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.