Short story: I finished.
Monday was the first day of the Dust Bowl Series and we ran around Lake Rita in Dalhart, Texas. It was a 6.55 mile loop that the half marathoners ran twice. It was a “crushed gravel” surface, but really felt more like running on sort of packed dirt. As a pavement runner, I found it took a lot of my energy, but it did make things easier on my foot.
We started “dark and early”, but thankfully it was mostly light by the time we actually hit the path. It was quite chilly and I couldn’t feel my feet until about the end of the first mile.
The scenery was lovely in some parts and very desolate feeling in others. Sadly, I spent most of the 13 miles by myself as we were all spread out.
The camper above was the start, finish, and midway point LOL. The race went well for me for about the first 9 miles. I was aiming for a 12 minute pace, but reality was in the low to mid-11s. That was just what felt comfortable. At mile 9, I began to realize my endurance wasn’t where I’d hoped after taking the three weeks off. The next two miles included some walking, but still felt mostly strong. That ended at mile 11. My hip flexors announced that they were all done running on that surface and I started getting nauseous because I was hungry and cold from the headwind. Those last two miles were more walking than running. Finally, I came around the bend and headed towards the finish. Beer Geek was right at mile 13 and took pictures as I headed his way.
When I got to Beer Geek, I did something I’ve never done before – I walked the last .1. I was just done and didn’t care, so I walked and chatted with him. After I crossed the line, I spent some time talking and grabbed a half of a sandwich (so needed at that point!) The end result of that walking and eating? I don’t know my exact time LOL. I think it was around 2:40, but it may have been a bit faster. Then we headed back to the hotel where I took the hottest bath I could stand with some epsom salts. By the time I got out, I’d stopped shivering and was feeling surprisingly good!
We grabbed a quick lunch and headed to Liberal, Kansas and the Land of Oz (which was sadly closed.)
One state down, four more to go.
20 thoughts on “State #22: Texas – Half Marathon 1 of 5!”
Nice job on State 1! Good luck today with #2!
sorry you felt a little rough at the end, but yay for hot baths!
Thinking about you while you run state 2. Great job!!
You did it. Looks like it was colder than you expected.
Nice job on #1. When not used to it that crushed gravel can really work hip flexors. Get some good stretching done. Good Luck in Kansas! Weather should hold today I think!
One down; four to go!
I hope Kansas is good to you!
Those medals are surprisingly awesome. I wish the course for #1 would have been as well. I’m so proud of you. Keep it up.
Yay!! Congrats on #1 of 5. I sooo wanted to do this series this year, but found out about it too late to make it work. SO impressed! Can’t wait to read about the rest! Good luck.
go erika go!!!!!! the gravel is tough, but i do think it was probably a good soft surface to start, fingers crossed you keep feeling great
You did it! Woo-hoo! That’s a cool idea for the medal.
Yay 1 down! Hope the next surface you’re on is a bit more forgiving!
Cheering you on! Great job! One down, four to go. 🙂
Well done. It’s good to get the first one out of the way safely.
Congrats on one down!!! Way to go! Good luck on the rest!
We have one of those pea gravel trails here in Kansas City. Most people love it, but I hate it. I feel like I never have traction and it totally tears up my calves. I would have been miserable running a whole half marathon on that, and to be cold too…ugh. Great job though!
Ugh, I hate loop courses… it was the deciding factor in me not doing the Dust Bowl. But I’m extremely jealous of 5 states in one week! Cheering for you from afar… Keep on running!!
You pushed through and finished, doesn’t matter how you got there but you did, and that’s incredible! Nice work, glad you thawed out well!
I can’t quite imagine what it must have felt like knowing that you had four more races coming up in quick succession. You are such a rock star.