Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Calico 50K - 3.58:35 3rd place

Calico Ghost Town. The place where old dudes go to race!

I thought I was headed out to Calico to see where my fitness was but when I saw Jorge Pacheco I knew it was gonna be a fast juan. This was 4th time at Calico for me with previous times of 4.09, 3.54, and 3.56. If could get anywhere under 4 then it was a success, only having 2, 20 mile runs under my belt in the last 2 months. Jorge has also been out to this race before with a time of 3.56 so he knew the course and for some reason when I saw him, he just looked fit and fast.

Off the line, Eric Clifton took off in is flame laden tights along with Roberto Leonardo and Jorge Pacheco. I thought about seeing how long I could hold on but I elected to sit in behind and watch as they slowly vanished. Just to give you an indication, through 2 myles I was 12:54 and they were a good 200 meters up on me. Except Clifton, I passed him 800 meters off the start. The course starts downhill on the road so 6:20s seemed relatively easy but I knew the climbs and sandy jeep roads would soon start. It really is the sand that's a killer on this course, constantly trying to find a stable line but always sinking in - takes a lot out of you. By the time we got to the first aid station at mile 7, they were about 3 minutes up on me. With 800 ft of climbing and sandy tracks I still managed a 48:49 but it was hard work.

Much of the same sandy jeep roads all the way through mile 17, where we finally reached to top. In comparison to previous years, I felt like this was the best I had run up to the top and yet both those guys were pulling away. Over every hill looking down into a valley I was surprised I couldn't even get a glimpse of them. At the top there is a short out and back section where I could finally see them with Jorge 12 minutes up and Leonardo 4 minutes up. Up to this point I felt solid and full of energy and the nice thing to know is that I was just picking up my first bottle of EFS Liquid Shot Kona Mocha. More to come on nutrition.

Now it's time to fly and see what the old legs have left in them. From the top we descended with a very nice grade (not too steep) for the next 5 myles in which I clocked a 33:13. The EFS liquid shot was starting to kick in and I was starting to hunt. But I'll be damned that I finally got a glimpse of Leonardo (Jorge was out of sight) and he was still 4 minutes up on me. 23 myles in and I was running out of real estate, although more hills were coming so I thought with my energy I could reel in Leonardo. It's a really good feeling to have the energy to hunt and go faster at the end of the race, if you know what I mean - I felt awesome! Pulling into Calico Ghost Town I finally ran out of real estate and clocked a 3.58. Jorge ran an amazing 3.38 for a new CR and Leonardo ran a 3.53. Here are my gps tracks. Note: 4000ft of climbing and Jorge still ticked in under 7 pace. In the end it was a MEXICAN MASTERS PODIUM - arriba, rriba, undaley, undaley! In all honesty I felt like I ran faster than a 3.58 but at any rate this makes me feel very positive where my training is heading.

Jorge, Roberto, and Scott - doesn't sound mexican

Onto my nutrition plan: Prior to me flying out I received a package from First Endurance full of new products. One flask of EFS Liquid Shot Kona Mocha, One bottle of Pre-race caps, a hat, and a t-shirt representing 10 years of First Endurance. I know better than to try something new at a race but I couldn't help myself because after all I have experimented with Pre-race powder last year. The pre-race powder always gave me a stomach ache so I was a little leery. At any rate this is what I did:
  • Woke up at 3 AM and nibbled on a Powerbar during my 2 hour drive
  • 60 minutes prior to the race - 20 oz bottle of EFS grape
  • 30 minutes prior to the race - 3 Pre-race caps
  • 10 minutes prior to the race - 2 gulps of EFS liquid shot vanilla
  • 45 minutes into the race - Power gel and a banana
  • Through 2 hours into the race - 20 oz bottle of EFS grape
  • 2 hours into the race - 2 Pre-Race caps
  • Final two hours - 20 oz bottle with EFS liquid shot Kona Mocha diluted into bottle
  • Within 30 minutes of finish - 20 oz bottle of Ultragen Orange Dream
Energy was solid for the entire race. This will be my nutrition plan for any 50K race. I will tweak it a bit for a 50 miler but the ingredients will stay the same. I cannot wait for you to taste the EFS LS Kona Mocha flavor! If you love coffee, you will love this! I am also excited how the Pre-Race caps really helped, they really gave me that little zip in my legs that I needed in the end.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Amidst my own 21 mile run today I watched the Bandera 100K trail National Championship via Great coverage once again Bryon!

Pearl Izumi Ultra running team was in full force today to include veterans Nick Clark and Darcy Africa, rising -check that- bonfide star Timothy Olson, and new addition Dylan Bowman. I woke up this morning and had that excitement as if I were racing today. Just what I needed to motivate me for my own 3 hour run. Great results today - Timothy Olson 100K trail National Champ (8.28:38), Dylan Bowman 4th place (8.40:05), Nick Clark 5th place (8.57:30). Darcy had to call it quits at the 50K mark because of hamstring issues - get better quick Darcy! Speaking of Darcy, here's a recent article in Outside online. Check out the photo below - even Joe Uhan (8.38:53) is sportin PI. And don't let Mackey (8.38:28) fool you, he is a secret Pearl lover too!

Timothy Olson, Dave Mackey, Joe Uhan, Dylan Bowman, Nick Clark Photo Bryon Powell

Lately with all the travel I've had the best intentions of running on the road but when it comes right down to it, I am so tired once I get to the hotel if I do run I am totally not into it. Result is poor quality of runs. The positive spin is now I'm visiting the same places more frequently so now I know where most of the trails are located. For instance, the Leona Divide and Angeles Crest are run near Arcadia and Sierre Madre and I have been staying near there for my past couple of visits to California. Now I will make it a point to find a Marriott (gotta get points) in those cities even if I have to travel to Santa Barbara for the day.

Today's race at Bandera has inspired me to train hard no matter how tired I am. Thanks guys!

Last thing, here is my race schedule for 2012. Still a lot of unconfirmed but this is what I'm looking at for 2012:

Here's to a successful 2012 with family, work, running, and friends!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

It's a new year so it's time to start some new habits, like posting more regularly on this blog.

Two years ago in 2010 I took two steps forward in my running ventures, putting up some pretty good times in various distances: 2.37 in the marathon, 3.13 in the 50K, and under 28 hrs at Hard Rock. I worked hard and it paid off. This last year in 2011 has been a struggle -to say the least- in my running ventures. I guess you can say I got complacent, hoping to springboard off the previous years hard work. I can say that now but as the year progressed I felt as though I was putting the work in (the myles reflected it 3228) but there were other things going on in my work life that took most of my energy. I traveled most of the year, logging a staggering 153 nights in hotels for business, and achieving 1k status on United - illustrious life I know. It's not only been exhausting on me but my poor family has suffered as well. Having said that, there are only 24 hours in a day and something has to give and in this case my running/training at a high level was a no brainer. Yes I got to travel the world, running in 5 countries, but my family was right there by my side.

I can't say that 2012 will be any better but if I were to put all my eggs in one basket I would put them all into the San Juan mountains. My family loves that place just as much as I do and it's a family reunion of sorts. I have put my vacation in already for 3 weeks leading up to Hard Rock so hopefully it will be enough to get a PR at HR.

Aside from my job and running, family comes first. I've stated that already but readers of this blog I need your help, better yet my brother in law's son needs your help. His name is Beckam Robinson and he is 5 years old and in need of a kidney transplant. He has been functioning normally on about 30% of one kidney for most of his life and now that portion is starting to fail. I ask you to go to this website and make a donation - please! $1, $5 - doesn't matter, every little bit helps as insurance does not cover most of this transplant, if any at all. In addition, the Robinson family are selling bracelets for $3 so if you see any of us please buy a bracelet. Thank you in advance! I will also put a permanent link on the side of this blog and remind you from time to time throughout the year.