I had been toying with the idea of racing Bandera 100k in Texas much of the last 8 months. I committed in the fall and started training. My husband wasn't so sure. We weren't sure how we were going to afford to get out there. It really truly wasn't in the budget. But I had faith, and believed something would work out, and I'd train as if I was going out. And something did work out.
Why is Bandera so important? There are plenty of ultras out there, plenty of races right here in Utah. But Bandera is part of the Montrail Ultra cup which can qualify me for Western States 100, the Super Bowl of ultrarunning, a race I really want to run. And want to run this year in case we decide to have another baby after I finish nursing school. Speaking of that, I chose Bandera because it is the weekend before I start my hardest semester of nursing school. Not because I enjoy abstaining from all Christmas sugary neighbor gifts.
My training has gone so well! I kept it on the low side mileage wise because I was building up from recovering from RRR 100. I would rather be undertrained than over, but I don't feel like I'm particularly undertrained. Just because I'm not running 100 mile weeks (not even close) doesn't mean I'm not in great shape. Every workout has been quality, no junk miles. Every run has had a purpose and structure. I have recovered SO well and nailed my last several long runs, nailed them. My massage guy Heber laughs when I come in to see him because I don't have much for him to do. At my last appointment last week he said my muscles felt like gold, no issues at all. I am so excited!
The weather at Bandera is not what I was expecting. Right now it looks like 34-37 degrees and possible precipitation. And it's humid there (just outside of San Antonio) which will make it feel even colder. I was a little disappointed not to get to race and vacation in warmth, but you know what? This is a good thing. This weather favors me. Most competitors are from warm states where this kind of weather is foreign and might cause panic. I don't wish any ill on my competitors, I would hope no one does. I am just trying to focus really hard on racing my best race and coming away happy. And racing in conditions I'm comfortable with is an advantage to that plan. I'm also coming from higher altitude, mountain terrain to handle their hills, been taking my vitamins, haven't had sugar in a month (outside of fruit of course) and heck, I even got PMS sore boobs earlier this week when I was expecting them during race weekend. Deal.
I've had some great email and in person conversations with Altra teammates and other wonderful friends and of course have a very supportive husband who wants this for me too. Of course he has his moments in this selfish endeavor of mine, but he's a champ. The biggest thanks to all of them/you! I've kept extremely positive thinking up, keeping any negative out, for months now with my eye on the prize. 2 men and 2 women will walk away with a spot to Western States. It can roll down to 5th if those in the top 4 don't want a spot or already have one, but I am going in planning for top 2. It is a little scary and a lot of pressure to not simply just want to have a good race, like at Lake Sonoma or UROC, other national races, but to need a certain place, but I want this. I've put in the effort and am ready to put it all out there on Saturday. My heart is really into this! I want to have the race of my life, a race to surprise me, or even just go according to plan, just like my PR marathon race last December, the same race run after a short but quality training period and one that was run in unseasonably cold temperatures for the area. Call me superstitious if you will (I do sometimes), but I'm taking that and running with it.
You can follow the race via UltraSportsLive I believe. I am bib 132
*Forgive all the bolds, I plan to look at this over the next week for continued motivation and strength.