Rio Del Lago: Ask Me Anything!
|November 14, 2016||Posted by Melinda under Event Report, Ultra Running|
Ask Me Anything! Because running a 100 is definitely AMA.
I swear this is the last post about Rio and running 100 miles for a while. The ponies deserve some consideration don’t you think?
What’s a bonk
A bonk is the brain doing its very best to convince you that you cannot possible go on. “Hitting the wall” is what I used to call it when I ran marathons, but “bonking” implies a more fluid in the moment challenge which as the miles grow longer I find better describes it. I didn’t make up the word :). I find that bonks are mostly mental, partially glucose-deprived, and small part physical. But in the moment? It feels like you are wading through quicksand, with eyes barely open, moving at a snail’s pace and never going anywhere. This too shall pass (with the help of calories).
This brought to you courtesy of my husband. Here’s how *that* conversation went.
Me: To see what there is on the other side.
Him: An inflatable arch, bad coffee, and a crappy DJ.
Me: No! To see WHO I am. To be able to have this experience in my mind that I can draw on when so when I’m faced with sadness or hard stuff. I know I’m strong and capable in real life.
Him: but you knew you were strong etc before you ran it.
Me: but I didn’t BELIEVE it until afterwards.
Where can I find a Martin?
We *all* want a Martin. But, until we somehow figure out cloning you are going to have to do what I did – beg on facebook and trust in the goodness of the ultrarunning community for someone to volunteer to pace you on whatever whack-a-doo, seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-time race you have planned.
What’s an ultra shuffle?
It’s not a run, and it’s not a walk. It’s where you bend at the waist, drive with your hips, move your feet and arms as fast as possible, and power forward. It’s probably somewhere in the 14 min/mile range for me, and the best part is I can do it a LONG time both on the flats and up hill. It’s a gait that I didn’t even know I had until the end of 50’s, and it represents me going forward just as fast and efficiently as I can every step of the race.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve done if running a 100 wasn’t it.
Probably finishing Tevis 2010. It’s hard to compete with dry heaving, hallucinating, and blacking out on horse back during the event. And then the day after the event not being able to go 10 feet without having to sit in the shade because you feel light headed.
You ran 29 hours without stopping?
I sat down three times for a couple of minutes (maybe 5-7 minutes?) late in the race when refilling the pack or changing shoes etc. Late in the race I made my pacer let me stop on the trail at two different times and take five deep breaths before continuing.
What do you think about when running?
I mostly stay in the moment, or chat with people ariund me if its the right time and mood for a conversation. Staying in the moment is important – if I let myself think too far in advance its a bit of a despair – omg I have to far to go and I will never to this. Sometimes staying in the moment is just thinking about the next step, sometimes it’s reminding yourself of the plan, and sometimes it’s as far as thinking about the next aid station and your plan there – what food you are going to eat etc.
How much did you sleep afterwards?
Afterwards I took a nap for about 1-2 hours. Then went to bed about a half hour early, woke up about a half hour early for a total of 8-9 hours. Over this week my body will probably slowly correct the sleep deficit. At least…it would have it I hadn’t had a sick toddler. #recoveryfail.
What did you eat leading up to the race? Everything and anything? And what about pre race?
I just ate whatever. Carb loading is a myth. I was doing a vegan challenge the week before the race 😂. Didn’t know it was vegan until I got into it, “whole foods, plant based” but I’m always looking for tricks to add vegetables to my diet and break my nightly ice cream habit….so I decided whatever! To be fair I wasn’t super strict – added some unprocessed meat, but it was definitely more legumes, less dairy, and more vegetables added to my more normal “Paleo-like” diet. Gi tract was definitely “adjusting” which is why I probably had the mile six emergency 😂.
This is probably a pre-race strategy you should avoid.
Anywho. In general I just eat regular stuff. Race like you train right?