can't wait! 
This week I have the Chapa 5K, my last short race for a while, then on to El Scorcho!!!!

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