Loco 100k 3×3
|June 8, 2018
|Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized
This is my favorite ride and run analysis – choosing the top three things that went well…and didn’t. You want your next race to go better than the last? Do this. For those of you that think I’m insane – I had a tech at one of my clinics tell me so adamantly that I was crazy that she had me laughing until there was tears in my eyes – you get to look at yet more pictures from the event! All new pics, no repeats from the last post.
It’s wasn’t the easiest race – the heat, humidity, and technical parts of the trail made it difficult to keep running and eating, but I was able to keep doing all things even when I didn’t feel like it. I was still able to force myself to eat, drink, and take care of myself. This race restored my faith that it is the little things you do every 20-30 minutes, and continuing to put one foot in front of the other DOES eventually add up. When it’s been a while since going LONG, it starts to feel impossible again.
I’ve been on the fence whether compression actually works, or if it’s mostly placebo. I have sensitive skin and appreciate the protection my lower legs get from the sleeves and even if it is a placebo effect that’s OK with me! Endurance is a mental sport. However, I’m now convinced that they make a significant difference in the amount of foot swelling! I didn’t use them at the Mendo 50k and my feet swelled up like sausages. I did use them at this race and my feet looked pretty normal after the race. Anecdotal yes, but I bet if I actually paid attention to with and without during long runs I would continue to notice this trend. I’ll continue to use them and replace them when needed.
Motorhome, camping on site
THE BEST. First time doing this and let me sing the praises of motorhome or trailer camping after long races. For example, consider the bathroom is two steps from the bed. That right there should convince you. it was so relaxed pre and post race to have everything set up, not have to pack up anything post race, and to be able to putter around and get my coffee in the mornings and just chill. Set the mood of the race. I will be doing this anytime the race allows it! (And yes, if you are doing the race with me, the motorhome is big enough for 2 or 3 :).
My runner weaknesses
I finally managed to define my biggest weakness as an ultra runner, which is very useful to tell crew. I don’t apply sunscreen often enough. I don’t apply lube often enough. I don’t stop and address hot spots that are potentially blisters until forced too. I HATE stopping or slowing to do tedious things and have an inflated opinion of myself to ignore it and just keep going as well as misplaced optimism of “how bad could it possibly get”. None of these were deal breakers at this race, but it was a good reminder of what I need to keep an eye on for the 100 miler. I need to do all these things better to finish Tahoe in good shape.
Aurora, my awesome crew who has now crewed several ultras for me, tells me that crewing for me is like crewing for a seasoned endurance horse. I show up when I say I will, I know what I need, and her job is that of an enthusiastic cheerleader. From an outside it may look like I don’t need a crew. But let me tell you why I really appreciate a crew and why it does make a difference. I will not bother to dig lube and sunscreen out of my bag unless it magically appears in my hand. That never turns out well. I will forget to use ice and water to cool down (I have every intention but then I conveniently forget, because it’s something I hate anyways). When I see a happy friend at the aid station all my self pity flies out the window and I forget how much the last loop sucked and it gives me a HUGE boost. I can also be a little scatter brained in aid stations if the conditions are tough and I’m using most of my mental energy to take care of myself on the trail. On the aid station prior to Aurora being there, not only did I forget to refill my water bottles, I also forgot that there was a drop bag at that station, and had to run BACK to get some really important stuff out of it. It didn’t cost me a ton of time, but it wouldn’t have happened if someone had been there to keep me focused.
My @$#$$^&%% Feet
Do feet every get used to loose rolling rock for 100 kilometers? I dunno. My feet felt like they had been on the trail for about 24 hours instead of 18. The whole race my feet felt like they were about 20 miles further into the race than I was. At mile 50, it felt like I was more like 70 miles into a 100. Having done Tahoe 50 I know the footing is easier and I’m expecting not to have to deal with the level of pain that I had at the end of the 100k, until closer to 30 hours mark. I hope so, because it was brutal. It resolved in 24 hours except a few bruised spots (I kicked a rock into an ankle that really hurt, and there’s another spot that I bashed pretty good). I didn’t have any major muscle soreness beyond the foot pain, so that was definitely the limited factor.
For notes about my headlamp, see the gear section. It was adequate but not good enough for a 100 when I’m really tired. I haven’t found the perfect headlight yet. I don’t think it exists. I don’t need perfect, I just need adequate and so far all my lights are a little less than adequate in different ways.
My GPS died a couple of hours before the end of the race (18 hour battery life, but it had turned on for a couple of hours in my duffel the day before the race). I’ve only been running with a GPS for about a year, but I’ve noticed on a really tough race, it does help me to manage my time and pace better, even though I don’t NEED it. It relieves some of the math and mental energy that I do when I run my sections just based on time. I had thought about whether I should save the GPS for the last half of Tahoe and not wear one in the first half, but I’ve decided to buy a second GPS. I use an old, very cheap GPS (I’m going to be sad when there aren’t any left!) so this will let me have a back up too when one of them eventually dies.
My listening options were limited. I had an audible book I wanted to listen to, which I can’t load onto my ipod, so I had to take my phone. Which doesn’t have music on it. And I forgot to download lots of podcasts. And it’s bigger than my ipod (nano). And I was very cognizant that if I fell in one of the creek crossings I was going to be unhappy if I ruined my phone. I was able to take lots of pictures because I had the phone, but going to forego the phone for tahoe and take the smaller, lighter ipod instead and just hope I’m not in the middle of some fascinating medical history book next time!
Smart Wool’s running pro long sleeve shirt with zip front. Worked really well. I’d love another one of these. Perfect combination of sunprotection, breathability, adaptability to changing weather conditions, and was excellent for dunking in the many creek crossings.
Hoka One One Speedgoat 2’s 8.5 womens. Pretty sure these are my new 100 mile shoes!
Balegra enduro socks. My go-to sock I’ve used for decades.
Spandits boardie length shorts.
Salomon running vest. Yes, the one I’ve talked about here insistently for the last couple of years.
Headlight from the swag bag. I don’t remember the brand (will update this when I look it up) but it had a “laser LED” and worked pretty well. I had trouble seeing well enough at night. I couldn’t use my hand held light and the poles, and I don’t have a perfect headlamp option yet. One is old as dirt and does “OK” but needs a new strap. One is great…but rechargeable so can’t replace batteries on the trail. The freebie on was good but not quite bright enough for a 100 miler, but good for early mornings and for 50 milers and 100k’s finishing after dark. I’ve read that at altitude your night vision suffers, and I don’t know if this contributed (I wasn’t THAT high – average 5,000 feet), combined with the loss of vision in my right eye. I’ve lost more vision since my last race when I ran significant miles in the dark.
Black Diamond Z poles
Freebie hat from Orange mud
Compression calf sleeves. I forget the brand but I got them from REI a couple of years ago and have linked them in past.
Hammer enduro caps for elytes. Continues to work REALLY well for me.
Hammer Perpectuem. My go to for afternoons or during the night when eating solid food seems like a lot of work to my brain. Still going down well and not causing issues.
LOTS of other real food. Off the top of my head I remember eating Luna blueberry bars, naturevalley oat and honey granola bars, naturevalley sweet and salty bars, applesauces, mentos, crystalized ginger (thank goodness this exists….saved me at this race). At the aid stations I ate these homemade beet and ginger veggie sushi rolls that were FABULOUS, egg salad wraps with olives, miso soup, quesadillas, and P&B jelly sandwiches.
Wore my regular contacts at the race as usual, and didn’t have any issues. I most have issues the day AFTER with my eyes just not feeling right in the contacts. I happened to have my optometrist appointment the Monday after the race and we chatted. I asked about some sort of sport goggles I might wear for my longer races and overnight outdoor stuff. It’s really hard for me to run in glasses because I can’t use my peripheral vision well. He believes that the contacts may actually be protecting my eyes from both body elyte changes and environmental exposure. The difficulty seeing in the contacts the next day (feels like I got sunscreen in my eyes or that there is a film on the lenses) is probably related to electrolyte rebalancing and the fact that the lens are just not the same after doing something like that (I often end up throwing out the pair after a long backpacking trip or ultrarun). His suggestion was to use a daily lens (designed to be worn just 1 day and then tossed) on my adventures. A brand new super comfy pair to start, and then toss in the trash after the event. Wear my glasses the day after if I need to. It shouldn’t cost a fortune since I’ll go through about 10-20 daily lenses a year and I don’t have to sacrifice the comfort of a new pair of lenses during the event, but wincing when I have to toss them later. Sharing in case there are any other contact wearers out there. I have very little problems with my contacts (I”m one of those people that can wear a 30 day lens indefinitely with no maintenance on the lens) so I know not everyone would be able to do what I do in them, but hearing what others do can be useful.