Monday, January 9, 2012

Bandera post race report

          I am lost. I have gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait so I can talk to myself and get back to the place I like to be. Thank you. 

I had an awesome weekend out at Bandera 100k. Not because I raced well. I actually didn't even finish the entire 100k. I opted for the unofficial 50k loop, and did not choose to go out for a 2nd loop. Happy to announce I have found myself, and somehow got a little lost out in the hills of Bandera Texas. Small, rolling, rocky little hills...and a whole lotta flat, flat, flat miles. Anyone who finishes this race is mentally a tuff cookie. It's a ton of fast running, and stomaching going out and running the same loop again takes some mental strength no doubt. I just wasn't in quite the right place mentally this week to spend 11 hours running through the hills of Texas. I am still working on building back up my running strength since my hip surgery in August, and I just wasn't quite ready. I am excited I didn't decide to drive myself into the ground for a race that was not at all a key race for me. I was hoping to just have fun, and take it easy. Totally impossible on this course. It's just to fast. I think the longest climb I clocked on the entire course took me 10-15 mins? Yes some sections were very rocky, and it was extremely beautiful, but it's a runners course. I am used to climbing at sustained amounts of time for hours; not minutes. I most certainly learned from this race I need to work on my running more, and build that weakness. I am excited to work with Jimmy Dean Freeman and have him coach me in this weak area. I have no problem giving a little energy in my training where tweaks are needed, but I also will not take away what I am good at. I hope that the end result is I can improve on my speed, and become a more well rounded runner. I also plan on working diligently to get myself back to the shape I was in pre hip surgery. I have been taking a ton of an amazing recovery product called Recover Eas. It is the best supplement on the market right now, and I swear by it. It's made by a company called Wicked Fast Sports Nutrition, and it works. Here is a website link to the product: . Jesse swears by it also. It rocks!! 

The best part of the weekend though? Jesse did amazing! It was his first 100k, and actually he has only raced one 50 mile, and about eight 50k's. He had all kinds of stomach issues, and made a ton of rookie mistakes, but he still did really well. He is fast. He is a 2:40 marathoner, and has the wheels to really do well in this sport. I am so excited for him! Once I finished my loop I was able to crew and help him for the latter part of his race. He was really struggling when I saw him at mile 47, but pulled through and went from 12th place to finishing 7th overall. He is such a *rock star* and he's all mine!! Cannot wait to see how he does in the next year. Love you so much Jesse!!!! Below is a great picture of me talking to him when he finished..the picture speaks volumes.

I also got to spend a ton of my day with Darcy(LOVE you girl!!). Darcy was racing the 100k, but was having some plantar issues so opted for only one 50k loop also. So great to see her! It was just as much fun seeing Craig Thornley. We got to catch up, and hang a ton. What a sweetheart of a man. He is the RD of Waldo 100k, and he ran the 50k, and was there for the rest of the race crewing a bunch of the Oregon runners. What is really cool about this race is if you do the 50k you can then help and crew for friends doing the 100k. All the aid stations are easily accessible, and it really was a total blast hanging out with and seeing everyone. If Jesse decides to go back to this race next year I will definitely take this option, and go to race the 50k and crew for him after. We also got to spend the weekend with his parents(love you Ed and Linda!!), and just had the best weekend ever. I really, really missed my son Tyler though, but he could not miss school for two days to come. He will be joining us at Orcas Island 50k in a few weeks in Washington, and Jesse said we are not allowed to ever leave him home again cause he can't stand to see me so sad!! 

Heres the quick version of a detailed course review for those of you ever considering doing the Bandera 100k or 50k race.

1. This is a runner's course. Plan on going into this race in top running shape. It will not fair well for you if you don't. 75% of this course is on runnable flat single track & dirt roads. It would be a great race to PR at a 100k at it, but be ready to race all the speedsters in the sport. They flock to this race.  
2.  The aid station's are well stalked, and have great support. You will never go farther than 5 miles without an aid station, and tons of spots for crew, and drop bags. 
3. The other 25% of this course is pretty darn rocky and technical. Good little 200-400 foot climbs that are full of rocks. All VERY runnable though. Just super rugged little rocky sections that were a blast to run up and down. 
4. It's crowded. You will never be alone. There was over 750 runners on the course either running the 100k, 50k, or 25k. The first loop I had some stretches where maybe for 5 mins I didn't see anyone, but I would imagine that would have been different second time around. 
5. Great race to catch up and meet people from all across the country in the sport. I met lots of great people, and was able to catch up with tons of friends I rarely get to see
6. Plan to camp. The town of Bandera has zero hotel options, and the race start/finish location turns into a huge Ultra runners camp. Everyone was camping, and it was really a ton of fun. The race site was amazing, and the race director does an outstanding job.
7. This course was breathtakingly beautiful. Cool terrain, great views of the surrounding landscape, and just super pretty. I give course scenery a 9 out of 10. Yes I am being dead serious. The course was super awesome as far as beauty. 
8. Fly into San Antonio, and do NOT forget to stalk up on food and groceries here at the Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. The town of Bandera has nothing healthy. 
9. Bring food to the finish line as the RD has no BBQ or meal after. I was starving after waiting for Jesse to finish...starving. Could have used a veggie burger...some sort of BBQ. Something. Anything. 
10. You will run hard at this race. If you go to *race* it plan on it hitting your race season up harder than you think. It tears you up to run hard for that long. Plan your key races accordingly after this one. Below are a slew of fun pics of Jesse and myself during the race. 

So what's next in life besides Orcas Island 50K? Ray Miller is first on the calender, and I cannot believe the 50 mile is sold out! Crazy! Excited for this debut race. As far as racing for me...Maybe Mesquite Canyon 50k in AZ, then Old Goats 50 mile, and super pumped for Zane Grey 50 mile. All good stuff. Busy, busy the next few months. Life just happens weather we are ready for it or not. LOVING every single minute of it though. 

On, on, on with life my friends. Keep on keeping on!! 

Olga it was soooo great seeing you at one of the aid stations. Hope to see you at Leona! ;o)


  1. Awesome job to you and especially Jesse. Dang son...7th OA in that field? Crazy impressive.

  2. Jesse held on so tough from Yassine, impressive! It was nice to catch up, and I am happy for your RD'ing company thriving. Wish I could be closer to West Coast with all the race choices out there:(( Hope you guys come back!

  3. Nice writeup Keira. Glad you enjoyed yourself. Have done this race multiple times I will say the 75/25 ratio for flat to technical becomes 25/75 on the 2d loop. Not really of course but it sure seems like the rocks multiply. By the end of the race my legs and feet always feel trashed. Hope you all come back sometime.