I guess it was bound to happen at some point.
The main cause for the DNF (Did Not Finish) was my LCL flaring up again. This was very aggrivating for several reasons.
-It hasnt really bothered me in my training. I took 2 weeks off and started back up with no problems. It only spoke up once, and even then it wasn't anything even worth thinking twice about.
-I felt GREAT during the race. Energy levels were very high, stomach felt perfect, I wasn't feeling too hot, my mental state was spot on and I felt like my muscles and body could have kept going for the remainder of the race with no problems.
-The course was beautiful! The trail was solid single track thru the forest. It felt great to be out there.
-The trail was also made quite technical by all the recent rain we have been getting. David (the Race Director) told me that all the top soild of nice soft dirt had been washed out and all the rocks and roots under it had been left exposed. So the trail was very challenging for a guy with no shoes.
But there were some good things that I can take away from the experience.
-David at Endurance Buzz Adventures is a great guy that knows how to put on a great event! I thoroughly look forward to running more EBA races in the future!
-When trying to run Ultras on trails, sometimes it might be best to wear some shoes. While I could have ran this course barefoot had my knee not acted up, it wasn't necessarily "enjoyable" to have to walk and tip toe my way through the areas where I could have otherwise been running a very good pace. For once, running barefoot deffinately was a hindrance and negatively affected my performance.
-I normally dont eat before I go on a long run, but for something like a race I think I should. So I ignored rule number 1 of "dont try anything different on race day" and ate some guacamole before the race. I found some 100 calorie packs of guac at Walmart, and they taste amazing. They gave me plenty of energy and nutrition without any negative side effects!
-I got to meet a lot of great ultra runners from around the area. Mariela Botella, a highly tallented runner from the Houston area. Dat, another highly tallented guy from the Dallas area who was using this race as a training run for a 100K in a few weeks, and several other great runners who I played leapfrog with for most of the race. I even got to catch a very quick fleeting glimpse of Nicole Studer as she literally BLEW past me on her way to win the 50K in just a hair over 4 hours. She is stupid fast and was very friendly and supportive.
-We camped out the night before, and outside of a re-occuring issue with a theiving little racoon, that went great too! It was really nice having the wife and kids at the start / finish line. I feel like I let them down a little by DNFing though. But they enjoyed the experience and cant wait to go camping again! Yay!!!
Probablly the best thing from the day was that my son ran in the kids 1K race and had a blast! He came into the finish line area in 3rd place, but stopped short because he got confused and ended up crossing the line in 5th. But he could have cared less because he had such a great time! He rambled on and on and on about how much fun he had running thru the woods on the trails. Now he wants to do more races!!!! YAY!!!!
It was a good day overall. Jesse finished his first race / first trail race / first run over 16 miles long and he loved it as well.
So, now I'm going to take 2 or 3 weeks off from running to try and get my knee back to 100% for whatever race I decide to attempt next. I'm going to focus more on my diet and losing weight now. I went into this race tipping 200 pounds. I need to be closer to 180.
Oh, sorry, no pictures. My phone died while we were camping...