Time to step in front of the camera
This might be the first time in a long time I have posted blogs in consecutive weeks so I am really happy to find the time to do so.
Last week I had the pleasure of having a dream come true by hiring a professional photographer to come and shoot aka follow me around for the week. I have really wanted someone to come and show off the trail running culture that is blooming here in Houston. I also wanted to get some shots of Brazos Bend, some trail racing pictures while we were at Cactus Rose and some personal pics for my wife/family.
Derrick Lytle is an immensely talented photographer/videographer from the west side of the US. I can tell you that I have always had this deep appreciation for photography. I can also tell you that I NEVER thought I could meet someone who spend an equal amount of time on his craft. Derrick flat our wore me out haha. Check his instagram for sick pics and his work.. http://instagram.com/derricklytle
So Derrick arrived Wednesday morning and without a glimpse he was landed and we were headed to Brazos Bend State Park. We say the park and Derrick was like I want to shoot here in the morning I was like cool the park opens at 8. He was like hmmmm how bout 5am. I immediately learned all about “lighting”. We headed home and took the above picture early that morning as Derrick shot. I wont lie I slept in the car after staying up till 2am doing the dream.
Soon after we spent that Wednesday night shooting the great memorial park with the Houston Area Trail Runners. It was a blast to see my friends get to have pro pictures taken of them. Its like being a celebrity for a few minutes. Thursday we were able to find some time to shoot at TEAM TROT member Cal Neff by our houses since we live so close together. Cal is such a strong runner and has been on the Canadian Mountain Team. He knew great spots and had a great base of understand pictures. We were able to get some truly epic shots of him running in Houston as well.
Thursday Night My wife and I had Derrick take some personal family photos of us. I realized this was not what Derrick does normally but he made an exception for us and did a photo session. As soon as it was over and we saw a few shots I was HOLY COW this was so amazing. Just today we received some of the shots and we are smiling from ear to ear what a great job he did for us.
We took some pictures thursday and then headed friday to Cactus Rose at Bandera Texas. This is a normal yearly HATR vacation to run the hill country. Derrick spent his time running up and down the mountains chasing runners, getting time lapse and video.
I finally was in my element. I was “hired” by Melinda to crew and pacer her the last loop. As the race was close to start I went and looked at the start. Among the first couple rows were 3 TEAM TROT members. I kind of just stood their and thought how proud I was to see our running series and our new TEAM all dawning singlets. I had mine under the shirt and I was like HELL YES…
Soon after the gun struck and it was time to work. I take crewing VERY seriously and I love it.. As the race moved I did a lot of running, icing down, grabbing gels etc. I also got to see so many familiar faces running the race. It was so much fun to see everyone as I havent really run any races in TExas since March. Like seeing family you havent seen in a while.
As the night started to come Melinda was hurting. I was set to pick her up at 75 but she was hurt at 50. I through on my shorty shorts and ripped off cover shirt. I was ready with my TROT singlet to rock and roll. A few miles down the road I saw Paul T headed our way and it really made me realize we were racing. I have the highest amount of admiration for Paul and seeing him run back towards us got me really excited. As Melinda and I headed out we both knew that there was a problem with Melinda. We kept slogging along and a few times I heard “hey man I loved your race in april” or ” cant wait to race your race in december”.. i was like holy crap this is cool.. I honestly forget that people know who I am or care who I am. I have always been taught that “make it hard to find the general by working like a soldier”… I focus on working hard in my life and anything i get more than a thank you is very special to me.
As our day ended with us dropping at 65 the night was fleeting. I woke up at 10am to the breakfast burrito party outside in the RV. I had missed all the finishers while pacing but was able to hear all the amazing stories. Lots of PRs, new mileage goals hit and cussing at all that sotol. Derrick got some great profile pictures of us all and we headed back to Houston on sunday evening,.
We through a small intimate get together Sunday night at our favorite tex mex spot in houston. It couldnt have gone any better. Just sitting around a table laughing, learning about each other and enjoying great people. The time spend at the table was truly beautiful.
As we headed home Derrick asked if we could shoot downtown in the morning. I was like your flight leaves at 12pm.. He asked be in downtown by daylight.. Remember when I told you that I was tired… Derrick is a BEAST at his craft. I can tell you that I have maybe found my equal in regards to someone that lives his dream 100%. If derrick wasnt taking pics or vids he was editing. When he wasnt editing he was running. When he wasnt running he was sleeping. This guy was a pleasure to see work. So there we are 5am on top of a parking garage looking over Minute Maid Downtown…
As Derrick flew out my nerves flew in. I knew it was only a matter of time before they happened. Watching all of these AMAZING runners at Cactus had me really anxious about Javelina Jundred. Today like the last 2 has been me trying to stay busy.
I have worked for Ultrasportslive.tv for the past i think 6 months. I have seen all these amazing people finish western states, flagstaff sky race, the rut and many others. But I have never been on the other side of that camera. I have never been the one racing in a 100 miler and having everyone watch me.
Most people know I have a funky knee so the other day someone said what about the knee? I said to them quite confidentially well the knee is weak but my mind is strong.
I remember when I was in the middle of the snowdrop race. I was like in 3rd place or something just running and i hit a quick patch of low. I told Jose my problems and my knee was hurting. He told me thats great you have 2 knees keep running. I immediately snapped out of it and got those 106 miles done.
Javelina Jundred has always been my race since I attended Western States this year. It has always been on my mind to get my bid their and the absolute pleasure to go to WS100 at some point in my life.
So tomorrow morning I drive off. Solo Road Tripping to Fountain Hills, Arizona. No crew, no pacer. I will arrive with the USL.tv crew their to film but I wont be working. This is the last trip for a few months for me and I am focused more than ever.
I draw inspiration for those who inspire me. I have always told people that I am open and honest because I have no choice. At times I love it and at times it bites me in the ass. But either way its honest.
I witnessed true inspirational efforts at Cactus Rose this past weekend. Julie K, Matt Z, Ace G and my own HATR group including the SOTOL STOMPERS really showed me what the love of the trails is all about. I will think of them and probably many of you when I see the start of the Javelina Jundred on Saturday morning.
You can watch me live at ultrasportslive.tv interviewing for the beer mile on friday and also on race day running
and you can follow my lap splits on http://www.aravaiparunning.com/ultracast-results/
i am bib 236 and ill be giving it all i have.