|Source: Brazen Volunteer|
|Source Brazen Volunteer|
It was overcast at race time. Of course we all hoped that it would stay around for the entire race; however, we knew that was a bit optimistic. The first three miles is a slow subtle climb to the top of the first hill. This section was new to me and on the elevation chart, I thought this was going to be the toughest of the climbs.
|Source: Allen Lucas|
At the bottom I caught up with Tony (Endorphin Dude) which was nice. Our paths have crossed before but this time I got to hear about his first 100 mile attempt and his desire to qualify for Western States. He had been doing fine for the first 80 miles, ahead of his goal time, and then had a really tough 6 miles to miss the cutoff by 12 minutes. Next up is Rocky Raccoon.
|The Wall - Source: Allen Lucas|
The next section is a slow steady climb up to the “Lagoon” which are a couple of twin ponds followed by the drop into the valley. The rest of the race would be in areas I had not run and I had thought, again referencing the elevation map, I had passed my final big climb. The heat was on and we were full exposed to the sun which seemed to sap much of our strength. By the time we got to the aid station at about mile 10, I was spent. But wait, more climbing?
Yep, and this was probably the steepest section of the race (with the exception of the 30 foot stint at mile 7) and took us up onto the ridge overlooking Walnut Creek and Lafayette. It was a gorgeous view. I had left Tony (Endorphin Dude) back before mile 7, so I wasn’t surprised that he caught up with me on the ridge. He asked if there were any more hills and thankfully I could confirm that there was nothing left but a very steep drop into the valley right around the corner. Now last year, our family worked the last aid station which was at the base of the final downhill. I remembered how people really struggled going down so I was prepared and excited. This would be the final masochistic romp on my quads so I had to make it count. With little trepidation I ran down the hill like a champ.
|The final climb to the finish. Source: Allen Lucas|
At the finish, my wife was waiting as well as the kids with an “Its It” ice cream sandwich at the ready. I finished in 3 hours and 15 minutes. I had no expectations going into this race so I was extremely happy with this run and my effort.
Strava stats found here.
Strava stats found here.
Things I learned - Nutrition
As I have written in the past, I have really been playing around with my nutrition. I have really never gotten it dialed in. Up to this point I have stayed away from Gel’s like the plague, using either Pocket Fuel (a nut butter whole food blend) or Clif Builder Bars. That changed when I discovered Gu’s Roctane at the Way Too Cool 50K. It was during the last 10 miles of the race, ready to try anything to help me finish that I found that it picked me up, at least that is what I wanted to believe.
|Cool Shirt Logo Too! Source: Brazen Racing|
I also had at my disposal 4 different varieties: Vanilla Orange, Chocolate Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, and Cherry Lime. I would have to say Vanilla Orange and Cherry Lime are winners and I will pass on the Chocolate Raspberry (too thick in texture if that makes sense).
I figured that this would be a good setting to see if Roctane would be a good primary fuel source. Yes I know, I could do this on a training run and trying something new on race day is ill advised. But keep in mind I had already tried this at as a last resort at Way Too Cool. I would have to say the strategy worked as well if not better than when I was using the nut butters. I had no blood sugar /power swings and the 45 minute duration was perfect. The only challenge I had, and this is something I need to figure out if I will continue with Roctane has to with my water intake. I found that my gag reflex would kick in when I drank water due to residual “gunk” at the back of my throat. I am not sure if this is because of the gel or if it was because of the heat, so I will be keeping my eye on this. To get around it during this race, I would eat a slice of watermelon to “clean the pallet” which eased the gagging.
All in all, a good training race for upcoming endeavors. And thank you Mr. NotThatLucas for taking such wonderful pictures to share.