Latest Event Updates
At the end of this week, I’ll be heading off on a well-deserved, non-running holiday. In recognition of my surviving 40 years on this planet, my brother Justin and I will be making the trek to Everest Base Camp Nepal. Experiencing the mountain in person has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy, and I’m hoping that the dream will soon come true. While it won’t be a leisure stroll, I am hoping the 2.5 weeks away from the home trails and from running in general will give my body and mind the rest it needs to refresh, recover and return with a new focus for the challenges ahead this year. I promise to share some pictures, continue the VOTW posts, and catch-up on my training logs when I return. Adios Muchachos!
My good friend Alex, who I had the pleasure to run most of the second half of the ’13 UTMB with, recently interviewed Ueli Steck for his blog, Swiss Ultra Trail Community. Ueli is a legend in speed mountaineering. It is great to hear how he uses trail running in his life and his take on the ultra running community.
Here’s a cool little video shot by Nickademus Hollon at the recent INOV-8 retreat in Big Sur, California. Looks like they had some fun…
Well, I dipped a little on my commitment to logging my daily session specifics, so this is a little catch-up. Week 7 was a really good week with some very decent mileage. It wasn’t just a higher mileage week, but also a real quality week, as well. I came off the weekend not feeling the best, so my week 8 was spent recovering and doing more cross-training in anticipation of the Black Mountain Marathon at the end of the week. This recovery proved helpful, as it allowed me to push more at the race and to achieve a much better result than I had previously thought possible. The race was fairly brutal. Essentially, it was just over 13 miles straight up the mountain, followed by the return trip straight down. I felt good for most of the race, but started to fall apart on the final 3 miles which were on road. Placed 6th overall, despite getting overtaken in the final 100 yards. Weeks 9 and 10 will be focused on moderate mileage and increased cross-training, in anticipation of roughly 3 weeks off of hard training. Really looking forward to this break and seeing how my body responds to the rest.
Well, I notched yet another race this weekend and did it without consuming one DAMN gel!! After years of dealing with those nasty packets full of sugar, horribly fake flavorings, and the disgusting messes they create, I finally “moved on” and started fueling my runs with what I call “real food”. What’s “real food”? Well, things you might actually eat on a regular basis in your daily life! I don’t know anyone that sits down for a nice cup of hot tea and nibbles on a salted caramel flavored GU. Maybe you do…
Perhaps my gi tract is delicate, but every time I would try to fuel wholly on gels, I would end up feeling sick, nauseated, and ultimately let down. Call the ingredients what you will…THEY’RE JUST SUGAR!! All carbs. No fats. No proteins. No good. I know that some out there will attempt to school me with their well-studied nutritional breakdowns. Fact is…they all taste like sh*t and leave pretty much everyone I know who uses them feeling less than optimal, including me. So what do I eat? Glad you asked…
Instead of getting all descriptive, I’m just going to list some of the non-gel nutrition items I’ve used that I feel work fairly well. Some are good to carry with you, while some are great to stash with your crew so that you can at least have access to them. Here goes:
- Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars (Vanilla flavors pack more calories but weigh the same as the whole wheat flavors)
- Granola bars
- Potato chips (Pringles, cause those little beauties just melt in your mouth!)
- PB&J’s (That’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for those out living under rocks)
- Gummies (All gummy…All the time)
- Boiled potatoes with salt
- Applesauce (pre-made singles like GoGo Squeez or make your own by spooning from a jar into a soft-flask)
- Gatorade (because drinking your calories is sometimes easier)
- Justin’s Nut Butter singles
To be fair, I will usually hide a gel or two in my pack as a just-in-case-I-bonk stash, but I rarely ever use them…thankfully. I should also note that it does take some time to get used to eating solids on the run, too. They can mess you up, too. You just have to work with things and figure out what works for you. Maybe gels are your thing. Totally cool. Just not for me.
In case you need more ideas, here’s a nice little timely piece from TrailRunner that addresses this issue. Happy Trails!