Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bandera 100K Through My Lenses

A week prior to Bandera, I ran a 17 miler in Lake Georgetown. It was a terrible run. I felt tired and sluggish. Based on this run, I decided to make this my last run before the race. I always taper poorly but decided to take the entire week off. I ended up running 1 other time 4.5 miles, but that was it. I figured a week off would pay dividends.

We arrived in Bandera about 4pm on Friday, picked our packet up and headed out for dinner. I had been eating fairly well the days prior to it. I wanted to be well fed (and rested) before starting because, if I know myself, I was gonna be out there for a while. 

The race began at 7:30am and off we were.

Immediately from the go, I felt sluggish and tired. This was disappointing since I'd agreed to kinda keep up with several of my friends and try to finish in around 15-16 hours. Realizing this was not going to happen, I just kinda fell back and decided I'd see them later...or maybe not.

To keep it short, the 1st 15 miles were a death march. They were slow and ugly. I ended up doing a lot of walking. My good buddy, Brandon, passed me at about mile 13, and said he was probably going to not go any further than the next aid station. I briefly considered doing the same. I even considered it again once I saw him at the crossroads aid station. I knew I could go all the way, but the most important question was: did I want to go on 46 more miles feeling the way I did?

Fortunately, I ran into my sole sistahs (Laura, Mary Ann, Bengi and Judy - coincidentaly, 2 of my former pacers) at Crossroads. After eating some baked potato halves (dipped in salt), I decided to continue. We ran together for the next 16 miles, and I (suddenly) felt great. I made it a point of eating at each aid station. I was eating quesadillas and grilled cheese 'wiches left and right. 

That seemed to have done the trick because I finished the 1st 50k loop feeling well. I finished it in 8:45. A little slower than I wanted, but I was content with it.

I began the 2nd loop :15 minutes later. I still felt really well but knew these next 5 miles would be tough. I started with 2 of my sole sistahs. We took a couple pics at Sky Island along the way. At this point it was them, myself and Bruce Evans (little did I know that I'd end up running with him for the next 25+ miles). 

Each aid station was another opportunity to eat, and I ate...well. It seems I was on a steady diet of mashed potatoes, ramen soup, quesadillas and grilled cheese. It turns out this was a big reason why I ended up running everything after the 15 mile mark feeling so well. 

Looking back, I think I prepared for almost everything - mud, rain, cold - except the heat. I think I may've struggled in the beginning because it was hot. To make matters worse, I didn't even have a cap. Luckily, another friend, Rene, saw me at the 3rd aid station and offered me his visor (No, I didn't take the cap of another runner. He was a spectator). Judging from alot of frunners I ran into, I wasn't the only 1 that was heat struggling.

In the end, I finished in 19:30. An entire hour slower than last year, but I felt better physically than last year. As a matter of fact, I felt great for the last 46ish miles.

The biggest lesson from this weekend's 100k???

I need Sami. For many reasons. 1 of them being that she's always my crew, and a really good crew mistress. I told her not to worry about my drop bags since she had her own race to prepare for. Being in charge of my own gear, I forgot my hydration vest, handheld, spi belt and S caps. Need any more proof that I cannot ultra fend for myself? 

PS - A big shout out to her for finishing her 1st 50k.

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