4 Things I learned from running my first 100-mile race
It’s been a few months since I completed my first 100-mile race at the 2018 Angeles Crest 100 and thought I would provide a follow up to my previous OM blog post about preparing for my first 100-mile race. I learned an awful lot during this race which I did complete in 31:47 (Cutoff was 33 hours). The weather was brutally hot with bad air quality and half the field ended up dropping from the race. Although I really feel my training went great and I was very well prepared for the race, there are definitely some things that I’d do different so that’s what I’m going to focus on in this post.
Photo: Ivan Buzik
1) Don’t go out too fast! I ran the first 25 miles from Wrightwood to Islip Saddle a few times before the race but ran it the fastest in the race… The photo above is around mile 11 of the race and I was feeling great! I felt like I was running without too much effort, but in hindsight I feel like I pushed the pace a little too much at this time of the race because I was feeling so good. I’d definitely run it a bit easier if I had to do it again to save some extra energy for middle portion of the race.
2) Bring food that tastes good when you don’t feel like eating! I’ll definitely have my crew bring a few more food options that are easy to get down when my stomach isn’t right. It was getting very hot by mile 25 and I ended up feeling pretty nauseous from miles 38-70, which slowed me down quite a bit…. I had plenty of food with my crew, but nothing was really hitting the spot except the Fresh Citrus drink mix that I always use from FLUID Nutrition. I was able to drink it without any issue but real food, gels, etc., weren’t sounding very good during this time of the race. I was at my low point at the Red Box Aid Station at mile 60 (see photo below), my crew gave me some soup and some avocado to try and get me going again. The avocado totally hit the spot and helped me turn things around within 10 miles. I also had some bacon at the Idlehour AS (Mile 83) and it tasted amazing! I grabbed a big handful of it and kept pushing up the last few climbs.
Photo: Cindy Carlson (Red Box AS)
3) Keep pushing on because things will get better! I was amazed how good I felt from miles 70-100. As I said, I felt pretty bad from miles 38-70 so I slowed down a lot to avoid the big DNF. I had no idea how good I would feel from miles 70-100, my pacer Sparky Sparks and I rallied from miles 70-75 which set me up for a great last section which is known as the toughest 25 miles of the race. In hindsight, I would’ve pushed a little bit harder in the heat to save some time. There were some downhill sections I could’ve ran slowly instead of hiking etc.… The last 25 miles were tough, but I never felt sick again even though I finished the race just after 12pm on the 2nd day, which was hotter than the 1st.….
Photo: Paksit Photos
4) Don’t waste time at the Aid Stations! Looking back, I think I wasted too much time at three aid stations (miles 50, 60 and 70). I was feeling pretty poor, but I should’ve been a little quicker to get moving once I got some food down. I put myself in jeopardy of missing some cutoffs because I wasn’t leaving those three aid stations until I felt better (which didn’t really happen). I rebounded big time after midnight at mile 70 at the start of a long downhill section to Chantry Flat (mile 75 AS) and got back to getting in and out of the aid stations quickly.
I really feel that my time would’ve been 2-3 hours faster if I would’ve made a few of these changes. Live and learn right?!... Thankfully I’ve got absolutely no regrets, it was a very tough first 100-mile race and I finished it which was the only goal. I still can’t believe it, even after all these months! This was such a special finish and these photos mean so much to me. My family was there along with my awesome crew and Orange Mud Teammates Sparky Sparks, Elliott Bruce and Lawrence McDaniel. All of my friends that trained with me for months were also there and it was amazing to celebrate together, something I’ll never forget!
Photo: Ivan Buzik
Gear & Nutrition Notes:
1) Orange Mud VP2 2.0 Pack worked awesome, two bottles are the way to go at the aid stations and keeping track of how many liquid calories are going in.
2) Orange Mud Arm Sleeves work awesome in the hot conditions, love the ice pockets!
3) FLUID Nutrition “Fresh Citrus” Performance was a huge key to me staying in the race when I was having a hard time eating food.
4) Altra Olympus 3.0 Shoes and XOSKIN Compression Gear/Socks are awesome!
My awesome family!