Eating a 100-miler Worth of Food

I stole that line from the RD of last weekend’s fun. Last Saturday was the first (and perhaps last) Run with the Goats beer run. One of the Nomad Trail Runners of Eastern Washington hosted it. His home has access to the Reata Canyon, and he’s one of the folks who maintains the trails. And he has goats. I’ve got a race this upcoming Saturday – the Snake River Island Hop – and my training schedule last Saturday called for a 5-6 mile run. After deciding to switch from running the 100K to training to walk the 50K at SRIH, following the training calendar pretty much went out the window. Run with the Goats was set up as a 50K, with DNFs strongly encouraged.

Run with the Goats had two classes: sober & beer. The sober entrants had to drink 12 ounces of a fizzy beverage before each lap; the beer entrants drank a 16-ounce beer. The course starts with a steep drop off, and is mostly rolling after that with a few short steeps. One of the 50K finishers’ said his Garmin showed a little over 4200′ of elevation gain & loss over the 50 km.

I have to agree with one person’s assessment of the effect of the beer: It didn’t really hit until you got to the bottom of the canyon, then you were miserable, but over the next four miles you pretty well burned off the alcohol. And then you downed another and it started over again…

Had I not been looking at another race a week later, I probably would have shot for the 50K. But ohmigawd it would have been tough! Out of 41 people who signed up for the beer division, 33 started and just 7 finished. The last finisher bravely soldiered on for 11 hours. I started slow & got progressively slower, which was happening to pretty much everyone. (There were no negative splits in this race!)

While it’s easy to blame the beer, the food played a large role. The entry fee was super-cheap because the RD provided no food. The food was a potluck. SO MUCH FOOD. I walked nine miles and probably consumed 3,000 calories. The racers would arrive back at the staging area, drink their beer/fizzy beverage, eat, see the firepit, see the DNFs happily sitting around gossiping — that made it soooooo difficult to head back out onto the course.

Over the past while, my diet has been pretty bad. I’m eating too much, eating too much late in the day, and eating too much processed stuff. This morning, it occurred to me that this started at our around the Badger Mountain Challenge. I’m not sure if it was my body reacting to the day or so without sleep & the 15-mile hike after twenty hours without sleep. I’m hopeful this recognition will prevent me from falling into the same trap after the Snake River Island Hop. I’ve put on about four pounds over the past month, and I can’t afford for that to continue.

It dawned on my today that I need to set up a pre-race preparation schedule for the week. Lots of sleep, lots of hydration, good fuel, get the gear ready, trim the toenails – that kind of stuff. Am I ready? Probably. I haven’t worked out as much as I should in the past few weeks. The biggest issue will be endurance, as I’ve missed some critical long workouts. But I have fourteen hours, and there’s no reason I can’t complete at least the 50K in that time.

Then what? Bloomsday is the following week, and while I should walk it there’s a part of me that’s thinking of running it. That’s it for running. I’m hopeful to start riding a lot and maybe working swimming back into the rotation. There are hikes in my future as well, as I have a trip planned in the fall. I’m considering the Chocolate Chip Cookie 50K in October, but I won’t sign up for it until much later; whether I do the race will depend upon how my summer goes.



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