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The Road to Bandera Part 3: Boulder Skyline to Bandera 100k!

The Boulder Skyline Traverse was a fantastic experience, I learned so much and it helped me head into the last block of my training for Bandera with confidence! Here is my recap of my training from the Skyline Traverse on December 10th, 2022 through the Bandera 100k on January 7th, 2023! Enjoy the final chapter of my Bandera training blog!

I crammed a ton of miles into Monday – Thursday this week so that I could enjoy time with family on the weekend. We decided to do a family holiday gathering in a neutral location – Savannah, Georgia. I did a run in Savannah on Sunday. Running is my favorite way to explore a new city! I love seeing a new place on foot, getting myself lost, then finding my way back. The history, the big trees with the Spanish moss, the buildings.. Savannah is a city I would definitely recommend visiting!

Monday December 12th: 8 miles easy in the AM with strides – 5 miles in the PM at Sloan’s with the crew!

Tuesday December 13th: 4 X 7 minute tempo + 6 X 30 seconds fast! Total 9.75 miles

Wednesday December 14th: 10 miles easy in 80 minutes – PM Jones Road uphill ski in 70 minutes

Thursday December 15th: 20 mile long run with 2 X 30 minutes at 50k effort

Friday and Saturday: Off from running – exploring Savannah, GA with family

Sunday December 18th: 12.5 mile easy run around Savannah

Weekly total: 66 miles of running in 9 hours with 2,700 feet of elevation gain

For Christmas this year, I decided to go visit my good friends Kevin and Kyrsten in the Bay Area in Cali. So once again the plan was to front load my training to allow for some down time in Cali. Colorado weather had other plans.. We had an incredibly cold and snowy week that forced me to be flexible.

Monday December 19th: 5.5 mile run with Sloan’s Lake group

Tuesday December 20th: AM warmup and hill strides with Stargate kids 2.5 miles – followed by hills at Chapman: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 minute hills for a total of 10.36 miles!

Wednesday December 21st: Skiing at Copper! Conditions were amazing, 4.5 hour drive home was less amazing..

Thursday December 22nd: Off day – travel to Cali – Sharks vs Wild hockey game!

Friday December 23rd: Easy 10 miles with Kevin (AKA Erv) – Erv is not much of a runner but he is competitive and decided to join me for this whole run.. His body may not have loved that call. 9 holes of golf in the afternoon!

Saturday December 24th: 22.6 mile long run in 2:50

Sunday December 25th: 7.3 mile hike in San Francisco with Kevin and Kyrsten

Weekly total: 51 miles of running in 7.5 hours with 3,000 feet of elevation gain + 6.5 hours of cross training biking/skiing

Monday December 26th: 8+ mile run with 6 X 20 second strides – last run in Cali. 30 minute PM bike ride to shake out the flight.

Tuesday December 27th: 12 mile run with 5 X 3 minute hills + 15 minute tempo!

Wednesday December 28th: Winter Park skiing with Larry! Another great day on the slopes! 30 minute indoor bike ride post skiing

Thursday December 29th: 8.4 miles in 67 minutes

Friday December 30th: Run with Andrew! We did 6 miles with some hill strides

Saturday December 31st: Last long run with Golden Trail Runners in about 6 inches of snow! 9 miles at North Table Mountain – had to get out and run with Bryan!

Sunday January 1st: Crown hill run with Sapan! PM 30 minute indoor bike ride

Weekly total: 49 miles of running in 7.25 hours with 3,400 feet of elevation gain + 3 hours of cross training biking and skiing

This brings us to race week!! I don’t often deal with the taper crazies, mentally and physically I enjoy tapering. But I do deal with some of the common taper issues: I will often feel a little taper cold or at least the concern that I am getting sick.. I will get a bit paranoid that some little niggle is going to derail my race. I get nervous and anxious. But with more races, the more comfortable I get with all of the feelings and emotions that can come with tapering.

Monday January 2nd: AM 15 minute indoor spin. PM 7 mile run at Sloan’s Lake in 1 hour. It was fairly cold and snowy. Larry joined me for a lap and then I did the rest solo. Being a holiday, attendance was light but that is okay! I love running in dark, snowy conditions.

Tuesday January 3rd: 7.4 mile run in 1 hour with 3 X 6 minute tempo

Wednesday January 4th: 15 minute post lunch spin, 25 minute post dinner spin. Love walking some live hockey while spinning out the legs.

Thursday January 5th: 3 miles on some snowy paths

Friday January 6th: 30 minute walk on the river walk in San Antonio with Gabe!

Saturday January 7th: Bandera 100k!!!!

Sunday January 8th: REST!

Weekly total: 80 miles of running in 13.5 hours with 7,100 feet of elevation gain + 90 minutes of cross training on the bike

Race weekend came and went in a blur. I arrived in San Antonio on Friday early afternoon. Gabe, my friend and athlete I coach who lives in SA, was there to pick me up. He was so generous with his time all weekend. We went to the grocery store to pick up food for the weekend, then he showed me around SA. We walked along the river walk and then checked out the Alamo. San Antonio is a cool city, one I would definitely go back and spend more time in. We then picked up Sarah from the airport and drove up to our Airbnb. We made food, went over the game plan for Bandera, and played one round of Codenames, before heading to bed. It took me a bit to fall asleep, it was hard to get the brain to quiet down. Before I knew it, my alarm was going off! I woke up at 5:30, had my everything bagel with peanut butter and a banana, got myself ready to go and we made the drive over to the Hill Country Natural Area. I picked up my bib, did a short warmup, hit the bathroom and got lined up at the start! It was so freaking cool to be in the starting corral with so many ultra trail athletes I have admired for a long time. There is arguably not a bigger name, personality, or smile in the sport than Courtney Dauwalter, then there was Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy, John Kelly, Amanda Basham, Nicole Bitter, JP Giblin, Jeff Colt, Ryan Montgomery, Anthony Lee.. and a number of other super strong runners. The gun went off at 7:30 AM and we were off. It was 70ish degrees and 95% humidity, which basically meant we were running in a rain forest. It was misting/ lightly raining for the first couple hours which actually kept things feeling cool. But the rocks were fairly slick and as the trail narrowed down to single track there was some jostling for position. I found a spot in the mix with the top female runners. I knew that I did not want to go out too hard too early