Bandera 50k

Since we moved to Texas, I’ve run Bandera races every year, whether it’s a 50k or 100k. This year, I registered for the 100k but had to drop down to the 50k due to an injury. Yes, I finally admitted I’m injured. I’ve been in denial for eight years, running through pain and enduring the distances. I know, I’m crazy. You might wonder why I keep running.

Sidebar: I went to physical therapy for two months this year and got stronger. I did a few races, but the pain kept returning. During races, I always have Tylenol and Advil in case the pain gets too bad or I need to speed up to make time cutoffs. I’ve been looking into regenerative medicine, but there aren’t many good places in Texas. The Better Business Bureau reviews make them seem like a placebo effect. I’d have to travel to Switzerland for the best care.

Back to the race: The Bandera 50k was on January 13th. I know I shouldn’t be running with my injured left ankle, but my doctor’s appointment isn’t until next Wednesday. So, this past weekend, I decided to tackle the Bandera 50k. I took it cautiously, slow-jogging on the flats and hiking the uphills and steep downhills. I was thrilled to see the Trail Sisters volunteers at the Nachos aid station. About 8 miles from the finish line, I rolled my already injured left ankle, and the pain was excruciating. After a moment to collect myself, I continued hiking, slowing down, and relying on my trekking poles for support. I managed to finish the race in 9 hours and 16 minutes.

My friend from the Bay Area did the 100k. After my race, I went back to the hotel, cleaned up, and rested. I set my alarm to make sure I returned in time for his finish—and I did. I got back to the finish line just in time to see him finish with a qualifying time for the Western States 100-mile lottery. I’d call this a win-win weekend of racing.