Food for thought. Literally. I love food. Thinking about it, smelling it, seeing it …. EATING IT! So when contemplating training for an event and someone uttered the magical words, “Ultramarathon is just one big eating and drinking competition” I knew I was in! Well, I haven’t entered the ultradistance for the Hillary but that doesn’t stop me thinking about the food. For starters, after the race has got going and I’ve fallen into and out of daydreaming mode and wondering if I’ll be okay through the event my first go to thought is, what did I have for breakfast (It’ll be porridge), and due to the late start time of this event, what did I have for second breakfast … probably more porridge, what did I have for dinner the night before (pizza), what am I going to eat next (…. oh I do love a good aid station!!!!). Why am I thinking about food so early on in the event you may ask? It’s a bit of a mental game. I like to go through all the reasons why I have absolutely nothing to worry about and just to enjoy my run. I think through what I’ve eaten to reassure myself that I’m fully fueled and my body is going well. I also think through my training plan and how well it went, day dream about really enjoyable long runs I’ve done and how to make this run similar to those.
I recently started drinking Trailwind as a sports drink. It claims to be all you need to get you through a big day. I think theoretically it could. I’ve certainly been eating less on the run when I have this to drink. However, I still like to eat. Preferably pizza … maybe a Reeces Peanut Butter Cup or two and of course whatever the aid stations have on offer, and maybe an emergency muesli bar. This may sound a bit blase but as an experienced eater I feel I know what my body needs and when and on a long run it’s pretty much: hydration, carbs, sugar a bit of salt in that order. So in my bag I’ll have my Camelbak with Trailwind nutrition, a few Reeces Peanut Butter Cups and about two slices of pizza, hmmmm, maybe three, oh decisions! and my emergency muesli bar, I think this length of run shall be classed in the ‘two/three slices of pizza’ category. I have previously done a ‘whole pizza’ run. That was a good day out.
I shall also pack some ‘Hikers Wool’ also affectionately known as ‘toe fluff’ in our house. If you haven’t heard of this before check it out. It’s literally just carded wool which you can wrap around sore toes or shove down your socks to your heel if you’ve got a potential blister and it works as a sweet bit of padding. It felts itself onto your sock and works wonders for me. Goodness, it feels like a long time since I last did a long run …. what else do I need?! Compulsory stuff like first-aid is a given. I’ll take my cellphone too, Steve (my husband) is running the 80km event and by his calculation all going well I’ll have an hour headstart on him. Hopefully I’ll be able to contact him and have enough beans left to walk back up the last km and run out with him.
More on the mental game. I’m right into positive self talk and visualisation. At some point I’ll think to myself, “I’m actually doing this”, I’ll think through all the hard work I’ve put into preparing for this event and I’ll talk myself into really being in the moment and really, really enjoying it. I’ll probably get a bit
overwhelmed with emotion and have a little cry and a few hiccups. It’s not often as an adult that all you have to do is run. There is nothing else you need to be thinking of. Nothing else needs preparing. You don’t need to save any energy for anything else. You have no other responsibilities. Everything else is being taken care of. Today is your day. All you need to do is run. This gets me at least once every event. So if you see me out there having a wee cry, don’t worry, those are most definitely happy tears.
A bit more on my socks …. because I know you all LOVE hearing about my socks … I think I’ve figured out the optimal times for when I should wear the CEP short socks versus the long versus the calf sleeves. Short socks for intervals as they’re done on the grass and don’t last long so my calves don’t get hammered but due to speed I really like the ankle support. Long socks for the puffy run as it really is pounding the pavement and can leave my legs feel quite fatigued and with these socks that really doesn’t seem to happen, also for a long run on any surface as they provide ankle support too. Calf sleeve would be awesome for use during an ultra that you’d want to change your socks during. I can’t imagine wanting to peel off and reapply the long s
ock but with the calf sleeve you could leave them on and just change your ankle socks. All in all I’m really surprised how much of a game changer these socks are. So, due to this logic I’ll be wearing my CEP long socks on race day.
The kids? Leaving these magnificent little beings with my Mum. It’ll be my son’s first night away from either Steve and I. He’s such a sweet wee thing, I’ll definitely miss him! Our daughter is a pro at spending time away from us and is pretty excited at the prospect of two nights away from us. This is only Steve and my second time away without little people in attendance since the first one arrived nearly four years ago … what a way to spend it! I’m very excited!
See you out there! Woohoooooooooooooooo!