Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ultra Marathoning: The Ultimate Junk Food Buffet

I tell my friends that have never run an ultra (or are even thinking about it) that it’s an experience like no other. Other than the crazy distance, not only is the vibe totally different than any road race, but the aid station food is pretty incredible. Especially, if like me, you love junk food.

You use so much energy and effort that it’s all about taking in calories. It took me a while to learn this, but I finally recently did. You could even describe an ultra as a race with buffet tables every 3-4 miles.

This past weekend I ran the Brazos Bend 50k, and I wanted to tell you about what my caloric intake was like, and proof that it was a junk food extravaganza...and I mean that as a good thing. A really good thing. This is what I ate during my 31 mile run:

Mile 4:  pretzels and jelly beans

Mile 8: cookies and a peach cobbler V Fuel gel

Mile 12: pringles and jelly beans

Mile 20: gummie bears and M&Ms

Mile 24: half of a pb & j sandwich and another peach cobbler V Fuel gel

Mile 28: pretzels & pringles

So if you’re considering an ultra, I say do it, because who doesn’t love junk food? I do.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Escape From The Track

Locally, most of the "nice" high school tracks are closed because the school does not want anybody running on their expensive artificial turf. This is a bummer because, I can't climb rows upon rows of bleachers or run on a bouncy and rubbery surface.

Don't get me wrong: there are some tracks that are open...but I'm a bit "picky."  It'll have 6 rows of bleachers, the track has more holes than your local street has potholes, the surface is made of gravel, etc. More often than not, I have to settle for it. I can do it, but do I prefer to do it there...No.

A couple of times, I've managed to "sneak" into my biggest/favorite high school stadium (the track is nice, but I like the countless rows bleachers best) while they were having football practice, but I was asked to leave...something about practice being closed to the public. Whatever.

Yesterday, we found a track at 1 of our local high schools that was open. It was a Sunday night and somebody, I'm guessing from the school, had opened the school's complex gates. I vaguely recall somebody using the batting cages or soccer netting...or something. We simply ran in zigzagging our way through the baseball field and soccer field until we made it to the track.

After a 30 minute-ish butt-kicking of a workout, it was time to leave. At that point, we realized whomever had been there that opened the gates, had already left. The worst part was that we were locked in.

The workout happened to be the 2nd of the day, and it was a pretty tough one, so I told my workout partner: "I don't feel like climbing the fence to get out." Plus, I think the fencing had several rows of barbed wire at the top..ouch.

Luckily, we were able to roam around the complex 'til we found a gate that led us to...FREEDOM!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When Making A Point Goes Bad...

I was going to do a race report about Hells Hills 50k but decided to not. Instead, I'd rather tell about a funny thing that happened.

I had just finished bragging to my partner-in-crime, Sami, that I didn't need any fancy backpack such as her brand new Ogio 8.0 to pack my stuff. I just carry my stuff in my pockets if I have to (I thought to myself). To make my point even more clear, I got all of my pre-race items (S caps, wipees, nutrition, hydration bladder, etc.) and just placed them in a grocery bag while tying a knot at 1 end..."cause that's how I roll.

I continued quickly packing my clothes in my lunch bag (yes, lunch bag - I pack light) and placed my toiletries in yet another grocery bag, and Austin-bound we were.

Fast forward to later that night right before crashing: It's time to brush my teeth and start prepping my hydration vest, bladder & goodies for the morning's race.

It turns out I forgot my 2 grocery bags with my toiletries and racing goodies. After my initial panic and convincing myself that I didn't need a toothbrush, S caps, hydration bladder, etc., I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and prepared myself for the "...that wouldn't've happened if you'd listened to me about my Ogio 8.0 bag" speech.

Luckily, that speech never came, but none of this would've happened if I'd listened and considered taking any of the countless backpacks I have lying around.

Oh, and by the way, I was able to borrow a handheld and assorted goodies I'd forgotten...and I had a decent 50k race too.
My funky toes photobombing Sami.