Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last one I promise…

By day I am a mild mannered Project Manager, it’s only at the weekend (in the winter) I put my tights on! If you’ve ever worked in a project after all the shouting has finished there is a point where all the team huddle in room and go over Lessons Learned, usually a torturous process where you rehash mistakes and usually forget all the good things, all in an attempt to not to repeat the bad things and replicate the good.

Ten days have passed since 100 in the Hood and I have had plenty of time to reflect. I am, overall, left with a positive feeling, had I not been injured I would had finished well within the time, maybe buckled, maybe not; I would have needed a sub 24:00. With that in mind here is a list of the good;

Nutrition & Hydration: totally dialed in; Cytomax in 2 flavors, Amino Vital and Nuun worked a treat. I did have some Hammer Pepetuem but stayed away from it mostly. Chocloate#9 gels, ShotBloks PB&J sandwiches in the day, Chicken Noodle soup at night washed down with Coke or Sprit. I set my watch to nag me every 40 minutes and that worked well. I had been playing with my nutrition/hydration all Summer and that work really paid dividends.

The Walk/Run strategy; well I can only really gauge this for the first 20 miles or so but I felt strong up until the point where my leg just gave up the fight. I walked a lot during this race but I think, with hindsight, that my walking was strong, this was something I practiced a lot during my long runs so covering 3 miles per hour walking cross country was a good speed.

Equipment check, using multiple Garmins worked really well, I know this is a luxury but with falling prices it’s something to consider. I picked up a new Black Diamond Headtorch at the last minute as it was brighter than my Petzl, it burned through the batteries pretty quick but it was worth its weight in the dead of night. Going bananas with KTTape at mile 55 helped keep my leg supported and warm. Finally two iPods helped as well, music, podcasts, talking books they all while away the time, if you heard someone signing away to Britney Spears…well yeah that may just have been me!

My Training; derailed in the final 4-6 weeks; falling over and then having issues with my knee put me under a lot of mental pressure, in the end it played out ok, while the Santa Monica Mountains my not be the biggest, they’re pretty darn steep in places and amazingly hot in the Summer

The Brain Drain; I really did not know what to expect mentally, I’ve been up for 48 hours+ in the past during a stint in the military but that was 10+ years ago and I wasn’t moving like this. All in all I think I toughed this one out pretty well.

Feel the squeeze; I went to bed Sunday night with compression tights and socks on and I think this kick started my recovery.

Two of everyting; spares, lots of spares, socks, shoes, shirts, batteries, gels the list goes on...Some I used some I didn't but they were nice to have.

And onto the bad:

You’ve only got two feet; Treat blisters early and frequent; an extra 10 minutes spent looking after you feet is easily made up if it saves you from dropping a minute a mile over 20, 30 or 40 miles. Wash your feet; my shoes let in a ton of trail crud, I mean a ton, actually washing my feet clean would probably saved me from getting one of the two blisters I got.

Overpack; I underestimated the cold, partially because of my lack of speed I felt cold but a running fleece would have made all the difference.

Take the time; in the same vein as treating blisters, taking the time to change into my compression tights would have helped my leg with support and warmth, hoping about doing this on the side of a trail is the issue I had with that. That’s my issue!

Race to pace; I printed a Pace Chart for my crew and I and then left mine behind, I didn’t really need it but having the distance between A/S would have helped.

One shot or two; caffeine tablets, buy some and take them!

There are probably a few more that will come to me but these seem to be the ones that have floated to the surface.

My injuries are all on the mend, I ditched the crutches day 2, I was more likely to trip and break my neck with them, I stopped wearing the aircast on my ankle last Friday and switched to an Ace tubes on my ankle and knee, there is a little swelling left in both and I have about 90% range of motion in my ankle and about 65% in my knee, I am having trouble bending it, there is a solid lump of ‘stuff’ in my quad where I pulled it, swelling, scar tissue etc but it’s getting better every day. I never filled my Vicodin prescription.

I put back on the 10lbs I lost, I lost 6lbs during the weekend and I kept burning off the weight through to Tuesday and since then I have been solid diet of chips, ice cream and chocolate!

I have a whole bunch of product reports to write up including Recofit Cooling Sleeves, the Black Diamond Headtorch and Chocolate #9 gels these all worked really well for me.

And with that I close I out this adventure. I am still kicking around what I can squeeze into the rest of the year, but I am thinking long game here and until I am 95%+ I am on ice, literally and metaphorically, more to follow…


  1. Stuart a big year of adventure with drama and disappointment. Stuff happens. Put your name in the WS Lottery that will set the sights for 2010.


  2. You brain runs on glycogen, which explains why we go off into la-la land if we aren't careful to replenish it during long events.

    You had a great race, and those "goods" will be put to use again, by more than just you, I am sure!

    On to the next!!

  3. What a great post with really great info for anyone contemplating such a huge adventure. Someday . . .

  4. What a great post to conclude this race. I love the good and bad bits.

    Hope you recover and plan a new race asap.


  5. Great (dense) summary with lots of interesting info. I'm working my way from 50k (finished this year) to 50mi (2010) with the hope to attempt a 100mi (in 2011). I've been following the posts about your last race and want to thank you for taking the time to share the details of your journey on the trail. It is quite an inspiring adventure. Thanks for sharing the experience and lessons learned. Way to go!

  6. why the last one.... we love all of the race detail info that you send our way. This is priceless knowledge!!!!

    Your post diet sounds yummy but I can see where it may be on the high side of the calorie chart...lol!!

    So proud of your race! I think you nailed it.

  7. Hey Stuart. Congratulations on your 100 miles and I am glad you are starting to feel better. This truly was an epic journey. Take all the blog space and time to reflect-you've more than earned your 15 minutes :) Congratulations on a great season. You put in a lot of hours and miles and attempted something huge. There is risk in that, as you saw. But I hope there was also reward. Rest and heal up and see you on the trails (virtually)!

  8. Thanks for the update Stuart. I will definetly look into the compression tights.

  9. If you wrote one post for each of your 100 miles, we'd be okay with that. Nice post. Congratulations!


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