About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jackrabbit Classic 6 miler + 20

(February 14th, 2010) Today I run the Jackrabbit Trail 6 mile race in the Franklin Mountains, but 6 miles just isn’t long enough for me. I’m training for the Jemez Mountain trail 50 miler in Los Alamos NM and need to get in 26 miles today. The Jackrabbit doesn’t start until 8:30 and I’ve usually already run 8-10 miles by that time and besides, I can’t be out there all day. After all, today is Valentine’s Day. I have to say that I have the most patient and supportive wife. One that lets me ramble around in the mountains every weekend.

I arrive at the trailhead near my home. The sun isn’t even up yet; the way I like it. I cruise down the trail on my way to the state park. I left two hours before the race to ensure that I arrive at the starting line by 8:30. The mountains are beautiful this morning and the sun starts to rise over the peaks. As I look down I see a Devil's Claw. A strange “hitchhiking” seed pod that looks like a giant claw. The claws get stuck on the hooves of animals and are therefore dispersed in this manner.

Soon I arrive at the park entrance, but realize that I’m 30 minutes early. I decide to continue on a mountain highway up to the “mammoth rock”. I figured that I would have to walk part of the road as it ascends to over 5000 ft elev. Surprisingly I am able to keep a slow running pace, which means that my training is starting to pay off. I am feeling great so far, but wonder how I will feel at the end of the day.

After several pictures of the “mammoth” I run back down to the park and on to the race starting line. 9 miles down and 17 to go. When I arrive, the race director, Chris Rowley of the Up and Running store, is giving the course briefing. I drop my Camelbak, grab a few pretzels and my handheld bottle full of Perpetuem and Heed. Soon we are off down the park road and into the desert.

I enjoy running with all the other racers as this breaks up the monotony of a 6 hour day. Soon we are on the trail and I stop to take a few pictures of the front runners. Soon I’m passing some people that went out too fast. “Passing on the right”, I say. Again, “Passing….”, “Hel-lo!” “PASSING ON THE…” As much as I’m glad people enjoy their music while running I wish they wouldn't hog the trail. I passed 5 people that had no clue anyone else was on the trail. Personally, I enjoy the sound of my feet shuffling along the single track and the occasional sound of the Cactus Wren.

Before I knew it I was power walking up the last hill to the finish line. I made it in 1 hour 12 minutes which isn’t bad considering I had already run 9 miles before the race started. Oh yea, I still have another 11 to go. I try to eat a bagel and cream cheese, but it just isn’t cooperating this morning. I opt for some pretzels and then don my camelback for the trek back home.

I head down the mountain back to my car and then ditch my camelback. I still need 5 miles to get in 26 for the day. I run back out along another desert trail and suddenly feel a stabbing pain in my toe. The next thing I know I’m on the ground sliding in the dirt. When I come to a stop I roll onto my back and listen to my body. My toe hurts, but everything else seems to be intact. I wonder how I’ll feel tomorrow. After all, I’m not 25 anymore.

I get up to see what happened and realize that I had jammed my toe into a creosote bush stump. I dust myself off and then continue up the trail checking my GPS to make sure I get in the last 5 miles of the day. Thus, my running adventure comes to a close. Jackrabbit was a complete success despite a near disaster in mile 22. See you on the trail.

Mammoth Rock, Franklin Mountains, TX

1 comment:

  1. Talk about a nice blog! your's is awesome. Yes I remember when you ran with us. Tom Bowling brought that up recently too. I envy you living out west and having access to so many beautiful trails. You'll love Jemez. Tom, Brian ricketts, kelli Newlon and I went up there in 2009. Just for the 50k though. Brian is returning for the 50 miler this year. I'll send him the link to your blog. Heis an really great person. You should meet up with him up there. Liza? yeah. she is so talented and we just love her,and her family. Great folks. We hope to go out to Western States and crew/pace her.
    My e-mail is tonymaldonado58@yahoo.com keep in touch!