2019 Hill Country Trivium

Nov 11, 2019

2019 Hill Country Trivium

This race, which is outside of Marble Falls, has the hilliest course in Texas. It goes through many steep hills for 31 miles. I was fully prepared for this race. I was in good enough condition to run 31 miles and even had a strategy to follow. I was carrying, in addition to water to drink, the properfuel to keep myself going. My body was strong enough and I had enough nutrition to keep it going for the duration of the race.

I knew that if I maintained a 9 minute 30 second per mile pace I could finish the race in 5 and a half hours. I know, based on my training and experience running marathons and ultra marathons, that maintaining such a pace is something I can do. I finished in 6 hours 2 minutes because I ran the race with intelligence.

I realized, by mile 18 or 19 that I needed to run the hills slower in order to preserve my energy. Although I could have maintained the same speed on those hills I would have burned through too much energy doing so to finish the race strongly.  So I ran slower on the hills. Sometimes I even walked and took shorter strides.

Did I reach my targeted time? No. I was, however satisfied with my finish. I was able to run the last mile and a half at a solid, strong pace. I would have crossed the finish line walking, or maybe even crawling, if I had run over the hills in the last 10 miles of the race.

Running an ultra marathon involves both having the endurance to do so and the ability to follow a good strategy. I finished this one running strongly because I was smart enough to adjust my strategy to the condition of the course.