Between my year end review, the San Diego 50 Miler, getting ready to start training for the 2018 Boston Marathon, and having my bathroom remodeled; I haven’t had a chance to post about anything other than training until now! I tested out a lot of gear during my first ultra-marathon and caught up on some podcasts during my flights.
Clothing & Gear
How did my gear hold up for the San Diego 50 Miler?
Hydration packs. Camelbak Dart. The pack served me well as I was training for the San Diego 50 Miler, but in retrospect, I wish I had tried some different options. On race day, I fell and it would have been nice to have a handheld with water so I could wash out the wound. And with bottles, I could have switched to an electrolyte drink during the race. With the pack, I was committed to water.
Handheld water bottles. Camelbak Quick Grip Chill. After several runs with a pack, I thought I might want to ditch it at some point since it shifted around a little. I packed this bottle in my drop bag and carried it for the last 20 miles. (The race required runners to carry at least 20 ounces of hydration with them.) The bottle was comfortable enough to carry but it didn’t keep fluids cold for very long.
Arm bands. Amphipod ArmPod SmartView. I also purchased a new armband before the race. The Velcro on the model I had been using was falling apart. I’ve been very happy with this armband. It fits my Samsung Galaxy S8, which is a big phone. My only wish that it fit a little tighter around my arms.
Runner’s World Box. The box arrived on Christmas Eve! It should have been labeled, “So, we hear you have plantar fasciitis,” because there was a foot massager and special socks for that aliment.
Nutrition & Hydration
Electrolytes. SaltStick FastChews. Thinking back on the San Diego 50 Miler, I’ve wondered if I had enough electrolytes during the race. Each time I came to an aid station, a volunteer remarked how I was covered in salt and asked if I was taking in enough electrolytes. I believe I ate 13 tablets during the race, which seemed like a lot but was less than suggested on the bottle. I was afraid of taking more – that seemed like a lot of salt – but probably should have supplemented them with an electrolyte drink such as Tailwind. It seemed most of the runners were drinking that instead of water like I was.
Sights. When I arrived in San Diego for the 50 miler, I drove to La Jolla Cove for a short run. Running along the coast, I was surprised to hear a barking sound through my headphones. It was the seals! Remembering the “This American Life” episode about them, I tried to take a quick video without disturbing them.
Art. During a section of the San Diego 50 Miler on the Del Dios Gorge Trail, I saw a rusted out car that had been painted. I stopped to take a picture of it. My only regret is that I didn’t stop long enough to get the shot centered.
Construction. There was some construction on the W&OD Trail in late December. It made me nervous that the county was undertaking a project that would close the trail, but it only lasted a couple of days.
Media & Motivation
Music. “Girl On Fire,” by Alicia Keys. Going back to my hometown to run a 50 miler put a lot of swagger in my step.
(My “Songs of the Week” playlist on Spotify.)
Podcasts. I listened to a few podcasts during my flights out west and back for the San Diego 50 Miler. These were two of the most memorable.
“Episode 136 – A Once in a Lifetime Race (Chris Farley),” by Pace the Nation. I watched the Breaking3 attempt on Facebook Live and really wanted to hear about the race from his perspective. My favorite part was when he said the event was not about him and then his co-host says it was all about him! The D.C. running community is incredibly supportive. It’s no surprise that so many people wanted to help make sub-3 possible for him.
“Episode 417 – Camille Herron,” by Marathon Talk. I could feel how much she loves running just from listening to her voice. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a picture of her not smiling when she’s out on the course. I listened very keenly to her recovery techniques because she has to be an expert: active recovery, sleep, protein, and strength training. There was one part of the podcast that annoyed me a little, though. Before the interview, the hosts commented about whether Shalane Flanagan thought her hard work and sacrifice was worth it and I wondered what they meant by that.
Motivation. “Man can only truly enjoy that which he acquires with hard work and toil. The harder you work for something the more you enjoy it. If something is easy, how much reward is that?” – The Barkley Marathons
I really struggled during the San Diego 50 Miler and I’m so proud of myself for finishing it!