Yesterday I ran the Prickly Pear 50K in San Antonio's MC Allister park. The course is three 10 mile loops of mostly flat, mostly wooded trails, with short up and downs, some rocks in sections and an open field midway through. It was rainy, cold (41 degrees), and Muddy.
I had a great race. It was great to see many familiar faces. Chris and Tom, along with his daughter Stella were volunteers. Rachel, Jean, Brian, Kelli, Eric, Paul, and Joe also were running the 50K. Tim and Elizabeth the 10 miler. Elizabeth hung out after her 10 miler and helped too.
I started with Joe Prusaitis. I felt really good and was moving fast, I thought, after loop 1 and it continued through loop 2. How long will this last. Am I pushing too hard? I deliberately kept a less than all out effort. The nasty conditions helped keep me honest. The thicker, stickier mud began at mile 4 and continued through mile 6 on each loop. And was even worse after the 10 mile race began and more runners trampled over it. Walking in the mud seemed to be more difficult than running over it. There was some running water crossing the trails at times and standing water in some portions of the trails too. Some tried to jump over the water or find an easy way across, but I found running through it helped knock some mud off my shoes. Even though my feet got colder and wetter. I almost fell at one point but a tree pushed me back upright before I bit it. Third loop, my glutes were hurting. My combination of eating boiled potatoes from the aid stations and Carbo pro drink mix was working well! Halfway through loop 3 my lower body began to ache a little but I felt good overall. I try not to eat candy, even during races but those M&M's were calling me. I found energy after eating those M&M's through the last two aid stations and kept a good pace following Olga. At mile 28 I kicked it up a notch and started passing people to a 5:37 finish and second in the 50-59 age category. I finally got that Prickly Pear etched mug I've always wanted! and I ALMOST caught me a Honey Badger! Rachel (The Honey Badger) was 200 yards ahead of me approaching the finish. I tried but Couldn't catch her but we had a few laughs at the finish.