Monday, January 14, 2013

Bandera 100k The Way I Saw It...

I was a little worried going into my 100k at Bandera since I'd hurt my knee at Cactus Rose 100 and ran very little in November. This race was supposed to be the 2nd of my trifecta: Cactus 100, Bandera 100k & Rocky Raccoon 100. I was afraid of injuring myself and not having enough time to recover since Rocky is in about 3 weeks.

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.

1st Loop:

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.

The landscape out there was beautiful. The fog and mist made it impossible to see majestic hilltops in the distance. Only the bottom 2/3 we visible. It looked like a tropical paradise...with a little pain intertwined. Unfortunately, I was unable to take as many pictures as I wanted: the condensation on my iPhone (being drenched, myself) made it impossible to touch navigate my phone. Ugh!!!

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.

2nd Loop:

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?

     Laura: Ok.

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.



    this weekend was on "fayeeeeer!"
    best weekend I've had in a long time. I have you to thank for that, good sir.

    1. Yeah. It was a blast. Road trip, deer accident, trail run for 18+ hours... Could it have gotten better? I think not. Thanks for the laughs.

  2. I loved seeing you out on the trails! Great job and congratulations! Now go get RR100 and bring home the bling!

    1. Thanks. It was great seeing you at several points along the course. Both of you guys did great.

  3. It was a great weekend, and although I didn't get to meet you, I still felt a part of this great big family called trail runners. See you at RR.


    1. Bruce, it does feel like a big family - thst I can't wait to see each time there's a tejastrails run. Hopefully, we'll cross paths at RR.
      Congrats in your run as well.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Eric. Did you run this weekend also???

  5. Great report! Found you through Marathon Maniacs on FB. I'm venturing into Ultras from Ironman. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    1. Thanks, Shannon. You ironpeople are badasses!!! trail running is the best. the best.

  6. Awesome job this weekend Ben! You kicked nalga. You're almost getting that granite! Now let's go get that buckle!