Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a long-time is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

January 2014
« Dec   Feb »


Bandera and Beets


It’s pouring here in San Antonio right now.  I haven’t seen any updates on what’s it’s doing in Bandera, but if it’s pouring here, there’s a good chance mud’s brewing out there.  The Bandera forecast is for a 30% chance of rain today, but that’s the same forecast as San Antonio has.  And I mentioned the pouring.

Bandera mud is pretty impressive as far as mud goes.  People complained about it last year, but that mud was nothing compared to what it can be.  Add the 75 degree predicted temps and Bandera might turn out to be a very interesting race.  It’s certainly going to be one that’ll fill a blog post at any rate.  For my part, as long as I’m not in peak condition yet, I say bring on the mud and humidity.  I’ve been running on a treadmill in the garage for hours at a time on no sleep.  I am in peak form for adverse conditions.  Peak.

I’ve also been drinking this.


2 cups of beet juice over two days > no sleep + 2 months of running


Race Plan:

Pre-race:  Feed Ruby when she wakes up between 2 and 3am and then hop in the car and drive the hour out to Bandera.  The traffic was incredible last year, so I’ll beat it and take a nap in the car before the race.  (Yeah, and if that’s not foreshadowing for a “How I Missed the Race Start” post, I don’t know what is.)


Nutrition:  Gels and water.  Tailwind.  250 calories an hour total.

Nursing:  Handheld breast pump in my pack.  (I still have to figure out  how to secure it so it doesn’t bounce.)  Monster battery-powered breast pump at Crossroads, the aid station we hit four times.  Eliot’s out of town touring important landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement on a bus with 100 students (!), so Ruby’s going to stay in San Antonio with my mother in-law.  (It’s one thing to ask one’s husband to tote a baby from aid station to aid station, so your boobs don’t explode during an ultramarathon. It’s another thing to ask your mother in-law to do that.)  I figure I have a three-hour window before I’ll have to stop to pump.  I’m not entirely excited about the prospect of crouching behind sotol with a pump attached to my breast — especially after 31-miles, but what are you going do?  At least it’s going to be warm.

Other than that, I’m just going to run as hard as I can with the training I have in my legs at this point.  (That’d be two months of post-baby running.  Longest run: 4.5 hours.)  If my stomach cooperates (and I have a secret weapon this year), I think I should be able to run the time I ran last year.  I spent a good two hours wretching behind different sotol bushes in 2013.

Well, it’s about time to pick my mother in-law up from the bus station, so I’ll sign off.  Keep Ruby and my mother in-law in your thoughts tomorrow.   Me too!  Funny stories are sure to come soon.



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