My biggest worry heading in to Cowtown 50K was, well… cows. I’ve run races in the past that had actual longhorns on the course. They’re huge. And terrifying.
As it turned out? no cows – just bright sunshine, great race organization, friends, and 31.1 miles of pavement (ouch!). Finished 4th in my age group* — with a new 50K PR (by over 40 minutes – woop!).
It had been a while since I had run a road race and quickly remembered why I’m not a huge fan of road running:
- SO much trash! At the aid stations (expected) plus all along the road, tossed up in people’s yards, in fields at the park. I can’t even imagine the cleanup required after this race. Literally tons of cups, bottles, Gu packets, etc.
- Runners who are doing the run/walk thing who sprint past – then stop directly in front of you. I understand Galloway’s timed run/walk strategy is helpful for some & I fully support anything that works – but if you cut in less than half a step ahead, then drop to a walk, one of us is going to get hurt. I literally crashed into a guy that did this early on in the race. Not cool.
The best very fun parts?
- People out in their front yards with extra treats (& beer – beer?!) cheering for hours. Lots of smiling faces, whole families out in lawn chairs. Lovely.
- Kids standing along the side with hands up! for high five. I high-fived back every single one I could reach.
- Friends! Meeting up with Andy @ Mile 27 aid station (which also had cheese Goldfish! — it’s like they knew me….)
- Dogs — so many beautiful dogs. I couldn’t stop to pet them all (or I’d still be out there) but seeing them along the course – smiling, wagging, “helping” with treats was the best thing ever.
What worked well – (almost) everything
- Nike run skirt
- Nike tank
- Arm Warmers
- Drymax socks (always)
- Trail Toes lube – had to run through standing water in several places that was left from previous day’s storm. Even then, zero blisters. (This stuff is magic, I tell ya’.)
- Salomon vest with water bottles – also held keys, jacket, phone, meds
- Nutrition – including handful of Goldfish! @ mile 27 aid station
- Logistics – easy parking (though some signs @ race site for packet pickup, etc. would have been helpful)
- Course – mix of roads, parks, waterways – really, more diversity than I expected from a large city event
- Electronics – no issues this time. Garmin worked as expected. Music/playlist & earbuds were great & lasted for duration of the race.
Not so well
- Taping from chiropractor – had right IT band taped pre-race as it had been giving me trouble, but the tape didn’t hold up well. (My fault for not insisting on RockTape.) I was able to fix/reinforce a bit on my own so not a huge problem.
- Speed – I didn’t taper for this one, it was one long training run! so I wasn’t fast (not that I’m ever super fast). I did run consistent splits and felt strong throughout, so I’m happy with that.
- Hydration – fail! I was having too much fun & not paying attention to climbing temps. Felt fine but didn’t pee once after Mile 8 – until arrived home 6:30 p.m. Yikes! & entirely my own fault.
And right back to training – because those Iceland volcanoes aren’t going to climb themselves.
(* Note: there were only 9 women! in my age group @ 50K distance)