Adventures in Crewing and Pacing: Texas Independence Relay – Solo

Last week was a wild and busy Spring Break full of adventures and exhausting long days and little sleep.  I’m not complaining! I just wish I wasn’t so tired that I can’t write about it in a more coherent way.

I have already described my trip to West Texas here. That was a long-awaited and dreamed about goal of mine, to hike the fairly steep trail to the highest point in Texas, like many others have done. I’ve read so many Facebook post, watched Youtube videos , and consulted hiking websites about this trail, that I just couldn’t wait to get out there and do it. I know it’s not the same as Colorado or Utah or even New York mountains, but for Texas, it’s pretty high and very exciting. I got home from that trip at midnight on Wednesday. I did a pretty normal routine here at home on Thursday.

Friday I spent the day doing chores and errands as usual. Then at 9:30 PM my husband drove me to Schulenburg where I met up with my friend Victor and his fiance to start my next adventure. Victor was about 60 miles into a 183 mile solo run of the Texas Independence Relay, or TIR. I crewed and ran it with him in 2017 and here we were again. This time I couldn’t start the race with him but I could help during the night , so that’s what I did.  We covered the roads between there and Columbus, 24 miles in about 7.5 hours. My main job was to keep him moving, hydrated and awake, so we talked about everything under the sun, or moon actually. We got chased briefly by a couple of dogs, but other than that, it was a really pleasant run. Good temps, no rain, not much traffic, gently  rolling hills. The crew truck was driven by our friend James while Victor’s girlfriend took time to sleep a little. At 6:00 she had to drive him back to Schulenburg so he could get his car. Victor and I arrived at the Columbus checkpoint just as the sun was coming up.  We slept about an hour in the parking lot of a gas station, he on a cot and me in the front seat of his truck. After our little nap, I drank a 20 ounce coffee with about 2 ounces of Half n Half, and roused him up from his sleep so we could get back to moving towards Houston.

tir-route.png

At this time the weather was humid and about 70 degrees. We started off walking down the road while he drank his coffee, then eventually ran about 3.5 miles along a very busy highway that felt like all uphill to the next checkpoint. The noise seemed so loud after running all night in peace and quiet.  At this point I got in the truck and his fiance walked with him for a couple of miles down a quite dirt road. After that I was not really up for more running. My poor bunion was hurting and I knew my husband was picking me up at noon, so I just drove the truck for awhile.

TIRelevation

I hated to say goodbye to the fun, and I was worried about Victor finishing because he was struggling, but home I went where I took a wonderful hot shower and collapsed into my bed. At my age, one hour of sleep is just not enough!  Thankfully no one woke me up for a couple of hours. Eventually I did wake up and got out of bed to go find food, which I ate a lot of for the rest of that day. Victor kept going all night even after a cold front dropped the temperatures into very windy 50s, then 40s!

The next day I went to church and to visit my mom in Houston. I was willing to go back out and pace Victor again, but thankfully he had a pacer all day. He reached the finish line around 7:15 Sunday evening, only the second person to have run the TIR twice! And he did it on very little training, other than the two 150 mile races he has run in the past 3 months and a little bit of treadmill running. And he went to work today! I am constantly amazed at what determination, stubbornness and heart can accomplish.

Today is back to school and real life but honestly I am still a bit exhausted. I ran 5 miles of easy trails and I’m attempting to get the kids to do their school work, but my heart is not in that. It’s hard to teach chemistry when you never learned it! So I am learning it with them, thanks to Youtube!

So , anyway, I just wanted to check in here . I’m sure some people don’t care for these journal type blogs, but I think it will be helpful to look back on someday.

6 comments

  1. I enjoy reading these posts 🙂 Good for you! And I hear you about needing more than one hour of sleep!! I never liked chemistry (don’t tell my dad, he’s a chemistry professor, lol!) and am NOT looking forward to reaching that point in science, lol. Thankfully I have several years until we get there 😉 Hopefully you get some more sleep and are feeling back up to par soon. God Bless!

    • I’m glad you enjoy them! And now is your chance to start studying before you have to teach it. Lol! There are so many helpful videos on Youtube , but you have to watch a little bit to see if you like their voice and style. Some are better than others. I really need to subscribe to one of the Chemistry channels and stick with it. How are you feeling??

      • Ready, lol 😉 Thank you for asking. My problem is that I never have been very good at planning ahead, lol. I need to work on that 😉 Good luck with finding and sticking to one of the channels (I always think, but this one might have something the other is missing!)

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