Lighthouse Ranch Trail Run Race Report
Through Trail Toes, I had the opportunity to toe the line at Run in Texas’ Lighthouse Ranch Trail Run 20mi in Johnson City, TX with two of my fellow Team TROT Ambassadors!
This was definitely not something I was planning for as I am deep into my training for Franklin Mountain 50k, Bandera 100k, and Lonestar 100k. I registered for the race 2-days before so my taper consisted of speed work! That makes expectation management extremely easy. Since my schedule already had a long run, the only difference was I was going to push the pace slightly and get a chance to run on new trails! After a chat with my amazing coach Karen Kantor, I had a plan. lol
With the race only 1 1/2hrs away, the logistics for this race were simple. Wake up at 3:30am, eat my customary Chobani yogurt and enjoy my morning coffee (or 3) and hit the road. I arrived at the race venue for packet pickup around 6am which gave me about an hour to screw around, socialize, and of course drink more coffee. By now, many of you have come to realize that my racing is fueled by COFFEE!!!
The 7am start consisted of the 20mi and 50k runners. As we approached the starting mat I tried to get a feel for who all was running the 20mi vs the 50k. The “plan” that I worked out with my coach was to take it semi-moderately and hold on to an 8:40 pace. It would be comfortable enough given the training so far during the week while still landing a sub-3:00 finish. I told my coach before this even started that I wanted (for a change) to be mindful of my pace and not go out trying to light the trail on fire.
As the gun went off, that is exactly what I did. Knocked out the miles one by one and felt GREAT. The splits where well ahead of where I wanted them and my body showed no signs of of slowing done. Throughout the entire race I not once stopped at an Aid Station and blazed through “self-supported”. I did slow at one of the Aid Stations to fistbump a good friend from Project Phoenix. As I ran through each Aid Station I yelled out thank you to the great volunteers and continued on my way!
Mi 1: 7:35 /mi
Mi 2: 8:00 /mi
Mi 3: 7:53 /mi
Mi 4: 8:00 /mi
Mi 5: 8:25 /mi
Mi 6: 8:28 /mi
Mi 7: 8:01 /mi
Mi 8: 8:37 /mi
Mi 9: 8:29 /mi
Mi 10: 8:14 /mi
Mi 11: 9:47 /mi
Around mile 11 is when things started turning South quickly. My legs and body felt great but I started getting a real sharp pain in my stomach that just didn’t seem right and had the urge to pee… A LOT!!! Up to this point I had not been passed and was holding onto 2d place. Once the pain started setting in, that is when I finally got passed. I ended up getting passed by Meg (who went on to break the women’s CR!) Meg was running super strong and looked awesome!
As I made it to the top of the climb I pulled off the trail to visit the trees and that is when I realized I was going to have some problems. The urge to pee was there, but nadda. Back to the trail I went and continued with the pain. As I ran, it actually reminded me of the E.Coli that I had the year previously, but that couldn’t possibly be the case! I hadn’t been to El Paso recently (inside joke). On and off throughout the loop I had to walk until the pain subsided, tried visiting a tree, and still nothing. It wasn’t until mile 18 that I was finally able to painfully relieve myself and push into the finish. Oddly enough, despite the issues I had with the final loop, I was only passed by one other person!
While the race definitely didn’t end the way I had planned, I am actually pretty happy with the end results. I ended up finishing in 3:04 (just shy of my 3:00 hour goal time) but also ended up 2d Overall Male and Top Master Male.
Top Master Male? First I became a grandfather and now I am in the “Master’s” category? Well actually I have been in the master’s category for 3 years. I have just been too slow to actually doing anything productive with it! There definitely weren’t any land speed records, but I walked away from this race smiling!
Special thanks to Trail Toes for the opportunity to race and to Run in Texas for putting on a great race with amazing volunteers! I am already planning to come back next year, but this time I am going to do the 10mi with “Fluffy!”