Bastrop, TXSunday, May 9
Weather - Overcast but INSANELY HUMID
With a fairly "big" summer of races coming up, I had been checking on and off for various races/travel expenses that would fit into our budget and training. With Heather & Lisa both still in the Austin area, the Wildflower trail runs are always of interest. However, flights were way too expensive, so I shelved the idea of another whirlwind weekend. Then, Frontier sent out an email advertising the sale, and when I found out all three of us could fly for about $200, I convinced Ben it would be "fun" to run another race. Initially I had wanted to run the 25K again, but apparently the races this year would take place over the whole weekend and our Sunday option was only the marathon or half marathon. Well it obviously didn't make sense to "just" run the half, so marathon it is!
I had actually slept pretty well, although with a 4:45 am wake up call, we got only about 5 hours of sleep. We had plans to get ready and head to the gas station next door for coffee and breakfast by 5:45. It's been years in the making, but I can actually get Ben to move that quickly now, and we were out of there in time. We grabbed coffee, but neither of us could really decide what we wanted to eat. I ended up grabbing a Kind bar and some jerky, and we were on our way to Mayfest park with an ETA of 6:00 am, as planned.
I hadn't remembered that we shouldn't have been putting just the park name in the gps, as that took us to an open field. Upon putting in the actual address, we found the lot with minimal difficulty. We grabbed our gear and got on the shuttle bus to Bastrop State Park. It was pretty dark, and Ben was wondering if we would need headlamps. I had no idea when the sun was supposed to come up, but I was assuming we were fine.
It was already INSANELY humid. We picked up our bibs, realizing that we would now need to carry our swag with us on the run. Ben had opted for a shirt, and I got sunglasses & a collapsible cup - both of which fit fine in my back. Cycled through the bathroom line a few times & before we knew it, we were listening to Rob at the pre-race meeting. I actually remembered a decent amount of the course from when I'd been here before, but the refresher was good. We used some bug spray from the aid station, as the mosquitos were on the hunt.
|Pre-race smiles before we know we are going to DIE|
I saw Ben barreling down the hill, seemingly in 4th place. He looked fast! I would not see him the rest of the day. We had to head up to this little cabin at the top, touch it, then run back down towards the finish. THEN, we would start our first loop (of four) for the marathon distance.
I didn't stop at the aid station before heading up the first climb. I definitely remembered this part. It was, however, MUCH sandier than I remembered. I was glad that I had worn my gaiters.
|Really the only major intersection on the course & I think this is marked pretty amazing|
|It's hard to tell, but there is a smiley face on the water tower. And it seemed to be mocking me.|
SO HOT. Have I ever been this sweaty in my life? Thankfully, my stomach was feeling a tiny bit better. I forced myself to eat a couple of club crackers, and continued on. The sun was staying hidden, which was really a blessing in disguise. At times on this loop, it actually seemed a bit cooler than the first time around. That didn't last long.
Came in just a few minutes slower than the last loop. How on earth am I going to do this two more times?
Head out for loop three. HOT AF. Dying. Force myself to eat a couple Honey Stinger chews. The lizards are out! I actually got a picture of one before he scurried off. Probably saw close to 100 on the trails. My stomach is feeling ok but I'm draining my bottles because I'm just so thirsty.
|The road is way up there on the other side of that pavilion|
After I cross the road I decide to set up my phone for short intervals for a while, since I know that there are really no major climbs and if I run even for 30 seconds, that is 30 seconds sooner I can be in the air conditioning and NOT on this course.
For a few miles I am able to do this, but all my running intervals feel incredibly labored. I can't believe how hard this feels. I feel like I have been in a steam room for hours. At the last aid station I switch it up and ask for orange soda. The volunteer asks me if I want ice in that. YES I WOULD LOVE ICE, I DIDN'T KNOW ICE WAS STILL A THING!!! The orange wasn't a great call, I should have stuck with coke. But the ice was amazing. I finished the orange soda and dumped the rest of the ice in my bottle. From here I knew I had a bit over 2 miles to the finish. I am done. I am toast. BUT... I caught up to the lady, so I decided to push as much as I could. I passed her, and then a short while later, I passed another guy with about a mile to go. Neither of them caught bac up to me before I crossed the line. I saw Ben at the aid station, and he got this very foggy picture of me running into the finish
We used some wipes at the aid station to get as much dirt and grime off of us as we could before getting back on the shuttle to get back to the car. OUR RENTAL CAR SAID IT WAS 91 DEGREES WHEN WE FINISHED. I believe it.
Garmin Distance - 26.67 miles
Garmin Time - 6:32:29
Official Time - 6:32:32
Overall Place - 21/35
Gender Place - 7/14
Miles 1-5 - 13:30, 14:04, 15:53, 13:03, 13:12
Miles 6-10 - 13:34, 13:25, 15:55, 15:38, 14:01
Miles 11-15 - 13:42, 14:06, 13:29, 14:01, 14:56
Miles 16-20 - 16:32, 14:10, 16:19, 14:07, 14:20
Miles 21-finish - 17:48, 16:58, 14:53, 14:21, 16:49, 14:29, 13:43
- The course is really pretty. I just don't know that it was pretty by the 3rd-4th time around. (Kidding, it was always pretty).
- It was SO FREAKING HOT. Like in the 10 days leading up to race day and the 10 day forecast after, we were easily 10 degrees hotter than any other day. If the sun would have come out earlier I would have died. #notdramatic
- The swag was good, and I like that I can select what I want, rather than getting stuck with another race shirt I won't wear.
- Aid stations were ok, I was just so hot and out of it that I didn't want ANYTHING.
- Course was exceptionally well marked. Really no way to get lost here.
- As an aside, I usually get chafing under my arms when I wear a tank for long distances with a pack. I was definitely being risky wearing one, but I didn't experience any chafing at ALL - thank you Ultraspire for a pack that fits so well!
- I know I say I won't run this again, but... maybe just not the MARATHON again.