Two months out…
So it’s two months out for what may, or may not, be our next 100. The fall version of Prairie Spirit 100 aka Kansas Rails to Trails 100.
We’re in month 3 ish of training and roughly 6 more weeks before we start tapering. Because of WFH and the Covid’s I’ve been running every day. The usual 4 days a week of actual training and the other 3 are just to keep the streak alive.
Of note this time around is Rabbit and Bunny conspired to kill me for my birthday in July. They both signed me up for VR runs. Bunny’s was ‘just’ 110 miles in 10 days. With the caveat on day 1 you ran 2 miles, day 2 4 miles, day 3 6 miles until you finished on day 10 with 20 miles for a total of 110. Oddly enough that was also almost the temperature those days.
It works out to a 100 miles in 7 days on the back side, technically 98 but I added a little extra to knock out my first 100 mile week .
Rabbit’s was ‘only’ a 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half and full in the same month. With riders on each one. 1 mile was to be a PR attempt. I succeeded, surprisingly given the temperatures and RH but got it done. The 5K was see how much elevation you get in 5K. Not a huge amount, this is pretty flat area but we did get a reasonable amount. The 10K was to run to someplace for food. We ran and got icecream. 🙂 The Half was to run someplace I’ve never run before. That wasn’t easy without traveling but I managed. And the full was to be a ‘fun run’ with Bunny. Fun is certainly an interesting concept.
For Rails of the things we’re considering strongly is have a drop ‘pouch’ at every manned aid station with 2 pre mixed bottles for the way out and 2 for the way back. This helps cut down on minutes spent refilling or getting refills and minutes were literally the difference between our first DNF and running up against the cutoff at mile 92. Imagine suffering for 92 miles and then having to quit because you’re 12 minutes late to the station with only 8 miles to go? Yeah we’re keeping an eye on minutes now.
A crew would be nicer, I’d love to hit an aid station and just walk through it trading used for new without having to stop but there’s also something about depending on no one but yourself, for good or bad.
Another key thing is we’re going to do our overnight gear change at the mile 62(?) aid station, not the 52. The reason is there are no GD bathrooms at the 52 so unless you want to show your ass off to people there’s no way to change into clean warmer gear for the night half. Or you haul your gear down the block to the Taco Bueno, change then haul it back. No thanks. The mile 62(?) station has bathrooms, big ones. So we’re going to just circle through the turn around and wait for better amenities.
Gear choices are only slightly changed from the last ultra we did, Snowdrop 55 but I’m gonna list them here –
Shoes: Altra Olympus 3.5’s and maybe 4.0’s. The 4.0’s are not due to ship till September. Another victim of the global impact on Covid I’m sure. I have two pair of 3.5’s, one with a fair bit of miles on it the other not too bad. Hopefuly the 4.0’s will work for me and I can have a newer pair to use for the bulk of the miles.
Socks: Injinji’s of course. Won’t use anything else for ultras.
Shorts: The Altra Trail 2.0’s (discontinued). The Brooks are okay but once you go stupid long it’s the Altra shorts for me. When they wear out I don’t know what I’m going to do.
Shirt: REI long sleeve quarter zip (discontinued). I have 4 of these, they’re stupid soft and comfortable. I should have bought 20.
Head: Halo skullcap, that rubber strip really does work to channel the sweat sideways and keeps it out of your eyes.
Ears: Trekz Aftershockz Air or Titaniums. I can’t do in ear and I also want to be able to have my ears unplugged so I can hear the world.
Vest: Salomon Advanced 12L 2019 edition. Storage and layout is the best out here for my needs.
Poles: Leki Shark folding poles. I’ll be carrying these as emergency in case of injury, picking them up at the 62 mile station.
Fluids: Usual, Pedialyte (orange or strawberry), Crank Sports eFuel and water. Alternate about 50/50 between plain water and flavored water. As the day gets long and into the next tend to desire more plain than flavored which means I have to supplement with electrolytes and food based fuels.
Electrolytes: Hammer Endurolyte Extremes, nothing better in my experience.
Foods: Whatever’s at the aid stations with backup of DIY nutbutter mix (cashew butter, banana, maple syrup, salt and then either a high quality jam or cookie butter) on potato bread, a few Crank Sports eGels, Clif Bars and Ensure at the drop bags just in case nothing appeals.
Meds: All the pain killers but focused on Acetominophin to keep kidney impact as low as possible but sometimes you gotta mix things up to come at severe pain from multiple directions.
Electronics: Pixel 2 for live tracking and status updates “Not dead yet”, Stryd Air for accurate pacing, Fenix 6X with my hand built ultra tracking datafield, Scosche 24+ just because I like to have HR data to look back on and likely a Gopro 8 to try and record the agony of a 100 miles.
Misc: Squirrel’s Nut Butter for anti chafing, for colder runs it’s better than Trail Toes, my preferred when it’s hot.
And there you have my packing list for any given 100 mile race.