Sunday, February 28, 2010

Race Report: Paesano's Salado Creek 8M/5K

Race: Paesano's Salado Creek 8Mile/5K
Distance: 8 miles
Goal Time: Around 2 hours
Actual Time: 2:14:31 (16:18 min/mi)

This is the second of two trail races that comprised my February races. Man, this one hurt. For this race report, I'll give the play-by-play of what was going through my head as I was running.

Pre-race:  It's colder than I was expecting it to be.  Last checked, temperature was 42 Fahrenheit. This is good news, it'll help later on.  An Air Force dude  has a really awesome tat on his shoulder of a coat of arms.  I resist the urge to ask him about it.
Mile 0: Went out way too fast. I think my first mile was at 10 minute pace, which is well outside my ability at this point.  But it felt so good to run at that pace.  It was hard to get myself to slow down to my normal pace.  I paid for that too-fast first mile for the rest of the race.
Mile 1: The race director started the 5K participants after the 8 mile runners.  The front runners for the 5K passed me in my first mile.  The trail we were on was barely a foot wide at that point, so when I tried to step aside to let them pass, I had to either hug a tree or get clawed by the nearby shrubberies.  Later I discover a small twig stuck in my hair.
Mile 1.5: The terrain is really difficult to navigate.  It's really unlike the Eisenhower Park, where the rocky areas looked like dried up creek beds: flat and worn but fairly smooth and even.  I wish I was a geologist so I could identify what kind of rock it is; I want to guess limestone since it's so light in color and native to the area.  Salado Creek is much different.  It's more heavily wooded, and most of the ground is dirt with rocks interspersed.  Rocks that are grayish, jagged, and loose.  Some of it looks like shale, but some of it doesn't. I almost roll my ankle a few times with missteps. I am probably going to end up walking most of this course.

Mile 2: A tree crosses the path.  It's like a foot in diameter laying horizontally at waist height.   Had to stop to climb over the tree like a fence. How did the front runners handle this?
Mile 3:  Part of the 8 mile course loops back on top of itself and the 8 mile front runners lap me.  But at least there's an aid station with Gatorade.
Mile 4:  Why can't we run on the perfectly nice paved sidewalk-like path over there?  But no, I have to dodge trees and rock-shrapnel instead. So glad to hit the turnaround.  Normally, red flags are a bad thing; now they signal I'm on the way home.  And finally the sun isn't interfering with my vision of the course.
Mile 5: I lose the two ladies who leap-frogged with me the last couple of miles.  They plow ahead, I'm stuck walking behind.  This park isn't hilly like Eisenhower where there was one steep hill and a few long low grade hills.  These hills you could practically jump from crest to crest, if you wanted to risk impaling your foot on one of the rocks.  The almost constant up and down is really doing a number on my heart rate.  I don't think I'm as prepared for this race as I was for the Eisenhower one.
Mile 5.5: Get to the aid station again.  Take some Gatorade and Gu.  A little bit later, my body tells me I should have done that sooner.  I get a little rush of energy.
Mile 6: Downhill stretch.  Not literally.  Still lots of hills.  I power-walk most of the time with little spurts of a slow shuffle.  BF says he's on the way to meet me.  I love having someone at the finish line waiting for me.  And not only because they can make sure to snag me some of the munchies.
Mile 7:  Is it over yet?  And why the heck do I have to climb this eight food pile of wood chips when there's a perfectly fine, flat route around it?  This course isn't technical - it's treacherous!
Mile 7.5:  Shuffling on the grass shoulder of 1604's access road.  It's starting to warm up.  I don't know how the front runners do this.  Running on this with a crowd of people would be dangerous.  You wouldn't be able to see what was coming up.
Mile 8: Dunzo!  Finally!  2:14:31. OMG my legs hurt.  BF gives me red Gatorade, which I chug. Where's the food?

This pair of races did give me a good insight into what trail running is like.  But I don't think I'll be doing another trail run for a while.  I'd run in Eisenhower Park again, but I don't think I'll make a repeat at Salado Creek.

Next Saturday - supporting high school band geeks at the Alamo Heights High School Run to the Beak 5K.  Some speed runs in the plan for this week, also a weights session.


Faith said...

Can you give me info on Sat's 5K? Maybe I'll do that one. The last race I ran was the FSH Army 10 miler.

Amanda said...

Wow, that sounds like a crazy run...

B Mari Landgrebe said...

*shakes pom poms* WOOHOO GO ANN!

*clutches legs in sympathy pain* Just THINK how much worse it would've been for you if I'd been dragging you down. LOL! I'm being cautious on my walk/runs, my ankle is STILL recovering from the bad sprain last year *shudders*


Ann said...

Faith - I did a 10 miler at FSH in October I think. It was still way hot out and the vast expanses of pavement made it worse. I could feel the heat through my shoes.

The info on 5K on Saturday is available here:

I like using to find races because they do a good job of listing all of the available races.

Brittany - today the sides of my shins started hurting in addition to my hips. I'm pretty sure from straining them when I stepped on a rock that decided to move when I hit it. Do you have those sympathy pains too?