Monday, January 14, 2013
Bandera 100k The Way I Saw It...
The plan was to finish. Just finish. Even if it took me the entire 24 hours. Of course, I really didn't want to be out there that long unless I really had to.
My sole sister, Laura, had agreed to pace me the 2nd 31 miles, last 50k, and she was looking forward to it. Well, so was I.
I began the 1st loop cautiously - afraid of slipping and/or falling. It was drizzly and it made the surface muddy and the rocks slippery. I figured I'd run a little less gingerly as I got more comfortable.
It was muddy and, at points, it felt like I was playing hopscotch out there - trying not to land on muddy slippery rocks. I was afraid I was working 'too hard' considering all the skipping I seemed to be doing. Not to mention that the temperature was in the high 50s. Nice, but a little to humid for all that mileage.
It was a little muggy but overcast. I tend to get cold very easily, so I started w/ a jacket, but started sweating pretty quickly and decided to note my mileage at leave my jacket behind a tree. I made a mental note of the tree I left it under. Sure, I'll find it the 2nd time around, I told myself. Don't laugh. It worked but more of that in a bit.
At 1 point, there was a pretty long flat muddy section where my hokas picked up a lot of mud. A lot. Another runner wearing hokas told me "Like we need any more padding." My hokas' thread is pretty worn out - smooth, really, and I think that helped repel a lot of mud buildup, as opposed, to making it more slick.
I ran into my buddy, Carlos, at the CrossRoads aid station, and we decided to finish up the 1st loop together. Truth be told, he slowed down to run with me as opposed to the other way around.
Hydration? The entire 1st loop's liquid intake was water. I tend to easily get tired of the taste of water, but I'm not much of a heed fan, so I had little choice. It's weird, but I drank and drank and drank.
I finished the 1st loop in 7:30. Right on time. I told Carlos that I wanted to take no more than 15 minutes before starting the next 1/2 of the race. My friend's gf gave me a couple of tacos, and I felt really good and confident.
Something happened between loops 1 and 2.
Immediately, after starting the 2nd loop, I was fatigued and winded. I figured that with my pacer, Laura, Carlos and his pacer, Andy, we were in business. I began not only walking the uphills but walking everything. everything. I began to question and doubt myself whether I could (or wanted to) do 20+ more miles feeling this way. I think this is a mental game I play with myself for motivation. I think I question myself each race - to make myself do it.
I think I may have eaten a little too much before starting the 2nd half. I guess, the food finally digested after the Chiapas aid station (10ish miles or 41ish cumulative) because as soon as we left, we ran. It was as if I'd gotten my second wind.
I have to hand it to my pacer. This is the 2nd race she has paced me. As I told her, she's 2 for 2 pacing me. She talked when I needed talking to. She pushed me when I needed pushing...and she gave me the silent treatment when she could tell I didn't feel like talking. Typical convo when I was tiring and frustrating:
Laura: ...So how are things between you and 'blank'?
Me: Can I tell you when I feel better?
Right at around mile 41ish, a cool front blew in. Literally. It got cold and windy.
We kept telling ourselves - mainly, I kept telling Laura: 1 aid station at a time. 1 at a time. We were going to finish at 5 mile increments.
The last 4.7 miles were an adventure. The wind was so strong that a lot of the reflective ribbons on trees had blown off. It seemed like stretches would go by without seeing any, and we began to question whether we were heading the right direction. I was in no mood to turn back and re route.
Luckily, my pacer was alert and had her wits about her (as usual), and we found the finish line.
18:32:54 later, Joe P. handed me my buckle.
I often tell my friends who don't run trail: how many races does the Race Director meet you at the finish, shake your hand and hand you your medal/buckle? Not many.
What's next? Rocky Raccoon 100. Let's do this!!!
PS - I managed to find my jacket the 2nd loop. Yep, under the tree I'd left it under.
PS2 - It was awesome running into/with so many great friends that I hadn't seen in a while.