My pre race week didn't go exactly as I had envisioned...isn't that always the way though? I may have been a bit over enthusiastic with my Snow to Surf cheerleading and balls to the wall red line mountain bike racing last Sunday. I managed to open myself up to a nasty virus that latched onto my throat and clung on with all its might. Yup. Locked in there and held its ground for three long pre race days. When your throat swells shut and Mr Fever and Mrs Chills show up 4 days before your hundred K, you call out the troops and load the canons. I've never hit a cold so hard lol! From super juice at the Naturopath to friends dropping off voodoo oils and sleeping with cold wet socks on my feet (don't ask-it worked), I tried everything. Lozenges, tinctures, potions, lotions and sleep marvellous sleep...I did it. I woke up this morning with my good old throat back...yay! Big, big thank you to everyone who helped me out, sent well wishes and covered for me this week- feeling so grateful to have such an awesome support crew☺️. They say that getting to the start line is the hardest part...and...they're right! Running 100k is the easy part! (That may really come back to bite me tomorrow haha). Now that I can swallow without cringing I am so excited to run in the hills above San Fran tomorrow!!
First rule of ultra racing is get to the start line healthy- almost an epic fail for me this time! Once on course the second rule is stay healthy during the run. I call this Self Care and it really can make or break your day during endurance racing. Taking the time to tend to little issues early on can prevent major show stoppers in the later miles. Fueling, hydration and pacing within your abilities are critical during endurance racing. But self care is the glue that holds it all together in the end. I've packed my kit and thought I would share what I personally have in my little race Bag of Tricks for a happy and healthy Ultra...
A moist baby wipe washing seven hours of grime, salt and sweat off your face.
A fresh mint and a mini toothbrush at km 50.
A spare pair of socks in each drop bag- just because.
Body glide for all the right places.
Anything with caffeine for the last 20-30k.
Race day playlist.
A laminated mini course elevation profile and splits chart stuck to your arm.
Fresh batteries in your headlamp and watch to keep you on track
Flagging tape on your drop bags with your race number to keep them high vis.
Wrapping duct tape around your spare batteries.
Sunscreen in the drop bag.
Sunglasses and a hat and a buff and two hair elastics in your pack.
Battery charger for the iPhone during the final miles, when you need tunes and photos the most.
Safe and healthy is...
A ziplock/medicine cabinet with one or a few of everything: Ginger gravol, antihistamine, Tylenol, traumeel/arnica tabs, antacids, blister bandaid, rock tape strips, TP, Benadryl tabs to battle death on wings, Benadryl cream to take on poison oak(that's their forest beast in these parts)...what did I forget?
As soon as you feel an ache in your leg, a pinch in your foot or a stone in your shoe...stop. Stop and address the niggle. Take a moment for self care and it will pay you back in the end. Oh...and the race doesn't really begin until halfway...that's 50k and the climb up Cardiac for us tomorrow!
See you on the other side!