Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Part 2

The next Captain Karl's night time trail race I was able to participate in was on August 8th at Colorado Bend State Park.  This was a new race for me and I was not prepared for the hills at this venue!  With almost 1700 feet of elevation gain, I was definitely in for a challenge. 

The next day I hiked to the water falls which was so amazing!

In Freeport, I ran a local 5K named the Shrimp Run.  It was a fun little race with a bridge crossing and I managed to snag 1st place in my age group.

On Labor day weekend, I headed to Alvin in the morning to run the Purple Monkey Fun run 5K.  This race is a great event with tons of crowd support and a good cause!

That same day, I headed to Lake Jackson to run through the woods at dusk getting chased by zombies in the Zombiefest 5K.  I didn't realize this race was going to be so competitive as there was four of us girls battling for the top finish spots. 

Another September race took me near Blanco, to the Lighthouse 20 Miler, a trail race in the Texas Trail Championship.  This course was hilly and two loops with beautiful views.  Over 1300 feet of elevation gain at this race.  My first loop was much faster than my second, as the heat and hills really started to wear me down the second time around.

In October I competed in my only triathlon for the year- the Mammoth Lake Tri.  I had done little biking since my accident in April and barely any swimming which is my weakest sport.  After having a near drowning experience years ago, I should have known that I needed to train properly and could not just wing it.  I freaked out in the water and had to have a friend who was on kayak patrol calm me down and talk me into finishing the swim and the race.  It was a panic attack and I'm not proud, but I am glad I was able to finish. 

I was registered for the Houston Half Marathon in October but due to torrential rains that weekend, the event was cancelled.  We had some local runners get together and ran the 13.1 miles that afternoon on our own to get in the distance anyway.  It drizzled rain and was cool but we persevered.

In Lake Jackson I ran the Turkey Trot 5K for the Intermediate Band Program.  I love this race, as its a great way to see local running friends and has a good turn out. I finished in 26:45 for 1st place in my age group.  I especially love it when I see my running idol: Max Royalty who is an amazing runner and who I aspire to be like!  He won his age group as well! See below!

The last race of the Texas Trail Championship took me 7 hours north to the Isle Du Bois State Park for a 23 Mile trail scamper.  This race didn't have any major climbs and the elevation gain was 900 feet, but there wasn't any places to really open up and run.  Its a twisty turny kind of course that is best for seasoned trail runners.  I found out later that I was able to take 1st place in my age group at this event.  The race director from Endurance Buzz adventures sent my award, a cow bell.

The last race of the year was the Santa Hustle Half Marathon in Galveston.  I wasn't feeling real strong and still recovering from Isle du Bois so I took it easy and just enjoyed running with friends at this race.

Even though I'm not a fast runner compared to many, I did compete with a solid plan in the Texas Trail Championship and was able to win my age group for 2015.  It was a lot of fun keeping up with the standings and meeting other trail runners around the state. 

There it is, lots of training, running, and having fun with my family and friends.  Can't wait to see what 2016 may bring!

2015 Year in Review: What a running season it was! Part 1

The first race of the year was the Houston Marathon which is my favorite marathon in regards to crowd support.  I had an extra incentive to run fast in 2015 as I was catching a cruise ship that same day out of Galveston.  I stayed focused on a steady finish and completed the race in 4:17:20 which set a new Marathon PR for me!  Here is a photo after the race but before I rushed to Galveston to catch my cruise ship to the Caribbean. 

The next race was only two weeks later and was the Galveston Marathon.  The weather was warmer and more humid than Houston, however I was able to shave a few seconds off my finish time at 4:17:03.  I worked hard to get this PR in less than perfect running conditions:

One week later I was at it again, this time I hit the trails for the Piney Woods 20 Miler at Lake Houston Wilderness Park, where I was able to complete my first race in the Texas Trail Championship series and win second in my age group. Run in Texas put on great events, and I especially love the barbeque and Karbach beer after!

One of my favorite things to do is support local runs, so February 7th, I ran the Angleton Spectacle Spectacular benefiting the Lions Club eyeglass drive.  I was feeling good that day and finished in 25:21 for 1st place in my age group.

The Seabrook Lucky trails half marathon happens on Saturday and Sunday.  I ran on Saturday and cheered for friends on Sunday.  I was happy with my finish in 2:01:36. 

I have an awesome running partner, named Bella the Wonder Dog.  She ran the Doggy Dash with me despite the pouring rain and treacherous trails, we were able to finish in 25:39 and pick up 1st place in my age group. 

In April I ran my second race in the Texas Trail Championship - Hells Hills 25K put on by Tejas Trails.  This race was hilly, and slippery as it was raining.  At one point I unintentionally did the splits while sliding down a hill that I was supposed to be running up. 

The last minute decision to run a race was made on the morning of April 18th, in which I got up early and drove to Hunstville State Park to run Hog's Hunt 25K, my third race in the Texas Trail Championship.  These trails were also muddy and Huntsville has very little areas where a runner can open up and get some speed as the trails twist and turn with loads of tree roots to keep you on your toes.

 On April 26th I had a major set back:  I was riding my bike with a group when some fishing line "caught" me going 20 mph.  The line cut into my leg and caused a bike pile up with a trip to the Urgent care for me and my busted up chin, hand, and legs.  This made May and all time low month for running miles and killed my training.

The Lake Jackson Firecracker Run is a great local race put on by our local tri club and I convinced the family to come participate in the walk while I ran the 4 miler.

The very next day I competed in the Fishing Fiesta 5K in Freeport.  I was happy with my place as 1st in my age group and 9th female overall.  The race director advertised this race with cash prizes for top 10 men and top 10 women finishers.  Then after the race, he changed his mind and only gave out cash prizes to top 10 overall.  He said later he would honor and send the prize money but never did.  I was disappointed in how that was handled.

The Captain Karl's night time trail races are part of the Texas trail Championship and I ran the Muleshoe 30K in July.  This race really beat me in 2014 so I vowed to do better this time.  Unfortunately my time only improved by 7 minutes, but I felt much better at the end of the race.  This course is really tough for a flatlander like me! 

Another local 5K that I love to run in is the Mosquito Chase 5K in Clute.  They have an entire festival to celebrate our mosquitos down here, lol!  I finished first in my age group and won an amazing trophy with a mosquito on top! 

All my races I ran as a proud member of the Texas Beef Team as you can see in my race photos, I proudly represented the Beef Team in my race jersey.  Check back for Part Two of my 2015 race year.