Pre-race photo with some of Team TROT and Race Director’s Rob and Rachen Goyen (All Photo Credits Go To: Trail Racing Over Texas / Myke Hermsmeyer)
It has been a while since I’ve posted a blog here, so here it goes. Last weekend I made the trip from Dallas down to Brazos Bend State Park for the Brazos Bend 50 event put on by Trail Racing Over Texas. I arrived to the park on Friday afternoon, just in time to catch the pre-race talk from Race Director Rob Goyen and get the scoop on the course and trail conditions. Shortly after I was able to get out on the course for a brief shakeout and some photos with all the other Team TROT runners in attendance.
It was great to get to run with some of my teammates who i’ve never had the chance of running with before. We got a few miles in and a massive amount of photos before we headed out to grab dinner together. Getting to know this group of amazing individuals better was a real treat. After we wrapped up dinner, we all dispersed as the majority of us were racing in the morning. Shortly after, I was asleep in order to make it out to the race in the morning to watch the 50 mile runners start at 6AM.
The next morning, I caught the 50 milers taking off onto the trail in the darkness and watched the leaders come through mile 6 before getting ready for my own race. I filled up my Nathan SpeedDraw Plus 18oz bottle with two scoops of Lemon Tailwind and topped it off with water. Then, I wished the 50K runners luck as they began their race. Soon it would be my turn to take off and enjoy the beautiful scenery and trails. I prepared with a quick half mile jog, a few strides and leg swings before stepping on the starting line.
The race gun went off and I quickly took off. My plan was to run a controlled race and listen to my body (And keep an eye out for gators. Someone saw 22 during one of their loops! I only saw one swimming nearby during my race). My past two weeks of training hadn’t been anything to write home about. I was in Washington DC for a week for work and was unable to get a high volume/quality of running in and I had been dealing with a strange soreness on the backside of both of my knees the week leading up to Brazos Bend that still lingered at the start of the race.
Despite the pain, I pushed the first 5 miles, feeling awesome. Then the 80+ degree weather and 80%+ humidity started to take a toll on my performance. I hit a low patch for the next two miles, but rebounded and was able to hold fairly consistent mile splits from mile 8 until the finish line. I crossed the line in a time of 1:31:39, good for first place by a margin of 12 minutes. I am very pleased with the result since I haven’t done any speed work since Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile in early February and I wasn’t feeling 100% on race day. I think on a day with better conditions and no knee pain I could have easily gone under 1:30. This result gives me a lot of confidence going into other races this year and tells me that i’m in much better shape vs. last year at this time.
The next race for me will be Cactus to Cloud 50K on May 7th which boasts 9,000 feet of elevation gain and climbs up to an altitude of 9,000 feet on rocky terrain in New Mexico. It will be a vastly different experience than Brazos Bend 25K and I welcome the experience. Although the Cactus to Cloud race is next up for me, I’m really excited to race more Trail Racing Over Texas races this year including Texas Treasure Quest (scavenger hunt/trail running combination), Franklin Mountains 50K and go for a sub 2:45 marathon at the Brazos Bend Marathon in December. Make sure to check out Trail Racing Over Texas’ race schedule by clicking here and join me at a race or two this year!
Check out this awesome video Trail Racing Over Texas put together for the event.
- Altra Running Superior Trail Shoes
- Victory SportDesign Headwrap
- Julbo Dust Performance Sunglasses
- Nathan SpeedDraw Plus
- Tailwind Lemon Endurance Fuel
- Injinji Sport Lifestyle Crew Socks