Saturday night…actually VERY early Sunday morning, Derek and I participated in what is quickly becoming a legend in Fort Worth running circles, El Scorcho. Or I guess what we did is actually considered “La Scorchita”, given that we only did the 25K and the really crazy folk chose to go all out and do the 50K (that’s 15.5 and 31 miles respectively for you non-runners). I had spectated/crewed for Derek at this race before when he did the 50K, but this was my first time to participate. Given all that had transpired in the past several weeks with my mom, running had taken a back seat, and I was definitely not in peak condition for this race. I was relieved when Derek said he would do it with me and quite frankly, would not even have attempted it if he hadn’t. He had warned me that what really made this race a challenge was the fact that it started at midnight and boy, was he ever right.
The start/finish. Our race consisted of five 3.1 mile loops, so we passed our stuff (and our neighbors who were crazy enough to be out there ALL NIGHT cheering for us) four times.
Loop 1 went pretty well, we took it nice and easy, as was the plan, and I felt pretty decent. We got VERY lucky with the weather this year, it was a pleasant 70-something degrees, as opposed to being high 80’s/90 at race-start as in years past. Running with lights (Derek had a head lamp strapped around his mid-section) made me a bit loopy though (imagine a light bouncing up and down, over and over in front of you) so he decided to dump that light and just use a hand-held one for the 2nd loop. Ah, the 2nd loop. I don’t know what happened to me, but somewhere around mile 4, I started to fade. As in literally…I slowed down, was weaving quite a bit and then suddenly had to stop and thought I was going to pass out. My ears were ringing, my vision was sketchy, and all I really wanted to do was sit/lay down. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, and wasn’t really sure what to do, but I knew for sure that I DID NOT want to quit the race. I wanted to cross that finish line and I wanted that damn medal, so I somehow made my uncooperative feet keep moving forward and we finally made it back around to the start/finish after what seemed like hours. I got some calories in (which I assume now was the problem, I simply did not plan my race nutrition correctly) and felt much better for the 3rd loop and most of the rest of the race. We also decided to dump the lights altogether and just go with the ambient light available and it was SO much better that way. Those bouncing lights were not doing me any favors and were, in fact, making me nauseous which is not cool when you’re trying to get through 15 miles in the middle of the freaking night.
We power-walked the vast majority of the miles, so it was not by any means fast, but we kept plugging away and finally found ourselves finishing up the 5th loop and crossing the finish line. I was SO glad it was over, I was almost giddy. I got my medal (the real reason I race at all, ha!) and was more than happy to head back to my chair, crack open an ice cold Blue Moon, prop my tired feet up on our ice chest and cheer for the other runners coming in.
As we were leaving. See how light it is? Yeah, we stayed until the sun was up. Considering that we arrived at the course around 10pm the night before, I guess we could look worse.
Our traditional “shoes and medals” shot. Note the dusty, dirty shoes. This race, in addition to being the furthest distance I’d ever gone and my first night race, was also partially on trails. We went from pavement, to grass, to crushed limestone, to dirt and back several times on each loop. The fact that I stayed vertical the whole time should probably be noted here too, as I’m not typically known for my gracefulness. I mean, y’all remember that I broke my arm in my own closet, right?
And finally, the race bling. The reason I race. OK, maybe not the only reason, but these things are darn good motivation and this is a really
All in all, it was a pretty fun night/morning. I got to hang with my favorite guy, burned a few calories, and have the satisfaction of knowing that my body can go 15.5 miles. I’m looking forward to the fall, when I plan to ramp up the race schedule a bit and see what this old 41 year old body can really do. I see more half marathons and maybe even a full in my future. Yeah, I said it. A full. 26.2 miles. Why the heck not?!?!?! 😉