2006/10/03 – 2006 Tour de Bayou Practice

Location

Memorial Park

What Is It?

5-8k trail run

Team Name: Steve Mertz

Team Mates

None

Category

Male

Placing

79th out of 81

Official results haven’t been found yet.

Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Experience

This was my second running race. My first being the Houston Half Marathon at the beginning of the year.

I got to Memorial Park and was quite nervous. I was stiff and sore from yesterdays workouts. I had lifted weights in the morning, and then ran hill repeats in the evening. I was feeling it all. And from the hills my feet were also a little worse for wear.

I go up to the table to sign in and have a look at the route. They said it was about 4 miles, which I figure I can do no problem. And will take me about 45 minutes to complete.

I recognized a couple of people from adventure racing there, not anyone in Houston Fit AR though. One of them came over and chatted with me for a bit and let me know a bit more about what was going on.

We then walk over to the soccer field for the start of the race and the bell goes off and Zoooom of we went. My strategy was to try and sprint ahead and keep with the faster people as long as possible in the trails. I had looked around earlier and noticed that most of them looked like road runners. So I figured that would mean they would be slow in the trails where we were headed and I didn’t want to be stuck behind them.

We started off on the Purple trail, then came to a corner where it goes left, and a little hidden trail went straight and that’s where we went, to get into the Good Stuff.

My planning paid off. I keep pace with the faster runners and hit the trails and I still ended up passing a couple people in them, as they were a little timid about the ups and downs in there. But on the flats they would be pushing me again.

When we got out of the worse of the trails I would slowly start to let people pass me as I wasn’t able to keep that pace up any more and didn’t have to worry about others around me since there wasn’t anything left to cause bottle necks due to people not being able to handle the trail.

We get back onto the main trail (Purple) and hit the ravine and I cringed. After running it eleven times yesterday, I wasn’t happy to see it again. But I ran down and up no problems since I knew the best way down and up after all that. Then we get to the top and hit an immediate left onto the Blue trail (I think it was blue anyways.)

Nothing too exciting happened along this stretch, I let some more people pass me and I just go along at my own pace, switching between walking and running because my feet were starting to hurt a bit from all my blisters.

We weave around the Blue Trail and make a turn on to the Red Trail where it comes out by the baseball fields, and run back into the trails on another slightly hidden trail, where it turns into the Red Trail and back out to the Purple Trail where it meets with the path to the Soccer Field and the Yellow Trail. We make the left turn onto the Yellow Trail.

At this point I’m feeling not too bad other than my feet really hurting from the blisters I had gotten from yesterday’s practice.

We pop out of the Yellow Trail onto the Purple Trail and back on to that little hidden trail to follow the same route we did in lap one. We get back in there and I’m feeling even better and start to run more than I walk to the point where I’m at a steady jog. My feet still hurt, but my second wind has pushed the pain aside.

I get back out on the Purple Trail and think things are going great, and check my watch for the first time since the start of the race, only to see that I’ve been running for 49 minutes. At which point I’m thinking to myself “WHAT?!?!” This was suppose to be a four mile run and I was suppose to be done about 5 minutes ago. Of course I hadn’t thought about the trails too much when I was guesstimating how fast I would do it. So I start to pick up my pace a bit more, since I still have quite a bit of a ways to go.

I hit the ravine, down and up, walking it as my feet are screaming at this point and hills really hurt. Pull the left onto the Blue Trail, and my third wind hits and I start to jog some more.

Finally get to the spot where the Blue Trail connects to the Red Trail out to the baseball fields and I just want to be done so I start sprinting past the fields and notice that they moved the bell to just a little ways past so I crank on the after burners and full out sprint to the finish to get my little #79 card. And stop my watch at 1:09:55, and noticed that we had actually gone 5.5 miles instead of the four that we were originally told.

Fill out my name on the card and put it in the bucket and then I watched to make sure I wasn’t last and thankfully I wasn’t! Others came in after me, and so I left happy.

Multimedia

No pictures or anything.

Final Thoughts

What a painful race. I hate running. I hate blisters. But it was kind of fun!

I don’t think I did anything wrong in this race. Except go into it a little too stiff and sore from yesterday’s workout. But not much I can do about that. This was a last minute decision to go race in this. And since it was free can’t really complain there!

I do need to figure out why I get such bad blisters though from running, whether it’s my shoes, socks, running style or what. Lately they have been getting quite bad.

Days Later… (2006/10/05)

Feel pretty good. I don’t think I pushed myself hard enough during the race, since I’m not in any pain or anything. Next time I will try harder.

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