I did the 25K at Bandera on Saturday. I did it as a training run/power hike. It actually went pretty well, considering that it was my longest distance since October, when I did the 50K at Palo Duro. My training after that pretty much spiraled downward, as I'm about 99.5% sure that I developed a fracture in my left tibia.
In any case the Bandera, she was HARD, ya'll. Most of the trail was covered with fist-sized loose rocks. And here's the weird part, coming from someone who majored in geology in college: there appeared to be no reason for those rocks to be there. They were large, rounded rocks ranging from the size of my fist to the size of my feet. Rounded means water. This was practically the desert. There was no place for them to have rolled from. It was as though someone just came out with a dump truck and dumped large loads of rocks all over the trail.
And, as you can see, those rocks were on some very serious hills. I have to say this may have been the hardest trail I've ever done. They basically took the longer courses, removed the flat, runnable sections, and left in the hills.
And there was the yucca. They called them cacti, but they were yucca.
Not just yucca, but since Texas likes to do things really big, the leaves had serrated edges on them.
Here's the deal.
I finished, and felt like I could have gone longer. My IT band was barking, but only on the downhills. My breathing, legs, and feet held up nicely otherwise.
Then, of course, I swelled up and retained a bunch of water and saw a number on the scale that I haven't seen since 2005. Yikes.
I'm taking it easy this week, hoping the IT band has been justly shown who is boss. Of course, there's a big difference between 15.5 miles and 38.5 miles. 23 miles, to be exact. But I feel pretty good about finishing it. My time at Bandera was slow, but the course was harder than anything I've ever done before (or plan to ever do).
After I was done, I ate the best grilled cheese sandwich. Ever. Then I watched Sweet Baboo finish his first "lap" (31 miles). Then I watched DP finish - she who seemed bright and fresh as a daisy at the end of a 31 mile trail run. Then I went to hang out and shower at Ma Baboo's house in Castroville. Then I came back near midnight to wait for Sweet Baboo to finish his 100K.
Oh, here's the other thing: Due to my ingestion of nearly a quart of chocolate soy milk before the race, I was in the line for the bathroom and missed the start - I was 5 minutes late starting. I hiked and power walked the whole thing finishing just under 5 hours.
And I was NOT last.
I'm ready for Sunday. I think. No, I am. I'm pretty sure.