Well Les and I took a trip to San Antonio to race the Bandera 100k this past weekend. Looking to get a top two finish, win some USATF prize money and come home with an auto bid in Western States. Also hoping that this little trip would be a break from some cold weather and a nice southern warm getaway. Well plans often get thwarted in life.
Goals and aspirations are important for us to have. They give us a motivating factor in life and help us to achieve great things. Often as we set out to achieve these goals we reach them and have great successes and wonderful experiences along the way. We also have those times that we just come up short of what we sought out to do. Sometimes it is our own doing and much of the time is because of forces outside of our control.
Well, the San Antonio weather was not what we had anticipated and it was cooler couple of days before the race. Thursday Les and I walked along the riverwalk, ate lunch on the river and visited the Alamo. Not the balmy tourist experience we expected, but fun to spend it together nonetheless. Friday morning I went for a rainy run along the riverwalk. That was a pretty cool run. It surprised me how much longer the riverwalk was than I anticipated. Pretty cool to cruise along the San Antonio River and around the downtown area.
Friday night we headed out to Bandera. It was a cold race meeting out in the State Park. The race is held in Hill Country Natural State Park just outside of Bandera. This is a hilly area. Pretty cool for Texas, But not our big mountains of the Wasatch. The course was a bit more hilly and technical than we both anticipated though.
Well Saturday morning they were off right on time at 7:30am. Les hung out in the lead pack for a while. As she came through the first crew point at Crossroads at mile 16 she was sitting in 8th overall with 3 girls with 5 minutes and only about 15 minutes from the lead ladies. She was right on her 10 hour target pace. As she went out through the seven mile loop around to get back to crossroads she had gained a placement, but had fallen off 10 hour pace by a few minutes. She was pretty discouraged going out feeling the fatigue and mentally struggling to believe that Western States was still a possibility.
At halfway she was hanging onto 7th by a decent margin with Traci Falbo about 10 minutes back. At this point the pace had slowed to about 10:45 pace. She had convinced herself that she was not going to go top 2 and found some happy energy to go back out for the second lap. Now it was a race to learn and grow from and do as well as possible, not a race for top two.
Back at crossroads the lead girls were coming in around the time that Les could’ve been if she did the last 16 miles in the same pace that she did it the first time around, but this time was about 45 minutes slower. She had now moved up to 6th overall and that is where she would remain for the rest of the race. Back into crossroads for the final time she was committed to finish strong and go sub 12.
Not the perfect day we dreamed about, but given the wet and rainy and muddy conditions we were happy with what we got. As she crossed the finish in the dark she had a final finish time of 11:49 and a lot of growth for the next time. So proud of Leslie!