What a weekend…Saturday morning, after Luke’s 0800 baseball game I took of for the 4 hour drive to Austin. I would be staying at Dylan’s place while he was off on his weekend adventures. You see, Dylan and Daniel are brothers that grew up where I grew up, in Levelland Texas. They are about 7 to 8 years younger than me and I remember them since before they could walk. Furthermore Daniel married my one of my best friends younger sister….Leslie. They now all live in Austin Texas and Dylan lives about ½ mile from Daniel…so there you have it. Dylan is a single and between jobs…so he is doing something that I think is the coolest…he is touring all the Texas State Parks on his bicycle. I caught up to him Saturday before he took off to a nearby state park with his bike’s saddle bags loaded down. (I regret I didn’t get a picture of Dylan taking off on his bike.) Crashing at someone else’s place so that I can go do a trail run reminded me a lot of my college days. It was great to catch up with Dylan, Daniel, and Leslie.
Saturday morning, I was up by 0500 and headed to Emma Long Park to run the Rogue Race – The Loop 30 K for the second year. I got to the course about an hour before the 0700 start. This gave me a chance to catch up to my buddy Dmitry. He just came off of a brutal MMT 100 mile finish and has the Western States 100 miler in 3 weeks…just another training run for him. Why standing around conversing, I hear one runner say that this is his first ever trail race. I told him it was mine as well…last year. He respond that he read a guys blog about the race and determined to run it…come to find out…it was this here blog…I really hope he doesn’t hate me to much.
At 0700, Joe Prusaitis, starts the 30K and we’re off. Knowing the course and a year of trail racing experience, I was running well and feeling great. The course is really rocky and there are a lot of ups and downs. All the lunges with weights and core training paid off. The first loop (6.2 miles) was done and I felt really good. Two more to go. I press on and still felt really good. Last year at the ½ way point I felt like it became the Death March. This year at the ½ way point, I felt really good still and still had a sense of humor. At about 0930, the sun and humidity started to unleash and toward the end of the 2nd loop I was beginning to feel it. Because I was feeling so well the first 2 loops, I don’t think I was hydrating to the hilt…like I should. I was taking electrolytes and fueling, but by the third loop the heat started to take it’s toll. I had not been doing much heat training and now I could tell. My stomach was getting nauseas and I had some mild cramping in my calves. My heart rate was also high and I couldn’t get it down. The 3rd and final loop was about finishing. When I crossed the finish line my time showed 25 minutes faster than last year. I was cramping and felt like throwing up but still in better shape than the previous year. After 45 minutes of recovery I was good to go.
I talked with Joe Prusaitis a bit at the end of the race and asked him why this Godforsaken race is so tough…Bandera 50K was easier, the Grasslands 50 miler didn’t torment me as such. “It’s the heat and humidity, Dave,” Joe’s response, “A little cooler and this course would be a lot easier.” I wished Joe the best as he will run the Hardrock 100 miler in early June...100 miles in the Colorado altitude. Every year I think that someday I want to run the Badwater 135 miler through Death Valley in August. Every summer I mark that off the list. Every winter I put it back on there.
In closing, I did a lot better than last year. I still have a long way to go. Never underestimate the heat and humidity….get some heat training before this little jewel of a race. Until next time, Run On!
Daniel and Leslie
Typical Trail Shots
Joe and Me (post Race)