August 2004, nearly 10 years ago! Multiple back to back days of training. Running 15-25 miles a day on the Wasatch 100 course. Karl Meltzer was my guide and even though I thought I needed to cover the entire course he wouldn't hear of it.
"You don't need to do that many miles Krissy. You'll just beat yourself up."
So instead, the Ol' Speedgoat picked the choice sections and met me at the ending trailhead so that we could shuttle cars. He always put the big white jug with a black lid in the finish trailhead car. A jug that I would come to appreciate over our multiple days of training.
We'd shuttle around to the starting point for the day, talking mostly about what it is like to run 100 miles. I was nervous and excited in the planning for my first at Wasatch a few weeks later. At the trailhead we loaded our packs with treats, water and salt pills and took off down the trail. Stride for stride for a bit, but then soon Karl's pace would quicken as he warmed up and got into his groove. We had agreed that he would leave gel wrappers for me at trail intersections so I would know which way to go. I was impressed that he managed to suck every last gooey drop out of each packet, so garbage duty really wasn't that bad. At major trail junctions he would wait entertaining himself with the view and then we'd carry on.
At the end of the first day he encouraged me to try a couple scoops of this new recovery drink. He was working with a new nutrition sponsor and was impressed with the quality of the product. Robert, the owner, lived right there in Salt Lake and according to Karl was the nicest guy. One thing of many things I appreciate about Karl is how straightforward he is. When he tells you he likes something it is because he really likes it. Likewise he's brutally honest enough to let you know when he hates it. Thank you for the honesty.
Really, the proof was in how I felt and continue to feel. The Ultragen recovery drink by First Endurance is jam-packed with nutrition meant for recovery. This is not your afternoon sipping drink. The calories and focused sugar and protein content are made for post-run (or endurance exercise) chugging. I got to the point that I was craving it and asking Karl for my two scoops before he could offer. The great part is I still crave Ultragen as I near the end of a long run.
First Endurance has come out with additional Ultragen flavors and I have definitely worked through the product line finding many more supplements that help with training and recovery as well as race performance. I now have a personal relationship with Robert and feel connected to this brand that cares about the performance of their athletes. (I feel they consider all athletes their athletes, so welcome to the club!) Personally I am going on 10 years of using First Endurance products. To be Speedgoat honest - it is no secret that there are other products that I train and race with. Everyone realizes that when we are out there for hours and hours a little variety is helpful and encouraged.
Thanks Speedgoat for that introduction oh so many years ago!
Here's to many years to come!