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Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile) - Run

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Ruston, Texas
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 27m
Overall Rank = 1/?
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Well, since this race was just over in Ruston, La, a 2 hr drive, we decided to head out in the morning at 5 am...race started at 8 am. I went to the race with three other guys in the Longview club. I had my normal prerace nutrition: powerbar with oj 3 hours before and pb crackers 1:30 before. We arrived at the park at 7 am so plenty of time to register, etc. Everyone's main goal in the truck: beat Gina! Gee thanks guys, it's nice to be loved. Ugh, I don't know why they get all bent out of shape about beating me, I mean these guys are all at least 6 ft tall bean poles and they're trying to pick on shrimpy plump little me?? So, we head down to registration and they only have small shirts and extra large shirts. The guys all get extra large, but those things were huge. Eric was like, "Come on Gina, get the extra large." The lady said, "But she's so tiny." Hold up! Can you tell me that again?! You are now my favorite person in the whole world!. Oh, and then we got socks too, hot pink, the guys were not impressed. We still had lots of time so did the normal bathroom routine a gillion times beforehand and hung out in the truck. While in the restroom, several ladies were talking about doing the 20 mile as a training run getting ready for the 50k at Sunmart. Great! Two places for them to kick my tail. From the sounds of it, just about everyone there was planning to go to Sunmart. Should be interesting.
Event warmup:

Since this was a training run for me and I was supposed to get around 24 miles today, I ran a little before the start, but only 5 minutes. Stupid guys talking to me too much!

I'm learning some stuff about this ultra running. Pat told us to get a towel and set it out near the start/finish area (each lap was 10 miles) and set out gels, water and whatever we might need or want on the second lap. I saw several other people do the same thing and apparently you can do this at Sunmart too, just FYI. Ended up being really handy.
  • 3h 27m
  • 20 miles
  • 10m 21s  min/mile

First off, let me just say that trail running is so freakin' awesome! I had a blast today even with my mediocore performance. When the gun went off we all headed out down the road and then hung a left on to the course. It was pretty wide for the first half mile which helped to get into a good position before hitting the single track. Pat and Eric naturally took off like rockets while Jeff and I hung back. My heart rate was running pretty high in the beginning even though I was going slow...guess it was just nerves. It settled down after a couple of miles. When we hit the single track I was behind this lady with her two boys (probably around 10 and 12). They were doing the 5 miler. I don't know about y'all, but ain't no way I could run 5 miles, let alone 5 minutes at that age. Their mom kept saying, take it easy, we've got a long way to go, but they were just beebopping along having a great time. Ugh, makes me sick! I tripped within the first mile and Jeff is behind me laughing. Yep, I'll for sure go down before the day is over. We hit mile one and look at our watches: 10 minutes. Already starting off bad. Jeff passed me about a half mile later when the trail widened, but I stuck to my pace. I could see him up ahead for a long time. The second mile was about 9 minutes...the first mile might have been a little long. It was pretty cool because the trail would wind around and so you would see lots of people and hear people talking and everyone was really nice about moving over to let people pass etc. Nice people today! A guy passed me around mile 3 or so and says, "What are you doing?" I tell him 20 miles. He says, "Good God! I do this for 5 miles! You're crazy! You are holding a great pace, you're flying!" That cracked me up. I'm flying?! I'm not doing much more than a walk here buddy. First rest stop was at mile 3.5 and that's where the 5 milers peel off for the home stretch so that helped thin it out some. It seemed like every half mile or so for awhile there would be someone that would pass me. I always had someone up ahead of me to work towards though. Around mile 5 I kind of had to go to the bathroom, nothing serious at the moment, but a bathroom would be nice. I continued on my merry way around the trail up and down through the rolling hills, etc. Nothing too difficult. This trail has a LOT of roots, but they blew the trail off really well so you could see spots for good foot placement. I'm so glad that it didn't rain, because it would have been super slick trying to run over those things. Around mile 6.5-7 is when it starts to get interesting with the steep declines and inclines. The inclines weren't too bad to me, but the downhills made me nervous. There was a guy running behind me, he was slow on the uphills and then fast on the downhills so he would get close to me at the bottom of a hill, but then I would pull away on the upside. Hit the second rest stop around mile 7 or so. Oh, about nutrition: I carried a couple of gels in my sports bra and would take one at each aid station. I tried to keep running through the aid stations, but with the aid stations being so spread out it was important to make sure I got enough water down so I usually ended up walking through them, even had to slow down to a stop a couple of times. Coming down the home stretch of the first lap there is a super duper steep long downhill and some guy came flying by me. He was doing the 10 miler. I came back to the start/finish and grabbed a couple more gels off of our towel, stopped for some water and then headed out again. Another guy from Longview, who didn't ride with us, was just ahead of me and stayed at about 50 yds or so in front of me. I'm feeling pretty good at the second lap, but the need to go to the bathroom was stronger. There was not a single porta potty on the entire course. There were some bathrooms near the start/finish but they were at least an 1/8th of a mile away from the trail. I thought I would be fine, but after about mile 11, I knew it wasn't going to be a comfortable lap if I didn't go. So I start looking for a spot. The trail winds around so much though and the trees are fairly thinned out so there isn't a spot for me to get out of sight. I almost gave up on the search but then I saw a clump of pine trees thick enough for me to go behind so I haul off into the trees where I am attacked by greenbriar, lots of it, it just totally wrapped around me. Mother Chicken! So, after pulling the stuff off my clothes I try to hold the stuff away from me while trying to squat. It wasn't pretty, but I survived and boy did I feel better! I fought my way back through the stuff and I was back in the game! By this time the Longview guy was gone and there was no one around me, I was all alone for most of the second lap. After each rest stop, it was like new life, I felt recharged. Every once in awhile I would catch a glimpse of the Longview guy, but like I said the trail winds around so much that by the time I got to where he had been, I knew that he was quite a ways ahead of me. I kind of got discouraged being out all by myself, I felt like I was the last one of the 20 milers. I came around to the rest stop around mile 17 and I was like, "I'm the last one, arent' I?" The lady there assured me that I was not. I had a lemon creme cookie there since I was out of gel and kept on trucking, man that cookie was good. Pretty soon I hear voices and I look over and I see the Longview guy talking to Jeff! He he he (evil grin) he's mine. But once again, the trail had fooled me, by the time I got to that point, they were still at least a half mile ahead of me. Dang it! But it did renew my energy and I started to pick it up. Not that I had been running too slow though, I mean I was staying in my prescribed HR zone. Shortly after though I catch up to Mike, the Longview guy and he didn't look so good...I think he got cramps or something. I was hoping Jeff wasn't too far behind, but it seemed like forever before I finally crested a hill, and there at the bottom was Jeff, walking! Checkmate! I come around Jeff and he's toast. He says to me, "I started out running, Im walking now, and I may be crawling pretty soon. I'll see y'all in a little bit." I tried to get him to go with me, but he didn't. I continued up and down the steep hills and came across the line and they hand me an award (that was one thing I loved about this race, they gave out the awards as you crossed the line and didn't make you wait around for some stupid ceremony). Anyways, so I look down at it and it says, "First place overall female." I nearly fell over laughing. You're kidding, right?! Alrighty, I'll take it! I talked to Pat and Eric for a couple of minutes...Eric was third overall male and Pat was 5th overall male and another longview guy was 2nd overall so we Longview people cleaned house. Anyways, I needed to run some more so handed my award to Pat and took off as everyone thought I was totally crazy. I only ran a total of 3:50 and probably only got around 22 miles, but that was with 20 miles of tough trail running so hopefully my coach will think it's close enough. I knew the guys wanted to shower and head back.
What would you do differently?:

Not a whole lot. This was a training run and I did really well staying in my HR zone and not getting caught up in other's paces. Overall I felt pretty good. Oh, and I didn't fall down today!! Bonus number two: I beat Jeff!!
Post race
Warm down:

My 20 minutes or so of running and then chowed down on some chili, brownie, cookie and a twinkie before heading to the showers.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My suck a$$ running ability.

Event comments:

I had a blast today. It was a pretty small event. Even though I won overall female, I think there may have only been 5 or so females...I'll have to check the results when they're posted. It was a really neat trail, lots of friendly people. They fed us afterwards and had beer, wine and soft drinks. We got long sleeve shirts and running socks in the packet. Drink stations could have been a little more frequent, but I hear that's about the norm for this ultra stuff. My only complaint, no porta pottys!! I'm a girl, I can't just sling to the side like the boys...well, at least I'm not going to. I know the top women have no problem dropping shorts and going in front of everyone, but I'm shy dang it! This was a great training run for the big one in two weeks!

Last updated: 2005-11-26 12:00 AM
03:27:00 | 20 miles | 10m 21s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 1/?
Performance: Good
Course: This trail run was in Ruston, La in Lincoln Parish park. For the 20 miler we did two laps of the 10 mile loop. They had the course blown off really well so that you could see the roots, etc. First few miles really were pretty gentle, no major ups or downs. Last 3 miles got pretty interesting, a lot more challenging. A few low crossing with some water in a few areas, but nothing I couldn't jump over. Rest stops were 3-3.5 miles apart.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2005-11-26 5:15 PM

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Longview, TX
Subject: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)

2005-11-26 5:28 PM
in reply to: #292405

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)

Great job, Gina!  Bringing home hardware on a TRAINING run!  I don't think you're as slow as you think you are!

As always...a great RR too!   Isn't it nice to get them done quickly so I don't harrass you for weeks about it?

2005-11-26 5:48 PM
in reply to: #292405

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Queen BTich
Gold member
Subject: RE: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)

Great job Gina! Are you doing the 50k or 50 miler at Sunmart?

2005-11-26 8:22 PM
in reply to: #292405

Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)
Great race Gina. Trail running is so cool, there's much more to focus on and keep your mind off the drudgery than a plain old road run! Hey 1st place is 1st place, no matter how many women were there...congrats on the hardware!

2005-11-26 8:34 PM
in reply to: #292405

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Subject: RE: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)
This sounds like FUN!!!! Never done an adventure/trail race- have to find out more about them around here- Thanks for the Race report detail-makes me want to check it out...and FIRST IS FIRST_ ENJOY!!!!!!
2005-11-28 11:28 AM
in reply to: #292405

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Subject: RE: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)
Awesome runnin'. I love trails so much more than the cold ruthlessness of concrete. I'm sure you'll blow the ultra away.


2005-11-28 7:18 PM
in reply to: #292405

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)
Sounds like an awesome race Gina!  And congrats on the hardware!
2005-12-06 10:23 PM
in reply to: #292405

, Alabama
Subject: RE: Big Dog Trail Run (20 mile)

Gina, you are amazing!  Great race, and great time on the trails.


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