I usually don't have bad races. I train hard...go in knowing what I am capable of...and then try to execute it. Not every race is great...but most are hardly ever "bad." In the last 3 years, I have had 3 bad races...races where things go south...and just making it to the finish is all that I ask of myself.
Today...well...today was a bad day on the trail....but then I was reminded all of the good things...and those good things are really good things...and then I knew that my bad day of racing...really wasn't that bad....but let's not get ahead of myself.
Crosstimber is a tough race...bottom line...people ask me which Texas Trail race is tougher...Bandera or Crosstimbers? My response: "Whichever one you just got done running!" That Crosstimber trail is relentless...no long climbs....but very steep ups and downs...with lots of roots...and I love this trail....I love the race...and I call the race director, Teresa McCoul ,a dear friend.
Hindsight tells me it would have been wise not to race this weekend. I have been sick all week with upper respiratory stuff...taking decongestants to just to be able to breath...and feeling bad all week. I take off at the start running with Marlee and she looks over at me and says, "Dave, I can hear stuff in your lungs." Yep...and the heart rate was high too...real high....probably from the acetaminophens....and what do I do?...I try to race the thing like everything was good. By mile 5 my calves started cramping....probably from not hydrating like I should have...after all it's only a 1/2 marathon...and by mile 8....I didn't care anymore. I pull into the last aid station and asked them to call the finish line to breakout the sundial....yep, I was moving that slow. Just ask Rochelle....yep, that Rochelle...the Rochelle who runs 200 mile relays...SOLO....She sees me at about mile 11 with cramps so sever I couldn't straighten them out. She massages the cramp out and got me going again... I still chuckle at seeing her line up for a half mary...kinda like seeing Ryan Hall run the 100 meter dash.
So I finish...and Teresa and Marlee come up to me...take one look...and know that it was one of those days...they quickly added a hug and words of encouragement. I chat a minute with my friend David Hanenburg...and he introduces me to his bud Tim Jagoda...ok lets get some things straight here...David is a multiple Ironman...like fast Ironman...and a fast runner....Tim..well, Tim is wicked fast...like go out and overall win the Crosstimbers half marathon...they live just blocks from each other so I am thinking it may be something in the water...Tim assures me that it is and will bottle some up and send over to me. Within an hour of finishing I start receiving calls and texts....first Clive...then Patton...all wanting to know how I did...then telling me not to worry bout the race...remember to have a spirit of gratitude. Watching Scott Eppleman leave in second place for the second half of the 50 mile race and asking me how I was doing...these people mentioned are only a few that I had talked to today...you have heard me mention many of my running buds here on the blog...Ballard, Tidmore, Kennedy...the list goes on....
and that brings me around full circle...it's the people in this sport....my running buds....the people that help weave the fabric of one's life...and a bad day on the trail with people such as these...well that isn't a bad day after all.