I started this blog as a way to document my training for the Bandera 100k with my wife's cousin.
We ended up choosing the 50k instead and I struggled mightily during the last half of the race. I learned so much about distance racing in this race and I learned so much about myself that I would recommend it to everyone. This year I chose to do the 50k again because I want to make sure I've been successful at one level (in this case distance) before moving to the next. I'm excited. I think I know what works and I think I know what tools I need to be successful during this race. I will miss the fact that this year the starting temperature will not be 10 degrees with a wind chill of 7. It is only supposed to be in the 30's this year although this morning it was 28 degrees and we're supposed to be getting a cold front on Saturday night.
In all my goal is to finish in under 7 hours, although I would be happy with anything under 8. Some people read that and think, "that's only 15 min/miles" but I've learned to excuse that line of thought which was once previously mine. Turns out it isn't the distance that makes this race hard. I like to tell people if they took every hill and put them back to back and the race was only 5 miles long it would be 98% as hard as the full 31 miles. Last year I remember watching this old man (60+ yr old) scale, climb, or something down this hill all the while thinking, "I'll let him go first so that if he falls I know not to try and go down that way." It is steep going up, steep going down, very rocky and in some places probably qualifies as light rock climbing. I forgot to mention the beautiful views of the hill country. God's creation demonstrates it majesty, there is a place I would have asked my wife to marry me if I knew it was there and knew how to find it.
Speaking of finding it. There were several points last year where I didn't see anyone for a while 30-45 minutes and wasn't exactly sure I was still on the trail and was mostly sure I was lost. Just about the time I was going to whip out my cell phone, and pray it found signal enough to send a text message, I would see someone or some marker reassuring me that I was in fact not lost.
The Bandera course is a great experience.