This was a race that barely happened for me, but im glad that it did. With Zane Grey being two weeks out I wanted to get in some sort of 30-35 miler. My plan was to go to sansom since it resembles the ZG terrain best. As hells hills came closer i realized that i would know some people down there and its always fun to be in a race atmosphere and hang out afterwards. My friend, Tina, from dallas said that she and some friend were heading down that we could all carpool. With gas being split and them leaving at a good time for me (still able to get in a full days work on friday) I decided there was no real reason for me not to go.
On the way down I started thinking of some goal number and game plan. I haven't done very many 50k's in my life so I didn't really have anything to compare this to. I did a road 50k over 3 years ago at 4:07 and bandera 50k in nearly 6 1/2 hours over two years ago and that was it. I came up with several goals. One was a new PR possibly at 4:07 (even though that was set on roads). Second I just wanted a smart and solid race. I told myself that I would run the first loop by feel then try and match it on the second loop.
We got down there at close to midnight so we quickly set up tents and I was out. My alarm went off at 4:40 since i had to go register before the 6 am start. I was able to chat with some friends before the start and then it was time to line up and go. It was really nice going into a race with zero pressure. We started and David Brown quickly disappeared into the darkness to never be seen again. Within the first mile I had worked my way up to 2nd. I didn't really do this in a way of racing but I hate being stuck in a line and running other people's pace. So i made a little gap so I could run my own race and concentrate on my own stuff. About 4 miles into i took a nasty spill and hurt the hell out of my left hip. A day later and it still hurts to walk. I felt it the remainder of the race but i can't say it really effected me. By the time i got to the first aid station it was starting to get light out and i was able to see my watch. i saw that my pace was a little slower then expected (its always impossible to predict pace on trails) so i kind of knew that my 4:07 wasn't going to happen. At about mile 11 the two guys behind me passed me. They were sweating bullets and i kept trying to talk to them but they were pretty out of breath on their replies. So i just let them pass knowing it wouldn't be long before i saw them again. At about mile 12 paul terranova caught me and we ran the next 2-3 miles together. it was nice chatting with somebody and he said he was wanting to finish strong so i figured once he left me that there was no seeing him again.
Finished up the first loop in 2:08 and put away my headlamp and ultimate direction handheld. i dumped the whole bag of powerbar gel blast in my mouth, grabbed my two amphipods and was off within 10 seconds. I set out knowing that an even split would give me a 4:16 so that was my new goal. Miles 14-17 i would say was my low point of the day. I wasn't feeling bad by any means but just starting to not feel perfect. at about mile 18 i was relieved to find myself really comfortable again and enjoying it. My splits seemed even with loop 1 so i just kept doing what i was doing. the rest of the race just had a slight fatigue but nothing that made me come close to wanting to walk. for this race walking wasn't an option. especially since i can't remember the last time i walked in a 30 mile training run. I thought i was on track for an even split but i guess i was reading my watch wrong because i came in at 4:19 something. I had no clue what my place was so i was pleased when joe gave me my 3rd place trophy. It was really nice to finally run a race again that the whole thing was fun, i felt comfortable and didn't have any huge regrets. All in all it was a fun day out there!
im going to talk about my nutrition for this race for a second. I know nobody cares, but mainly for my sake so i can look back a year or two from now. i didn't eat anything after dinner so i would wake up hungry and not have that full filling that i have found kills races. i immediately had a pb sandwich then went to register. my fiberous whole wheat pasta for dinner did the trick and got my stomach moving enough to get all the unneeded stuff out prior to the start. i had a powerbar 5 minutes before the start which seems to do well with me. since i had taht 250 cal powerbar basically at teh start i decided to wait til mile 5 to have a gu. I took an s cap at 45 min, 1:30 then every 30 minutes after that. i had my 200 cal of powerbar gel blast at the halfway point. besides that i had a gu at mile 5, 8, 10.5, 13, (15.5 gel blast), 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28. all that was on my garmin since i knew it would have me finishing at it reading 30 miles. I typically have the gus closer together as the race goes on since your legs are a little closer to empty. besided one amphipod having gu brew i had staight water on the course. as far as consistent energy and stomach feeling good, i probably nailed nutrition at this race better then ever. thats why i wanted to type this paragraph so i wouldn't forget. so 10 gus plus power bar and gel blast, and 300 cal worth of gu brew for a total of 1850 calories during the 31 miles.
once done i chugged my gu recovery brew some water then grabbed my negra modelo and my chair. the heat was really starting to crank so i found myself in the shade most of the time. it was really fun chatting with everybody and hanging out and not being in any sort of rush to leave.
This race went great and was just the training run i need before Zane Grey. ZG is my final race until July so I'm leaving it all out on the course. i believe ZG is as perfect of a race for me as it gets. its extremely rocky, and tons of climbing. its point to piont so there is more climbing then descent which is good for me since i suck at downhill running. its all between 6-8k feet which isn't too high so the colorodoians don't have such an advantage. There is a super stacked field so im not sure a top 10 is even possible but im giving it my best shot. my main goal is to not have any regrets and run as smart of a race as possible. time goal is sub 10, but i just want to finish knowing i gave it my best shot.