Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bandera, TX and the Cactus Rose 100

The website for the Cactus Rose 100 mile trail run in Bandera, TX reads: "A nasty, rugged trail run... We award bonus points for blood, cuts, scrapes, and puke." I had never been to Bandera before this weekend. Now that I've run some of the trails, I know what they mean when they say on the website, "no whiners, wimps, or wusses." This promises to be a very tough run. The terrain is rugged and rocky. The elevation profile of the course gives you a very good sense of the Texas Hill Country, to say the least.

Bandera is gonna take some serious training. Here are a few images from the trails.

Are we going up that?! You bet.

I did learn that I need gaiters to keep stuff out of my shoes. Badly. Some of those compression-running-knee-high-stocking-things might be in order, too, to protect my legs from the brush and wild grass.

I definitely need some special trail running shoes, something with a guard for my toes for when I stub them against rocks.

I would also probably want to avoid wearing a cap with a visor, if I can get away with it. When I'm running through the rocky part of the trail, I have to concentrate somewhat on what my feet are doing, while at the same time, looking ahead to see where I am going. The visor of the cap blocks my view of the trail up ahead.

This fine creek had cool, clear water flowing through it. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay long because the mosquitoes were fierce, vicious things that splattered blood when you smacked them dead.

The crazy-looking bugs kept buzzing angrily around me, as if to say, "you don't belong here!"

Well, Mr. Bug, I think I do belong, and with the right training, I think I can do this run come October. One thing is certain: regular weekly long runs, even back-to-back long runs, on the nicely paved streets of San Antonio are not going to do the trick. This event requires a specific kind of training. Nothing can substitute for running on trails. That is the best way to train for this event, as far as I can see.

StairMaster sessions might even be in order for when I move back to Lubbock in August.

Now, here are some images from town...

Apparently, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie visited Bandera as part of "The Simple Life." They have a Paris Hilton shrine in the General Store.

*Note the "No Loose Women" sign above the Paris Hilton shrine. I guess Bandera learned its lesson...?

Her hair extensions and toothpaste...