Post Bandera 100k
continued from Bandera 100k
After a couple hours of driving, Daron dropped me off back at home. I took a shower, drank a beer, called my parents, ate some cookies, and went to bed.
I did essentially nothing the following day, with the exception of going to the grocery store. Ate some pizza, drank some more beer, ate some more cookies. My legs were still ripped to shreds.
I’m surprised it went as well as it did, stomach problems included. Ten hours was my most optimistic goal, and I beat it by nearly half an hour, performing as well as I could’ve possibly imagined. And I didn’t even run a perfect race. Similar to my first marathon, I immediately started wondering how good I really could be.
All the same, I immediately found myself on mental burnout, and decided not to do the Tinajas 100k in March. $140, no aid station support, a “gnarly” trail, and the belt buckle isn’t as cool. Running that wouldn’t accomplish anything new or provide any kind of better experience. Pass.
I was already registered for the Austin Marathon, so my focus turned to that. By comparison, a marathon is less than half as long (42.2 km), and nearly 20 km shorter than training runs I’d been doing on weekends. Theoretically, I could show up, run the thing, and probably ride my bike 100 km home to Wimberley afterward. It’s shaping up to be a strange occurrence: the first time I’ve gone into a race without giving a damn about how I perform.
Once again, I wound up asking myself, Was this the hardest thing I’ve ever done? ...Probably? It’s certainly the longest I’ve ever run, and few runs have involved more challenging terrain. A long-distance bike tour or thru-hike is harder in its cumulative sum, but a single day of bike touring on this level of difficulty has occurred rarely, if ever. Hiking, no. Perhaps the only thing that might top it is the half-Ironman triathlon, but considering this run was nearly as long as an entire half-Ironman, and all of it was on foot and on a hilly, technical course, I’m going with the 100k.
Thing is, I’ve felt much worse after much shorter races. While this was probably the hardest thing I’ve done, it didn’t feel like it. The copious/excessive training must have helped.
Was it all worth it? You tell me - how does it look?