Tejas Trails- Bandera = Texas Sotol, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks……

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Jan. 11, 2014

First race of the new year and boy was it fun and full of adventure, but lets go back a few weeks. My last long run over 2 hrs was right before Xmas then an evil cold hit my body. Between traveling, the polar vortex, holidays and my cold turning worse instead of getting better I didn’t have high hopes. I was super grateful to only be running the 25k– I had almost signed up for the 50k, but knew I didn’t feel like logging a lot of miles Dec/Jan cuz snowboarding was my first priority.  I had zero expectations for myself and was more stoked about all my friends who were running the 50k and 100k. Tejas Trails draws some pretty fast people and I was looking forward to watching and getting to know some new friends. Day of race, I’m still sick, on antibiotics and coughing up my lungs… up at 4am and off to Bandera. The Texas Hill Country is so beautiful and we watched the sun rise as we stood waiting for the start. it was was perfect temps.. a little chilly 35 degrees to start—only to warm up to high 70s. Here I am with Kino & Maggie minutes before the start . Team RWB, Team Refuel

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The 25k had 300 runners, the biggest of the races. The RD (race director Joe) is an evil man, he wanted to make sure that us measly 25k’ers got our monies worth. He made sure we would sign up for the 50k or 100k next time. Our course ran the 2 hardest parts that the 50k and 100k only ran once but we ran them TWICE. The hill country doesn’t have high elevation but the ascents and descents are steep and full of rocks. We started out climbing on rocks until we reached the top with the most amazing views and rocks. We ran thru Texas Sotol, its so pretty but slices you up like little razor blades, the good thing is you don’t really feel it at first. I kept a steady pace and was having a blast.  I didn’t care what time, what place, what pace, I was just soooo happy to be running on trails out in beautiful weather.

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My cough didn’t stop and it was pretty gross. I had snot all over my face, I stopped caring. A few guys asked me on the trail if i was “ok” when they heard me coughing. I mean– I sounded horrible. I was noticing I was feeling dehydrated early on, from being sick and the sun coming out. My handheld was filled with Heed and the aid stations were sponsored by hammer so I knew I would get a refill….NOT… I flew by an aid station with no refill, the 2nd aid station was just water and the last 5 miles I was on empty. I am glad I stuffed endurolytes in the zipper of my handheld– didn’t expect to take more than 2 but ended up taking 6 every 35 mins. I also didn’t expect to need more than 1 gel and packed an extra just in case, good thing, I needed it. Despite still feeling sluggish from being sick I was gradually catching packs of runners and would stay with them, chat, encourage then take off. I had numerous trips and can’t believe i never fell flat on my face. I did the stumble and every time managed to catch myself but I did strain my calf muscle on one of those almost near face plants on the rocks and cactus. After climbing Lucky Peak for the 2nd time I caught even more runners…. I am much stronger going up and still need major practice on descents. The trail opened to a flat dirt trail with no rocks, whaaaat NOOOOO ROCKS. YAY. I started booking it and told every guy I passed to run with me but no one wanted to. They were all tired from the last climb. I kept cheering them on saying THIS IS THE EASY PART. DIG DEEP. ITS FLAT. I think I even quoted The Lone Survivor (side note, go see that movie. I read the book a few yrs ago and love the movie. A great story about pushing thru and never giving up).    anyway. I am sure those guys wanted to throw a rock at me. I felt great coming into the last aid station and was dying of thirst but this chick- a runner- shoo’ed me away and said the finish was only a mile away. Not sure why I listened to her cuz I needed water bad. My mouth was so dry.  Then some people walking along the course said the finish was less than a mile and I started flying again. I came running in with a smile and still coughing. I ran straight to the water and chugged water, gatorade, heed, more water for at least 15 minutes. A few guys standing around me were trying to talk to me and my mouth was so dry I couldn’t speak.  I didn’t even know my time and my garmin had said 3 hrs.. ok cool and then I checked my splits and saw that I negative split the course! I somehow managed to drop my time as the race went on. A couple hours later this girl told me I probably placed in my age division and i said no way cuz I didn’t feel like i ran fast. I had fun and felt like i was running at maaaaybe 80%. Sure enough I checked the results and I finished in 2:57, took 2nd in my AG Div and 10th female overall. I was shocked.  Totally unexpected! I had zero expectations, had so much fun, ran sick and finished strong. My chocolate milk never tasted so good at the finish.

Thanks Team Refuel for my Headsweats hat, that kept the Texas sun out of my eyes.

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okay so it doesn’t end there….. I was waiting at the halfway checkpoint for my friends. I was not surprised when Ralph came thru his first loop (50K) in 5 hours. I helped him at the table, encouraged him and told him I’d see him at the finish. Then an hour later Kino & Maggie came thru, right on target and they looked so strong. I was so proud of my roommate Kino and pumped to see Maggie kicking butt.

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13 hours later I was back at the finish line. It was dark and the temp had dropped. I totally missed Ralph cuz he killed the course in 12 hrs and Maggie & Kino crushed it in 13 hrs….. This was a long satisfying day that we celebrated the next morning at my house. My parents prepared a mexican feast for my friends. We had some other runners join us including Chikara who placed 3rd OVERALL in the 100k— beast!!! he ran the course in 8hrs 16mins… craaaaaazy fast! and my good friend Josh Charles ran the 50k in 6hrs also joined for the feast and Chikara’s friend Diann and my fave uncle David!

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AAAAAAAAAND one more thing that made this weekend —— my nephew was born later that night. I was going on little sleep and didn’t care. SO GRATEFUL I was home to meet Maks only minutes after he was born. Maks is a big boy and I can’t wait to play sports with him. I am still smiling from ear to ear. Right at this moment nothing matters, its all about my boy Maks. The most amazing feeling ever.  Incredible weekend, fun running, hanging with awesome friends and my nephew born. What can be better?!

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About evygonzales

I run. play. travel. work. eat. laugh. I love tacos, chocolate milk and Hammer Nutrition.
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2 Responses to Tejas Trails- Bandera = Texas Sotol, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks……

  1. Reina, David P says:

    Evy what a great story, and this is just two days in your life! You are truly blessed with your family and friends and I love you, too!

    David Reina
    Mail Services Supervisor
    UT Health Science Center San Antonio
    7703 Floyd Curl Drive
    San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900
    work: 210-567-5992 fax 210-567-3136

  2. Matty says:

    Run Evy Run! I loved reading this! I want to run on some tejas trails with you next time. Particularly I’d appreciate your parents’ mexican feast following it. xx

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