Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shorter night at Inks Lake

As I posted the other day, I headed back to Inks Lake State yesterday for the Capt'n Karl's run.  As always, Joe Prusaitis and Tejas Trails put on a great race.  This one has really grown since I ran 2 years ago.  That race had 51 starters; last night there were 106 registered for the 60K and 144 registered for the 30K.  It made for a traffic jam at the park entry, and some parking issues, but the race organizers, park officials, and runners all handled it well.  
And, they're off!
I started out fully intending to go the distance for the 60K, knowing I would be slower than my last effort here, but ready to tough it out.  I did OK for 2 loops, but 1/2 way through the third 10K loop, I took a walking break that ended up being way too long, and I never really got going again.  After walking for while, I decided I was too hot, too lazy, too tired, too out of shape, too bored, and too under-committed to go 60K.  So I got to the start-finish and told Joe I was satisfied with 30K tonight.

The highlight was getting to meet Trey.  Last Sunday, when I ran with Don, he told me to look for his friend Trey.  "You can't miss him--he's the one with one arm."  Sure enough, just after the start, I saw him and introduced myself as Don's friend.  We ended up running together most of my race.  He's about as nice a guy as you'll ever meet, which isn't surprising, since the same could describe Don.  Once I started walking on loop 3, he took off.  I think he had held back for me a couple times, but he had a lot more in the tank than I did.
I tried to keep up with Trey but ultimately I couldn't do it.
Born with one arm, Trey is well accustomed to doing things with one hand (how about this: He played football at Sam Houston State and holds the school record for career blocked kicks!), but here's one he may not have encountered before.  At one point, his hand somehow had a collision with a cactus.  I helped him out, but I know next time I get a hand full of cactus, I'll be grateful for that second hand!

Even though things didn't play out as I had hoped, it wasn't a bad run.  The trails at Inks Lake are fun and challenging.  The moon, just a couple days past full, was beautiful.  It was hot (according to my car thermometer, 101 when I arrived at the park at 6, a cool 87 when I left shortly after midnight), but it could have been much hotter, and there was a bit of a breeze from time to time.  I don't know that I'll sign up for this race again, but I would love to come back and run these trails or hike them with my boys--only I think I'll wait until it's 40-50 degrees cooler. . . .

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