Saturday, June 30, 2012

Capt Karl 60Km

The highlight of our Texas trip was the 60Km night trail run called Captain Karl on Saturday June 23, 2012.  This blogpost recounts our experiences.

This is located in the Pedernales Falls State Park.  Here is the map

What to Eat?
Turns out that we prepared well pre race with Porridge cooked earlier, but during the race it was a disaster.  Marcus got so dehydrated that he could not digest the gels he carried and ate only 2 gels during the whole race.  (1 per 30 Km). I would normally reckon on 1 gel per 7Km i.e 8 gels here.

No Exercise
Agata wisely decided to take it easy Friday the day before.  Meanwhile Marcus went out for a 10Km run coming back with a blister.  What an idiot!

So Saturday night I had to put on a compede plaster just before the race to help mask the considerable pain.

Water Preparation
Agata decided to run with a bum bag which included a hydration pack.  Marcus thought he'd just use the water stops.  This turned out to be a catastophic, because in the 109 degree F ( 42 degrees C) heat, no matter how much you drink at each stop you will dehydrate before the next one.

The Course
We knew nothing of the course apiori. We now know that  it is hilly but not mountainous, and in the dark  (i.e. the last 6 hours for us) difficult to navigate.  Lots of branches and stones to catch your feet on.

The Start
We started at 19.00 and if some kind later starting runners  (15Km) had not let me queue jump the toilet queue I would have been late to start.

Marcus Report
I finished, but only just!

On this 2 lap race I stupidly (in restrospect) decided that in the 40+ Centrigrade heat I could survive between the 7Km water stops and not suffer severe dehydration.  Big mistake!

By the end of the first lap I was so disorientated that when I started the second 30Km loop I had to come back to ask a marshall where the course was!

Meanwhile on the first lap I further tired myself out by sticking to the fastest runner group.   At the back of that pack I found a runners wallet with some keys on the ground, so I spent the first 10Km or so trying to overtake all the runners to hand back the wallet to its owner.   I was exhausted,  but more positively I did say a brief hello to just about every runner!

The course was not too hilly but by the end of lap1 I was very tired.  The thought did cross my mind to quit lap2 and change to the 30Km run,  but I thought better of it.

LAP2: There were 4 water stops and at the exit of Water stop1 I saw a familiar face .. Agata!  We compared lap1 times and it was clear that Agata was now catching me up.

By Water stop2 she was right behind me and so rather unusually we decided to run the last 15Km trail together.

Agata had to put up with Marcus droning on all the time, but she did get the benefit of having the course lit up ahead of her.

Marcus and the Appendix.
At about Km 50 I began to have severe pains in my appendix, so in fact I had to start walking.  Luckily  I ate a second Energy gel, and then in about 15 minutes the pain disappeared.

So we were then able to resume running  (well plodding!) and then to finish together.   

Water Strategy
Before starting lap2 Marcus put on his Camelback water bladder rucksack.   Initially I  filled it with Gatorade (and ice). This made a real difference in the heat.  I could now drink between water stops and running became relatively easy compared to lap1. Note to self: Hot trail runs mean take a water source, no exceptions.  

Times: 60Km in 8 hours 35 minutes!  We are really pleased
Marcus Drank <500ml on first lap,  more than 1.5L on second lap
Marcus Ate 1 Nestle Powerbar Gel + 1 Nestle Powerbar Energy Bar (only!)

Captain Karl

But wait, it is not all over yet.  After finishing the race and packing it was close to 04.00 Sunday, so next stop: the camp showers and then ... the 200 mile plus drive .. to Houston.  After all we have a plane to catch!

Friday, June 29, 2012


Friday June 22nd marked the end of Marcus's conference.  So afterwards Agata had arranged a special treat The Lake Travis Zipline

Sound is not the best, but here is a pre report

Let's just say it was pretty damn hot

 Arrival at Zipline Adventures, Lake Travis

 Agata is swimming

Despite the heat, Marcus is wearing his sun protecting ultra thin Wetsuit

 Agata is fully kitted out

 Our instructor Charlene

 Agata is GoPro ready

 Marcus practises his best flying moves

We had 5 Zips on the day,  2 for Introduction, 2 longer zips, and a zip with partner finale.

Ah yes, we define a zip as a steel line suspended between 2 points. You attach a set of pulley wheels which clip to a waist mounted harness in 2 places.  Then you jump off and using just gravity hurtle down the course.  At the end you collide with a spring mounted block which brings you to a total stop.

Link:   Agata zip number 4  marcus video

Link:  Marcus then Agata zips, GoPro video

And finally the big one!   Both of us together

After this nice adrenaline rush it was time to calm down so we headed to The Oasis

 New Camaro meets Daddy Camaro

The restaurant was full so instead you can visit the Alternative Live Music set arena  (and order the same food).   Just what we wanted.

The famous Lake Travis Sunset

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Having visited the Lyndon B Johnson Museum; Agata decided it was time to see what his wife had to say.  And so Thursday June 21st, a visit to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was planned:

LB Website

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Swim, Run and Bats

Round Rock Premium Outlets

Herewith unfold the events of Wednesday June 20th in Austin Texas:

Agata described her trip here as totally uneventful.  I am proud to say that she resolutely managed not to buy anything but a postcard!  After all she has everything.

Swimming in Bartons Creek

I swam a few laps in the 200 metre open air Bartons Creek pool and have this natty little horseprint to prove it

Lukes Locker Running Shop

We were able to get Asics Landreth 7 and Salomon SLAB 4.  Amazing selection and friendly service.

Dinner at Whole Foods

You can drop into Wholefoods, select the very best in Fresh food, and then eat it within the air conditioned inside or on the outside terrace.  No waiting, no mess, recycling.  Just great.

Last stop of the evening ... 
Bats (on Congress Avenue)

We were two of over one hundred waiting to see the Bats emerging from their sleepy stae under the bridge

The best I can do photographically, the shadows represents streams of bats

And as sunset falls it is time to journey home to our hotel.

Congress Avenue Bats
Luke's Locker - Austin