The plan was to run the course at night. Our guide, David Jacobson, wanted to run the course to simulate next month's night running. We couldn't be happier to have him show us around since we had our doubts that we could navigate our way around in the darkness.
There were going to be runners starting when we started, later in the night, in the morning and in the early afternoon the next day. Our group included myself, David Zuniga, Stevan Pierce, Carlos Cerda, David Jacobson, Brett Parker, Kevin Pallardino and Susan Bell.
We arrived at around 7pm and began at 8:30pm. The temperatures were mild...maybe even cool. After having run the Capt. Karl race series this summer, the cooler temperature was a welcomed relief.
In short, the course was rocks, climbing, rocks and more climbing. Obviously, what goes up must come down, so throw in there some steep rocky downhills for good measure. Oh, how can I forget the sotol plants? All I can say is "ouch!!!"
We finished the 25 mile loop at around 4:20am. I felt really well at this point but was also starving. I can only eat so many stinger waffles, GUs or chex mix. Luckily, Brett, offered us some fajita tacos, and they hit the spot.
We took about a 20 minute break before starting again. We may have taken a little too long before starting because I was cold, and my body felt kinda stiff. My car's temperature indicated it was 56 degrees. I couldn't wait to start running to warm up.
The 2nd loop was pretty...interesting. After about 5 miles, David J. fell on the course. He said he fell asleep while running. Yes, we were that tired, but it was good practice for CR. David called it a night/morning shortly after this. With some last minute instructions, David J. pointed us in the right direction which we hoped to be able to do.
Unfortunately, our adventure without him lasted only a few miles. We got a bit lost and seemed to be running in circles. After watching the incredible sunrise atop Sky Island, we decided to backtrack and end our adventure.
We ended the run at 33.5 miles. The best part is that I felt great the entire distance. This hadn't happened ever...I think.
I think I also learned some valuable things for my upcoming race, CR:
- it's all about pacing.
- there's such a thing as too much GUs, stinger waffles & junk(ish) type food...I'll need solid food.
- RFP (relentless forward progress) - gotta keep keeping on.
The course? Well, I'm not going to go over each section. All I will say is that the course is pretty tough but fun. All you need to know is: be prepared to climb.
In summary, I met lots of awesome runners on this trip. Whether meeting them for the 1st time or 10th time, these are great friends that made the trip worthwhile.
I hope to make 1 more trip out to Bandera before CR. Either way, I cannot wait for Oct. 27.