Prickly Pear 50k Preview Run

(Sooooo, this run happened LAST week, but I was working on a manuscript for work and was kind of burned out on some writing. So, its late 😉 )

Let’s start off with the fact that I am NOT ready or prepared for a 50k. It has been over a year since my last marathon and I haven’t gone farther than 14 miles in over a year. Some serious training is definitely needed before I even begin to think about running 30 miles for fun. However, the local running club (SARR) hosted a free preview of their ten mile trail loop for their upcoming 50K trail run, The Prickly Pear 50k

The race itself consist of three rounds of their ten mile loop (50k), one round (10 miles) or a 5k route that wasn’t included as part of the Sunday preview run. I haven’t ran many trail runs. In total, I’ve done probably 5 trail runs in my entire life. First, I’ve done a local night trail race once a year for the past three years in which I have fallen every year, including rolling done a hill. I’ve also done one Tough Mudder that had trail elements, and a single guest appearance with a trail running friend who I swear is half mountain goat. I’m mostly worried about getting lost on my own and never making it back to my car, so having a free chance to follow a marked course through the woods seemed just fantastic. So I broke out my running belt and headed across town.

The run was throughout San Antonio’s McAllister park, just a few miles north of our airport. The park is fairly big and the 10 mile trail route was completely within the park. It’s so nice to have a park this big close to home. I’ve wanted to explore it’s trails before but was always afraid of getting lost. Before the run, organizers explained the route and talked about the pink flag markers used to mark the trail.

Since I was using this preview run as my long, slow run of the week, I plugged my earbuds into the audiobook I’m listening to right now. (A Wise Man’s Fear By Patrick Rothfuss) I followed the main group for the first mile and we spread out fairly well. There had to be about 50 runners at least and a lot of the time I was by myself following the markers. It was peaceful. It was rejuvenating, and it was therapeutic.

About 4 miles in, I arrived at a t bone where the path went either left or right and there were pink flag markers going both ways. I was lucky to hit another runner that was committed back from the right saying there was nothing past those flags, and we both went left. I was told afterward that since it is a public trail mischief makers like to take down or move the markers quite frequently. Luckily, this was the only occurrence I had of moved markers and made it through the rest of the preview run without losing my way.

About 5 miles in tried a new energy gel (Huma) . I had won a drawing on instagram and had received a sampler of their different gels  I really liked it! It was waaaay less sticky than my chocolate Gu I usually get, less sickly sweet, and way more gentle on my stomach.

Overall, it was a relaxing run and I had an absolute blast. Maybe by next year I’ll be ready for their 50k!

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