Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Race Report: Muleshoe Bend

Photo from moutainbiketx.com
For some reason -- maybe my lingering cold, or the general lethargy brought on by spending the past few days in bed -- I can't muster the energy to write a full race report.  But probably no one would want to read such a thing anyway.  So instead of that, I'll just focus on the best parts of the race.  In that spirit, here are:

Ten Things That Didn't Suck at the Muleshoe Bend 60K*
1. Rediscovering a couple great songs on my mp3 player: "Run Through the Jungle" by CCR and "Live Out Loud" by Stephen Curtis Chapman.
2. Wearing the Chilly Pad cooling towel my dad gave me for my birthday -- it really cooled me down. I dipped it in ice water at the end of each loop. (Thanks, Dad!)
3. Using two handheld bottles -- that way, I was able to fill one with ice water and one with ice and Gatorade or Coke at each aid station.  Much quicker then refilling a hydration pack.
4. Orange-flavored ginger chews to combat nausea.
5. Chatting with a running buddy/inspiration at the aid station at the end of each loop.
6. My super-bright new headlamp, which allowed me to not need a backup handheld (although it gave me a sore bump on the head for the following two days).
7. The stars at night were shining bright, deep in the heart of Texas.

Why is it so difficult to think of good things about this race? I'm really having to work to think of three more things . . .

8. I actually liked having four loops of 9+ miles, rather than two loops of 18+ miles. It's always a feeling of accomplishment to pass through the start/finish area, and having only 3 aid stations to keep track of is easier for my run-addled mind.
9. The Tejas Trails organizers and the volunteers are always so great. And the runners, too -- when a runner behind me fell down, several people turned around to make sure she was all right.
10. Singing along to a Notre Dame band CD all the way home. “And here it is….the Band of the Fighting Irish….America’s first University band, with students from across the country and overseas, and representing every field of study.” :) Okay, not actually a part of the race, but part of the race experience, anyway.

*I'm not trying to imply that other things did suck. Banging my head against a tree trunk in the dark, kicking a rock so hard that I thought I broke my toe, having my sunglasses ripped off my head by tree branches, falling, accidentally running an extra mile, and enduring temps of 102 degrees** at the beginning of the race were bothersome, but actually added to the feeling of triumph upon crossing the finish line. Whose glass is half full now? :)

**Funny story: As we lined up at the starting line, a friend/fellow runner asked me if I'd already been running, since I was so sweaty. That's not a great sign.
Image from walkthiswayllc.wordpress.com 

Only two more of these night races left this summer! Thanks be to God for a great couple of races so far. Looking forward to the next one at Colorado Bend.