Saturday, November 22, 2014

Texas Trails Endurance 50K Race Report

Crossing the 50K Finish Line

I finished the 50K!

Although the 50K trail race that I ran today is held an hour from my home, my husband and I stayed at the park in our RV the night before the race. This was a race first. It was great to be so close to the race course and packet pick-up.

There were so many trail ribbons that it was easy to stay on the course and not get lost!

I'm glad that the trail was crowded at first because it helped me to take it easy for the first couple of miles. After a few miles, I started passing people. Since I didn't have a BQ to work towards like I do in a marathon, this was a fun way to push myself.

I nearly tripped about a dozen times on a root, but I never fell.

Rooty Trails!

Race: Texas Trails Endurance Run put on by Soler's Sports

Date: November 22, 2014

Race location: Huntsville State Park, about 1 1/2 hour's drive north of Houston, Texas

Course: Mostly shaded with lots of tree roots on the trails that make it easy to fall. There are a few boardwalks, too. I didn't see any alligators, but they're there.

Boardwalk at the Park

Weather/Clothes: 60-70 degrees. I wore the Skirt Sports Adventure Girl Skirt with 5 pockets and a short-sleeved shirt. I was glad that I wore my Saucony Ride 6 shoes because the cushioning feels good on a long run even though they're not "trail shoes". After the race, my toes were tender from hitting the front of my shoes on the downhills, though.

14 GU Gels and the Course Map
Fuel Pre-run: pancakes topped with peanut butter and honey 3 hours before the race start

Fuel & Drink During the Race: I used my Camelbak hydration pack for water, which I think put a bruise on my lower back that I noticed after the race. I took 14 GU gels and liked them all! I ate 12 of them - one every 30 minutes until I thought I ran out of them. I also had a handful of M&M's and a drink of Coke. I found the two "lost" gels in my skirt pocket after the race, but it didn't matter. I felt strong through most of the race and never had a side ache.

Post-marathon Food: At the finish line, I ate pizza, U Can drink (1st time to try, very mild taste), M&M's and cookies because I didn't eat enough sugar already! Then we went to Lupe Tortilla Mexican restaurant for second lunch/early dinner.

Results(Link): 5:44:18 finish time, 2nd out of 10 in my 40 and up age group, 4th overall female out of 18, 13th overall position out of 48 finishers; Splits: 1st loop of 10K: 1:12, 1st 20K loop: 2:13, 2nd 20K loop: 2:19

Thanks to all of you for all of the race encouragement sent my way, to the volunteers who were all so helpful and the race director, Roger Soler (in top photo), for a well-run race! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Your Race Recaps! 11/20

Reading about the following 11 races inspired me as I think about my upcoming 50K race on November 22 - a day that I hope will be full of many strong and happy miles just as many of these runners experienced. Congrats to all of the finishers!

Half Marathon

Anyone Can Run blogger, Eileen, completed the Blue Red Run Half Marathon (TX) in 1:50 and came in 3rd in her age group! Next up, the Dallas Marathon!

Fit Fun Mom blogger, Angela, completed the Revel Canyon City Half Marathon (CA) in 1:41 and came in 3rd in her age group!

Peanut Butter Runner blogger, Jen, completed the Thunder Road Half Marathon (SC) with a 7 1/2 minute PR in 1:44!

Running over the Hill blogger, Karen, beat her time from last year for the half when she completed the American Family Fitness Half Marathon (VA) in 2:10!


NYC Running Mama blogger, Michelle, completed the Potomac River Run Marathon (MD) and crossed the finish line holding her young son's hand!

Read Eat Write Run blogger, M, finished the Richmond Marathon (VA) with a BQ. In fact, it was her second BQ in 4 weeks!

Running on E blogger, EB, took a risk and left the 4:00 pace group for the 3:50 group at the Chickamauga Marathon (GA)and finished in 3:50. That's nearly a 20 minute PR for her!

Strength Running blogger, Jason, won the Potomac River Run Marathon (MD) in 2:50 and in his race report announces that he will soon be a daddy!

Other Distances

Runs with Pugs blogger, Jennifer, completed the Evergreen Pumpkin Run 10 Miler (FL) and earned a PR! Plus, her husband was racing, too!

Single-tracked Mind blogger, Jesse, placed 3rd at the Mt. Tam 30K Trail Run (18.6 miles) (CA) with a time of 4:15!

Ultrarunning Adventures with Jen blogger, Jen, overcame problems with the cold and fueling and came in 5th at the Pinhoti 100 Mile Race (AL) with a time of 24:48!

Photo: That's me in the green shirt at the '09 Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K.

Monday, November 17, 2014

50K Prep & Goals

I'll be standing at the 50K start line for the Texas Trails Endurance Run this Saturday! Here's some information about my 50K training and my race goals.

Long Runs

My long runs leading up to this 50K have been 18, 20 and 22 miles long. One of the two 22 mile runs that I did was at the race location: Huntsville State Park, north of Houston.

Running 4 Days a Week 

I've been running four days a week in training. That's down from my usual five to six days a week. I didn't want to deal with any hip flexor problems like I did for a recent race so I added in more running rest days. Also, I rode my bike twice for 45 minutes each week. The aches have stayed away.

50K Race Goals
  1. Start at an easy pace!
  2. Stay on course! I made a wrong turn in May at the Hog's Hunt 50K trail race and I ran 39 miles instead of 31.
  3. Finish! All finishers receive a finisher's shirt and hoodie. I like finisher's shirts even more than medals. 
Even though I'll probably be a little nervous at the start line, I can't wait for Saturday. I hope to be able to write that I'm a two-time 50K finisher by Saturday night.

Photo: Garner State Park, TX, where I camped, ran and hiked recently.

Friday, November 14, 2014

14 Race Recaps on 11/14!

Want to know what it's like to run the New York City Marathon, to race soon after having a baby or to race 3 days in a row? Then you're in the right place!


Dream Big Runner blogger, Christine, completed a 5K in 24:51, thanks to the stroller running she's been doing!

Half Marathon

Back at Square Zero blogger, Abby, finished the Rock 'n Roll Savannah Half Marathon (GA) in 2:12 and beat her goal time!

Healthy Liv blogger, Liv, ran the City of Oaks Half Marathon (NC) without specifically training for it and finished in 1:35!

HoHo Runs blogger ran a 10K as a training run for the Route 66 Half Marathon (OK) that's coming up and came in first in her age group!

Lily Runs the World blogger ran the Santa Barbara Half Marathon (CA) in 2:09 under picture perfect skies!

Mommy Run Fast blogger, Laura, completed the Trenton Half Marathon (NJ) in 1:39 after having a baby only 3 month ago - proof that this mommy does run fast!


Apple Crumbles blogger, JoAnne, braved the cold and windy NYC Marathon and finished in 3:54!

Half-Crazed Runner blogger finished the NYC Marathon in 3:45 and placed 2nd in the 50-54 age group for New Jersey residents. It was her first marathon!

Hungry Runner blogger, Katie, finished the NYC Marathon in 5:24 and was outfitted by Skirt Sports! It was also her first marathon!

Kara Goucher shares how she feels about failing to meet her goals for the NYC Marathon and her future running plans.

My Healthyish Life blogger, Emily, experienced hypothermia at the NYC Marathon, but still finished the marathon in 4:34!

Other Race Events

Ms Fit Runner blogger, Katie, completed the Runner's World Challenge (PA) that included a 5K, 10K and a half marathon (finish time 1:26!) in 3 days.

Running Free blogger, Dawn, was the first female finisher at the Silver Falls 50K (OR)! Read her recap to see how she fueled, what she wore and what it's like to be a lead runner for most of a race.

Running Through China blogger, Lou, ran even farther than a marathon and completed the 3 day challenge of running a marathon two days in a row and then a half marathon on the 3rd day in China.

Monday, November 10, 2014

22 Mile Run: Side Aches & HRM

I ran 22 miles a couple of days ago in training for the Texas Trails Endurance 50K that takes place in less than 2 weeks. I tried a few things that might be helpful.

Preventing Side Aches During a Run

I've been getting stomach cramps or side aches during some of my runs so before this 22 miler, I ate 3 hours beforehand in order to give my body time to digest my food. On my shorter morning runs, I skipped eating all together. I haven't had any cramps since trying this out. The only drawback is being hungry before I run.

Eat (or not) & run links: Hammer: Nutrition and

Like this post by ultrarunner Ian Torrence advises, I sipped my water and gels slowly (each gel eaten over 1 to 1 1/2 miles) rather than gulping them down at mile markers during my 22 miler. This might help, too.


I wore my heart rate monitor this week. Watching the numbers was interesting, but I need to learn more about it. Kristen's post with her HR numbers and this Runner's World post is helpful. Part of the fun of running is that there are always new things to learn.

Nutrition for the 22 Mile Run

Pre-run (3 hours) - pancakes
During - 4 Hammer gels (apple cinnamon tastes like apple pie!)
Post-run - I brought a breakfast cookie (I added cinnamon - yum!) on the run, but I ended up eating it after the run.


Now all of my future runs leading up to the 50K will be shorter than 18 miles. It's taper time!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Your Race Recaps! 11/6

I rounded up race recaps from the 5K to the 50 mile distance this week. Happy clicking!


Running Tangents blogger, Jen, has been using MAF training, which is based on heart rate, and finished the LMJS 5K (CA) in 26:30, coming in 3rd place in her age group!

Half Marathon

Mile Posts blogger, Dorothy, ran the Denver Rock 'n Roll race with her husband in 1:56 as a training run for the Las Vegas Marathon!

Movable Mom blogger, Christina,  met Jeff Galloway whose running program got her started running and then ran the Monumental Half Marathon (IN) in 2:12, 7 minutes faster than a half she ran last fall!


Mommy's Running Around blogger, Kristy, completed her first marathon at the Denver Rock 'n Roll race!

Turkey Runner blogger, Meagan, completed the Marine Corps Marathon (DC) in 5:10, a 24 minute PR using Hanson's Training!


Go Run with Me blogger, Jessica, completed the Door County 50 Mile Race (WI) and came in as the 4th woman in 7:26!

It's Just One Foot in Front of the Other blogger, Shelly, completed her 5th Fire on the Mountain 50K (MD) with her sister who was running her first 50K!

At Robin's Blog, read about her 6 Hour Horror Trail Race (Ontario, Canada). She came in 1st in her 40-49 age group and ran just under a 50K in 5:44!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Garner State Park: Run, Hike & Camp

It was time to set out on another RV excursion so we drove to Garner State Park in the hill country of Texas. If you're ever in the area, it's worth the trip!

On my first morning there, I ran 13 miles and I saw dozens of deer and the biggest wild turkeys and jack rabbits I've ever seen. I fell and scraped my elbow and knee, but the fall wasn't bad enough to keep me from running 5 more miles (for 13 total) and 8 more miles the next day. Since I have a 50K race coming up on November 22, I was glad about that.

Painted Rock
My Fasted 13 Mile Run

For my 13 miler, I ran first thing in the morning without breakfast and without eating any food during the run. Running fasted was not a problem at all - especially with all of the wild animal distractions! Some people recommend a fasted run in order to teach your body not to need as many carbohydrates. If you want to try it, start out doing it on shorter runs first. The longest I've done a fasted run is 17 miles.

Frio River in the Distance

On our first full day there, my husband and I hiked up to Painted Rock, which is on the top of a rocky hill. After climbing to the top to enjoy the view, we stopped for a look inside a cave. The hike took 2 1/2 hours, just like my 13 miler. The next day, we walked along the Frio River. The water was so clear that I could see the fish swimming in the water.

Frio River

At night, we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows by the campfire. Also, I baked chicken pot pies and peanut butter cookies in our RV convection oven. Outside, I was amazed at all of the stars in the sky. We camped, but I felt a little like I was cheating because I slept in a warm bed in our cozy RV instead of in a cold tent!

Garner State Park: steep and rocky hiking trails, 3.5 mile mountain bike/running trail, only AT&T phone access, some sites with electric and water hook-ups, 6 hour drive west of Houston.

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