|Sunrise in Bandera, Texas
Bandera, Texas January 12, 2013
|Fort Apache at The Flying L Ranch
It was time to put on the shorts and get in an easy end of the day run (no wind briefs required:) ) before checking out some local Mexican food for dinner. The food was excellent!
Friday morning it was time to check out the course. We had heard of torrential rains on Wednesday with nearly 4 inches of rain but the trails looked like they were in great shape and less dust than last year. We were on a hunt to find an armadillo and went by a posted sign which read “Killer Armadillos” which had already been chomped on by some big critter.
|Hiding behind a killer sotol plant.
|In search of the armadillo
With a 7:30 AM start, there was no need to get up at 4:00 AM which was great. After a quick breakfast we were on the road to the start. Driving to the start line, there was a steady mist from the fog. It was 61 degrees and dark with 100% humidity. Haven’t seen 61 degrees since?? There was a long line of cars heading into the Texas Hill Country but the parking situation seemed fine, just slow moving, but glad we gave ourselves some extra time as I heard it became an issue for later travelers. We got our drop bags to the appropriate areas and then hung out in the tent to stay warm and dry before the start. Finally daylight was approaching and we all assembled over by the start line. The mist seemed to have stopped but still the humidity was 100%. A good day for Body Glide!
By the half way point which was lap one of the two lap course, I was right on schedule where I wanted to be. I was hoping to be a bit slower than last year on lap 1 thinking even if I run lap 2 one hour slower, I would still be ahead of last year where I cramped severely on lap two where was lying on my back in pain on the trail unable to move forward for a while. On the turnaround I remember seeing Steven Moore and he commented how it shouldn't be this hard for the first half. I totally agreed. Never had I felt this tired from running 31 miles. That mud/ankle weight running really took a toll on the energy level. I was having a hard time imagining how I might run the next 31 miles but after refueling at the aid station and heading out, I felt better. I knew I was now 50% done and what's another 31 miles? If needed I could walk or craw as I wasn't quitting, not an option. The rolling hills of the second half seemed much like the first, just slower going.
|Kristin cruising the trails
In the end, I was slower than the previous year but in the USATF standings I was 10th overall for the men which I was happy with, first in age. But even better I won the master division for the Tejas race and brought home the prized burrow trophy! Full results can be found here: Results
|The Burrow Trophy
|Steve and David trading stories
|Liza relaxing at the finish tent
The next day was recovery and after a short walk about in San Antonio, it was time to hydrate along the River Walk.
|Kristin enjoying a Margarita on the River Walk:)
Of course there was bodily injury due to the sharp sotol plants.
All in all, a great time in Texas again. If you are ever looking for a break from the winter, consider Texas for a fun winter run. Here's a link to the Tejas running series. Thanks to Joe and Joyce and all the volunteers for putting on a fabulous event!
|My New Bandera Cactus
And I successfully managed to smuggle home two more cactus plants of a new variety to add to my collection. It must have been interesting when the TSA checked my bag :)
|This one's for Serena :)
The Gear: I received a new pair of Pearl Izumi Trail II's just days before the race. No break in period required and they were awesome! Plenty of support to run 62 miles and enough cush to handle the Texas rock. Combined with a pair of Drymax trail socks, the feet were totally happy! And to add to the accessories, a Headsweats Race Cap to keep the sweat out of my eyes which was much needed :)