I got home at a decent hour Friday evening and was oh so excited to pack and hit the road. We had rented an adorable Airbnb cabin in Spicewood which was only about 10 minutes from the start line in Krause Springs. They didn’t allow pets so Mom & Dad Papke kindly offered to watch them for the weekend and meet us in Austin for the handoff!
We met them at ABGB (Austin Beer Garden Brewing) which was a first time for all of us! Super hipster place in Austin with an awesome food AND beer menu! Was awesome to catch up with the family and we are very grateful they were willing to not only watch the pups, but make the 1.5 hour trip to get them! We love you guys!
We ordered a pepperoni pizza and I’m glad we did as by the time we got to Spicewood, most places were closed for dinner. I drank water, but the pizza was delicious!
The Airbnb Cabin – The Chanticleer
We rolled up super late to what looked like little house on the prairie, but modernized! there was a ton of land, and two buildings – The cabin itself and then a separate building which had a fireplace, Adirondack chairs and full views of the property! We enjoyed our coffee there Sunday morning 🙂
The owners (super hosts) even had homemade chocolate chip cookies in a jar for us, snacks & mason jars filled with cereal. In the small fridge they placed OJ, milk and half n’ half… they thought of everything! Lynn was in heaven!
They had so many notes for us, and even a dresser with a bottom drawer full of books that we could read or take if we wanted! Notice the old school robes (super soft by the way) they even had for us if we wanted to use.
Once we got settled, we headed to the only place open to get some ice, water jugs and a few snacks for the day ahead. I wasn’t as ahead of the game on that end being sick all week.
That being said, I was about 70% better but still stopped up, coughing and couldn’t fully taste. Was hoping a decent nights sleep would help even more.
Saturday – RACE DAY!!!
We woke up about 5:15am which wasn’t too bad, but I wanted to shower. I’ve realized I feel fresh and more awake before races when I do this before I run. It was so nice being close to the start at Krause Springs, and we were in awe when we rolled up! It was like Ferngully!
I didn’t take a whole lot of picture of Krause Springs itself, and I wish I’d have done more, but I was concerned about getting our sling chairs and cooler to the start, getting my bib and chip and preparing for the 7:30am start.
* My phone was at 25% after the half marathon and Lynn’s died shortly after, so I turned mine off at that point so we’d be able to google maps it and find our way home!
** Lesson learned on the above and I’ll have an entire blog post about lessons learned later this week!
Morning Half Marathon
They were giving us race instructions above, and I’ll be honest – I was pretty terrified of the elevation mixed with the heat, technicality of the trails and leftover sinus infection!
I had my Salomon Hydration Vest (Check out MY FAVORITE GEAR here) complete with two 17oz flasks, one with water/one with GU Roctane, GU gels, and a Nanohydr8… and we were off!
There were a lot of people running! We had about half a mile to find our place before the single track started and it got a lot more complicated and difficult!
The half marathon was two loops, so I was able to see Lynn at the halfway point! It was definitely the hardest and slowest half I’ve ever ran, but the elevation and stagnant air/heat/humidity was intense! I pushed and was proud of crossing the finish line of this 13.1!
I didn’t get many pics of my time running or the trails as with everyone in a single file and not spreading out for awhile it wasn’t possible. Plus, a few miles it, it was super dangerous to where if you would have slipped or tripped you would’ve gone off the side of the mountain. Seriously.
I felt good for the first loop of the half and seeing the yellow tape knowing I was about .25 miles from the turnaround point, seeing Lynn etc to head back out for the second loop was incredible. That .25 was straight uphill (Can’t see it in picture as it drops after the pano) and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some ice and blow my nose!
I was feeling it, and dumped some ice down my shirt, ice water down my neck and face… filled both flasks with ice cold water (I drank 3 during the first loops as I refilled at the halfway point) gave Lynn a kiss and was back out for the next loop.
I am not exaggerating in the least when I say there were some hills and parts of the trail that was so steep it was hard to even walk up. So, knowing I had another round of crazy elevation wasn’t something I was jumping up and down about, but I was ready to conquer my 31st half marathon!
I was so ready to be done, and a mile out I was so glad that I was about finished. It was in the 90’s with humidity in the 90’s and I had drank 5 pounds of water. Seriously. I drank 5 of my 17oz flasks during those 13.1 miles!
I was a muddy mess, and kept my ankle timing chip on as I needed it for the afternoon 10k.
People had told me before my 50 miler last month that they had a hard time stomaching fuel during the later parts of the race, but that never happened for me. Well, for the first time ever it did during this half marathon. Even by mile 5 when I needed to take my second GU, I felt sick thinking about it. So, I knew I needed it more than I even knew and made sure to get it down. *shudders*
I finished 10th overall and I was okay with that! I know some things I need to work on, but my goals are going to be road race related for the next 8 months, and then we will revisit. However, I’ll be strong when I do from the work I’ll be putting in in-between! I liked that they had live results we could check at any time!
I had some Pringles and a cliff bar… then we headed down to the natural springs to cool off and check it out before my 10k in a few hours.
Krause Springs is incredible. I can’t put into words how beautiful, special and unique it is! It truly is like Ferngully with its natural watering holes, butterfly gardens and huge trees! The water was cold, and Lynn actually got in knee height!
I didn’t get in as I didn’t take another pair of shoes or socks and didn’t want to have to put my feet back IN that wet disaster of a mess. (Remember how I said there would be a rookie move post? This will be on it)!
I had cooled down, refueled and decided to only take one flask as there was a fueling station 3.5 miles or so in (remember that post?). I left my music as I realized I don’t like it one bit during trail runs.
I felt pretty good although a bit tired, and it was a sickening hot out as it was 2pm and full on sun!
I booked it for the first half mile to get my spot before the single track was to come. Knowing the majority of the course, I’m not sure if that made me happy or filled me with dread as I now knew what was to come!
By mile 2, I had already drank the one flask and was craving more water so so bad! I was starting to get goosebumps a bit and I hit a scary low for the first time ever during a run. I just felt awful. It was so hot, I had no more water, and I started to cry for about half a second which then made me start to wheeze as the air was so thick it was hard to breath.
I sucked it up quickly, put one foot in front of the other, and then I noticed that I had a bloody nose. Not the pure blood dripping, but I think it was caused from my sinus infection. None the less, that coupled with the other issues scared the heck out of me and that aid station didn’t come fast enough!
The kind volunteers gave me tissue, poured tons of ice down my shirt, cold water over my head and gave me water. I ate some cold ice as well, and after about ten minutes I felt so much better! They truly saved the day!
The next three miles felt good, but I was so glad to see that finish line for the second time that day. 900 feet of elevation for a 10k after the mornings 13.1 About did me in!
I came in 10th overall and was happy with that! After I got my medal, they told me there was a third one for the Evening 5k, which I was NOT signed up for, and that they made a picture when placed together.
So, I talked to Lynn…. and decided that since I didn’t die during the 10k, it was a sign to sign up for the 5k and go out with a bang. HA! I really wanted that third medal, let’s be honest.
I finally took my socks and shoes off (my feet were pretty beat up) and dried them outside while we went to the natural springs pool this time! I actually got in even though it was freezing, but it was definitely refreshing and probably good for the muscles!
I snacked some more, bought some goodr OG Sunglasses (no slip, no bounce, all polarized) and I have decided that I need every color and style. I love them!!!!!
I was feeling good, and after running almost 20 miles in the Sahara desert, 3.1 miles seemed like a cake walk. Well, this course was different. We took a left instead of a right, and climbed the stairway straight to heaven. In other words… it was twice as hilly as I expected, and on the way back towards the finish line it still had the hills that you couldn’t run up, but had to walk/curse to the top!
I broke it down in my head bough, it was a bit cooler out, and I knew I was done for the day as soon as I finished and had a ton to be proud of! I finished 15th overall, but mind you…. tons of folks came in ONLY for the PM 5k, when all of us idiots had been running in the mud and heat all day and thought it would be cool to tack on another 3.1.
We left shortly after I finished, but not before I stopped to smell the roses.
I am SO grateful for all the volunteers who kept us hydrated and safe! I’m grateful for coming out healthy, although sore! I’m blessed to have an amazing fiancé who once again gave up an entire weekend to see me accomplish more goals, while motivating me to push harder than I thought possible!
I met so many amazing people, some from Instagram and others who actually read this little blog. I was humbled by the kindness, talent and just overall goodness of everyone we had the opportunity to connect with! I wish you all nothing but the very best and hope to run into you again soon!
A highlight of our day was meeting D’Anna and her adorable and super speedy grandkids! I met her on Instagram and it was so amazing to meet in person and get to chat for part of the day. Her grandkids were running the youth mile and did incredible! I told them they are going to pace me next year:) I wish I would’ve got a picture, but my phone had been dead for hours!
We will see them again, I just know it! It touched my heart when they came back to cheer me on during my 5k! I thought they were long gone, and is one of my favorite moments of the weekend! Thanks you three… you made our day! Till next time!
This has turned into quite the long post, so I’ll talk about Sunday and our evening grub on the next post!
I want to thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement! Trails, heat and a sinus infection made for a pretty difficult day, but everyone else faced pretty similar challenges and we all came out of it stronger and with reasons to hold our head up high! I feel good about my races and left with no regret! Trail racing is hard and humbling!
Now to focus! Speedy legs here we come!
See you at the start line!