Tour De Los Tejas; A Journey Run Around Texas
The incredible rabbitELITEtrail athlete Trevor Meding recently ran a total of 600km across the central and southeast regions of Texas. You read that correctly - 600km!!! Read about his unbelievable journey below.
With a gap in their schedule this year Trail Racing Over Texas (www.TrailRacingOverTexas.com) came up with a unique format to put on a Journey Run style race format for anyone wanting to test their limits. The race was announced last summer and has been slowing evolving as the route was fully curated, tweaked, and finalized right up until the week before the race. Tour De Los Tejas had two distances listed at 300 km & the long version of 600 km. Both are giant loops around the Central and Southeast regions of Texas. As a long distance junkie I naturally was drawn towards the longer 600 km route. I had no idea if this was possible as it was twice as far as I have ever run before, and all on pavement of highways and county roads so the body would be in for a proper test of endurance. With all of this in place I set off on a journey with 8 other ultra distance seeking adventurers for the 600 km from the Capitol building in Austin, Texas on Friday February 5th, 2021.
The route took us around to all things Texas, including 7 State Parks and a total of 3 Buc-ee’s locations.
- Texas State Capitol | Austin, TX (mile 0)
- McKinney Falls State Park (mile 9)
- Lockhart State Park (mile 38)
- Buc-ee’s | Luling, TX (mile 59)
- Palmetto State Park (mile 63)
- Shiner Brewery | Shiner, TX (mile 94)
- Buc-ee’s | Eagle Lake, TX (mile 153)
- Brazos Bend State Park (mile 204)
- Stephen F. Austin State Park (mile 261)
- Buescher State Park (mile 342)
- Bastrop State Park (mile 356)
- Buc-ee’s | Bastrop, TX (mile 358)
- Texas State Capitol | Austin, TX (mile 393)
Results & Statistics
Distance: 393.12 mi | 632.66 km
Avg Distance per Day: 65.52 mi | 105.44 km
Elevation +: 10,860 ft | 3,310 m
Total Race Time: 142:46:02 | 5d 22h 46m
Total Sleep Time: 14h 10m | 15 stops
Avg Sleep per Day: 2h 21m
Groceries (Pre-Race): $102.07
Snack & Food Expenses on route: $177.15
Unplanned Hotel Expenses: $125.00 | 2 stops
STRAVA Activity: https://www.strava.com/activities/4771308364
UltraSignup Results: https://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=77745
This was my 72nd ultramarathon I have run.
- 21st ultra at distance greater than 100 mi (and 3rd greater than 200 mi).
- 19th completion of 100 mi or greater distance.
My Key Takeaways
Insert the 7 pictures here (see series of my 7 takeaway “memes”)
Road running is not Highway running. I knew this was going to be hard on the body, but man did I not expect what the exact challenges would be. Every single highway and county road is sloped or crowned, which means you are never truly running on flat ground. The slight slope causes you to have to compensate a little as you go. I was aware of this not super far into the run and so I’d try and run inside the driving lanes when I could as it was slightly flatter and easier on the muscles. At nighttime it was super easy to run in the middle of the road because I could see cars coming for a long ways ahead and from behind as well with the headlights. This little detail of running on the roads for this race was an oversight at the beginning that definitely took a toll on the body over time.
Fueling is hard for this long of an event. Running a couple 200 milers before I knew just eating as much as possible is beneficial to keep the body going but it is hard. At times I found it super easy to knock back a ton of calories, but a lot of time at crew stops it was hard to get in hundreds of calories. I did my best, but often I just ensured I had enough snacks on me at all times in my pack which got me through between stops. Consistency is key, just keep putting in the fuel whenever you can, even if you don’t feel like it.
The human body is amazing! During late on day 4 when my left shin started to have a stabbing pain I thought for sure my journey run across Texas was over. With taking it easy after that and some timely rest I managed to keep going. My body had somehow adapted and managed to deal with the pain that persisted throughout the remainder of the run but was not debilitating. You can see on my daily mileage I dipped way down but then brought it back up once I was able to run again. I’ve heard of this from other podcasts and adventures but experiencing this myself was simply extraordinary. In terms of my feet they seemed to get used to the pavement pounding after about 3 days. The numbness and pain on the bottom of the feet never got worse, it only got better at that point. I never changed shoes, only socks, so truly my body was adapting to the conditions I was in.
In reflection on this race I am struck at limits being constructs of the mind. This journey taught me that the idea of physical limits are just a mental roadblock that as long as I have enough sleep and fuel I can keep my body going.
Couple of things I have learned is that I do not ever want to run across the country or any other long road event. I am most definitely a trail runner and cannot wait to get back on the soft dirt, rugged rocks, and roots that only the trail provides. This is where my true passion lies, but I am glad to have taken on this adventure and challenge.
Feel free to follow Trevor on:
@trevormeding | https://www.instagram.com/trevormeding/
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