Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Friday, May 17, 2013

PCT 50 - 5th 7.46

Exactly two weeks after Zane Grey I decided to take on another 50 mile race.  Sounded like a good idea while I sat at my computer looking at races.  Sure enough, 1/2 way through the race I was cursing my decision.  Here's how it played out:

The nice thing about this trip is that my wife came along, just the two of us, hanging out in sunny San Diego.  So regardless of how the race turned out, the trip would be good.  We got in late Thursday night and then spent all day Friday lounging around in La Jolla.  I must say it was relaxing but every now and again I would remind myself I had to race in the morning - ugh.  I could tell my mind was not fresh and soon enough I'd find out my body wasn't either.
Nicole in La Jolla
At the start I could tell it was going to be a scorcher, not a cloud in the sky and the air was still.  We took off right at 6 AM and right from the get-go Rod Bien, Fabrice, Hardel, and another fellow were running at a pretty good clip up the hill.  As much as I wanted to go out with them, I knew that was a recipe for disaster.  By the first aid station, mile 6-7, they were out of sight.  Jesse Haynes and I ran together for the next 15 myles and really keeping a steady pace.  Most of the climbing is done on the way out but we were running everything.  It's that douche-bag grade stuff that you just can't walk but at the same time takes its toll for running it.

Right before the turn around I sensed my body was not going to hold on at that pace.  I hit the 25 mile mark in 3.25 and now I had the chance to see where the 3 leaders were.  Rod and Fabrice were about 10 minutes up, while 3rd place was only 4 minutes up.  I got a little charge out of that and decided to push and see what I had.  Pretty steady running for the next 12 myles and I found myself in 2nd place.  I quickly asked the aid station how far up Rod was and they told me a demoralizing "30 minutes".  Rod was running out of his mind!

Mile 32 or so
I had given everything I had up till about 13 myles to go and hearing the news just let the wind out of my sail.  I put my head down and pushed on, most of which was downhill running, but I started to develop cramps in my upper calves and groin.  That was really the beginning of the end.  And just like that, a freight train came past me: Jesse was first and he was motoring, next was Fabrice, and finally with 1.5 myles to go the fellow I didn't know.

I basically walked the last 4 myles and really, really could not wait for this race to be over.  I finished and I couldn't be happier to see Nicole waiting for me.  She looked concerned, which means I looked like hell, and I immediately collapsed in a chair.  After my Ultragen I must have downed 4 cokes in the span of 10 minutes.  The cramps were still acting up in my legs so I just lounged in the chair for a good hour.  Nicole said my face was caked in salt so I know I was doing enough electrolytes, I just think it was too hot for this Colorado boy

Walking to the finish
We didn't hang around too long, all I could think about was a shower and food.  Specifically, El Indio shop, the Mexican food I grew up on and it did not disappoint.  I have to admit that I ate a tortilla for the first time all year but since it's not "technically" bread I still have my food challenge going for the year.

Next up, Jemez 50 mile on May 25th.  What was I thinking??
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