Tag Archives: 20M

Lighthouse 20M Results Bad and Good

Perhaps it’s time to schedule an eye exam.

Two ten-mile loops. Easy peasy, right? Actually, it was super easy.

While it had rained the night before and the threat of mud was high, there was very little mud to speak of. The most mud we encountered was on the walk to the start. The course had a few tiny hills, but it was mostly flat and super runnable. Had I known how fast the course was, I definitely would have signed up for the 50K.

One of the worst parts of the day was when the 50K’ers took off. There was a huge crowd of people, then BANG! They take off and there’s like four other people left. It totally felt like the party just left me behind. And I would have to wait a whole freaking hour for my start.

More people eventually showed up and it seemed like we had our own little party ready to roll. The gun went off and the fun began. I wasn’t really trying, but I got ahead of the crowd pretty quick. However there were two guys ahead of me that were hauling. I tried to keep them in my sights. But the gap widened at mile 2.5 when I had to stop to take a sh*t. After that, I never saw the dudes again.

I cruised along, feeling good and strong. Even though I forgot my handheld in the car, it wasn’t a big deal since there were 4 aid stations per loop. I was totally fine without it and actually glad that I wasn’t carrying water.

For a several miles, it was like I was the only runner. The two dudes in front were just gone, and there didn’t seem to be anyone behind me. Finally, at about mile 5, a guy catches up to me. I  slowed down because I was confused. The fence line I was following ran perpendicular right into another fence. I was like, “What the?!” But then I saw there was an ever so slight trail following this new fence line. And then a hundred feet later, the trail disappears behind some trees. Again I was unsure if I was still on trail. I expressed my doubts to the other guy, he seemed unconcerned. Eventually we saw a big sign with a big arrow, which was perfect.

Trail anxieties relieved, I started talking with the guy. Mike from Boston, just moved to Austin, doing the 10 Miler. It was nice talking to someone after running alone for what seemed like forever. Mike probably felt the same way. We ran for several miles, talking about -what else-  running. About mile 8, he said he was taking off for the finish. I was sad to see him go because it was nice having company, and even nicer having another pair of eyes finding the trail.

When I got back to the start, I saw Mike. I asked how far out the two guys were. Turns out, one was a 10 miler, so there was only one guy ahead of me, although I had no idea how far ahead. But with 10 miles, there was still a chance. Mike had finished second in his race.

The second loop went by quickly. I started passing the slower 50K’ers. I was hustling along. One thing that struck me: I don’t push myself hard enough. Or more accurately, I’m not sure what I am actually capable of. I filed that away for a later training date. I’m nearing the finish and still feel like I have plenty of gas in the tank. Although I’m worried because I seemed to have missed that one section with the fence line business… Or did I just not pay attention?

My Garmin has my finish at 2:30:32. And only 19.52 miles. Oh $%^#!! I did miss part of the course. I tell the three people working the race. They seemed unconcerned and/or unsure what to do. I look at the tiny map on my Garmin and I can plainly see, yep, I missed that right turn. (Later, on Map My Run, I saw that I fudged up not once, but twice, and unintentionally cut off a half mile. A HALF MILE.) I told the lady who handling passing out the medals that I should be disqualified. While it would have been nice to place, it was a 20 mile race, not 19.52.

The more unsettling thing of all this was not having my name listed on the web page official results. No DQ, or even an asterisk. Nope, I was not part of that race. Oh well.

The next two days I redirected that bummer energy onto canvas. Finished two paintings in two days. Maybe I’ll sign up for a 5K and get lost…

bitchin'
bitchin’
THE QUICK BROWN
THE QUICK BROWN

Lighthouse Hill Ranch 10/20 Mile/ 50K Trail Run

Tomorrow I’m running a 20 Mile trail race.

It’s a pretty small event. Last year, there were 55 finishers for the 10 mile, 17 finishers for the 20 mile, and a mere 11 finishers for the 50K. This is probably the smallest race that I’ve ever been to.  Two weeks ago I inquired about previewing the course. They don’t have day access (must be private land) I would have to rent a cabin in order to do so. I forget what the price was, but it was way too much. So I, and likely everyone else, will be running this race sight unseen. I’ll be doing (2) 10-mile loops. Easy peasy.

I’m excited but not nervous at all. Mentally, I’m looking at this race more as a training run. In fact, my marathon training schedule has me doing a 20 mile long run, so it fits perfectly. But I am going to run it hard, as it would be nice to place. I don’t know if they have awards or not, but I would definitely earn some “trail cred” with the people I run with.

My friend Zach is running the 50K. It’ll be his first ultra, what’s more it’ll be his first run over 20 miles.  He’s been logging good mileage for several months, and I asked him “What are you going to do with all those miles?” That finally convinced him to sign up for a race. Which reminds me, he still owes me $65. He’s a beast of a runner, but I wonder how he’ll handle all the variables at the same time – nutrition, hydration, sweating (he sweats like crazy), which leads to chafing, mental issues, gastrointestinal issues, pacing, etc.

Several Rockhoppers are also running, so that’ll be nice to see them. However, most of them are doing the 50K, which makes me feel like a chump. Whatever. I’m hoping I can take some cool race photos. Although that seems really hard, most race photos I’ve seen are not flattering at all. But maybe I can work some magic. We’ll see.

Most importantly, I need to remember to make a new playlist!!