63F -> 76F. Let me start out by saying I still had fun. I did. This was maybe the worst decision-making I've ever had in a race. Worst bonk of my life! 1:33 / 1:58
So, my going-in strategy was to run in the lead pack, no matter what. At the start line, my RH buddy Matt pointed out Paul Terranova, adding that he was the fastest trail runner in Texas. I think he has won a couple national championships so it was good to know but, well, I already had my strategy.
Started out in a pack of 4, with Paul in front, and I was the caboose. As the middle 2 guys appeared to lose contact, I'd pass them. So about 3 miles in, I'm in 2nd. Ran behind Paul for a mile or so when he turned back to me and said, I should probably let you know I'm only doing 1 loop, then dropping." He had to be somewhere else. I thanked him for letting me know and he said something to the effect that he didn't think he'd be able to maintain this pace for 2 loops. Hint dropped. Hint ignored. I did let him go a little, but caught glimpses of him until mile 10 or so. I felt really, really good. Hit the half in 1:33 which I knew was downright irresponsible. Hot trail race, and a 1:33? I knew there were 2-3 really good runners behind me somewhere though.
I continued feeling pretty good. There is a little out and back for the middle aid station on the loop, maybe mile 20 for the 2nd loop, so I knew I'd get some info about my lead. Josh was in 2nd, and I had about the same lead on him as I did on the first loop. But Jason had dropped back and I was pretty sure he was no longer a factor. However, somewhere around mile 22 my world came crashing down. The bonk escalated really, really quickly. I knew by 22.5 that I would get passed, even though I couldn't see anyone yet. Mile 23 or so I did indeed get passed by Josh. It was shortly after that I started walking. Just couldn't run. I did the gallo walking a little, maybe 50/50 walk/run, and just waited for Jason to pass me. I could barely keep up with the half marathoners I had lapped. There were some 13 and 14 minute miles at the end. Jason finally came by with maybe 1-1.5 miles to go. "Good job" he said. Every time I started walking I got really dizzy. I was really thirsty and really hungry. I almost felt like I could sleep when I closed my eyes (I stopped closing my eyes when I got more worried about passing out). The sun beating down felt like a hundred degrees even though I knew it was probably only in the mid-70s.
I managed to run the last 200-300m and had to sit down right away. Another teammate kept bringing me water, coke, and all kinds of food and I would guzzle/eat everything immediately. Finally able to get up and talk to people after about 10 minutes of that. Yikes.
One day I'll find a happy medium with my race strategy. That day was not today. The winner ran 1:36, 1:41. I'm almost certain I was fit enough to win, had my execution not been so incredibly bad. I talked to everyone for awhile and had a good time, but I definitely threw this one away. Skipping the final aid station was one of the dumber decisions (I was out of water!). One day...