I haven’t spent a lot of time in Texas. Last time I was here was on a road trip with my brother. We ran to the highest point in the state, Guadalupe Peak, standing 8,751 feet above The Gulf. I was 12. I don’t remember everything about the trip, but what I do know has stood with me.
Sunrises in the mountains are kind of a must. John (my brother) wanted to be at the summit by sunrise, so I remember getting up at 3AM to make a run to the top. It was a pretty challanging run, but of course I didn’t let on to the fact that I was stuggling. I guess I’v always loved the hurt zone. Got to the top, took some pics, ran down. A maintanince shed was just off the parking lot, seeing a hose we figured we’d wash up. I’d say we stripped down to shorts, but thats what we were already wearing. As we were hosing off (much like one would hose off a dog) a SUV full of older women pulled in, geared up for taking photos, looking at the mountain from the view point, and maybe, just maybe picking up a postcard at the visitors center. I remember a look of complete disgust on their faces, clearly offended with our bathing habits. We grinned back and finished our shower. We continued on to climb the highest points in 6 states. We slept in parks, pissed wherever we wanted, swam in every lake we saw, burned the hell out of our mouthes in a hot sauce eating contest in Sturgis.
Today was the Bandera 100k. I chose to race Bandera because it was the US 100k Championship, as well as the fact that the top three finishers earned automatic entry into The Western States 100, a race thats been calling my name since I was about 13 (thats another story). The race went out pretty relaxed, giving me the opportunity to admire the sunrise over the Texas Hill Country. The footing for much of the race was very rocky and extremely challenging. Didn’t feel great the first 50k loop, but didn’t feel too bad either. From mile 30-43 I felt awful. Nauseated, my legs were toast, I was burning up, and for some reason not sweating at all. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t finish. Some how I got the idea that I had over saturated my stomach with sugar. Considering all the candy I eat I would assume my stomach would be used to high volumes of sugar…Anyway, I decided to just drink water. As my stomach settled I was able to slowly pick up the pace, And I started closing the gap on the top two runners who had put a few minute lead on me. Over the last 20 miles I drank nothing but water, and somehow felt stronger every mile. While I love to win, I was happy with the performance overall. After chatting with the good folks at Tejas Trails I headed back to Bandera. I even listened to some country music on the drive, I figure if you can’t beat em better join em (it’s literally the only thing on the radio). Got to Bandera, washed in a creek on the outskirts of town (luckily no old women caught me) and went to Johnnys Pasta House where I got to chat with the Johhny himself! And met the nicest waitress in the world. Maybe she was the nicest waitress ever, but maybe I’m just a sucker for a southern accent. And maybe I’m just stoked cause I’m going to WESTERN STATESSSSSSSSS!!
Thanks to all staff and volunteers, could not have done it without you! Can’t wait to race in Texas again!