Friday, February 15, 2013
Packing for The Great Train Race
This is fairly representative of Mark and I packing for The Great Train Race. I'm bringing 10 kimonos.
Before I launch into a topic that very few people care about (packing for a long distance race) I just have to thank Rachel Corbin, Dawn Arriola and Charmaine & Reggie Gill for the support they will be providing along the way. It takes special friends to get up early and spend the day waiting for us to drag ass into the aid stations, feed us, hydrate us and listen to us complain while doing so. Special friends indeed. Love you all so much.
Now, onto the goods*.
Cooler 1 - Hydration. This cooler is no joke. The race is starting later this year by an hour - which means one more hour in the hot sun on the back end. Even though we're acclimated to hot weather running, it's good to remember that our coolest morning temperatures are the same temperatures that prompted voluntary deferment of the Boston Marathon last year! Plus, I absolutely NEVER run past 7:30 a.m. and I anticipate finishing this race around 10:30 a.m. It's gonna be one hot mutha!
Mark - 7 frozen 16.9 oz water bottles, 7 frozen Gatorades
Lauren - 3 Kleen Canteens of water (I'm so eco), numerous packets of Delta E, 1 Gatorade
Mark & Lauren - Each one large tumbler full of ice water and Delta E
1 large bag of ice
Mark carries frozen water bottles on the trail, which would drive me nuts. I have a 20 oz Amphipod and a 20 oz UltraSpire hand-held. In addition to the water in our coolers, we will have access to water at 8 aid stations.
This assortment allows for a lot of flexibility. Sometimes you feel like a Delta, sometimes you don't. My Marine Corps Marathon plan is to finish my 20 oz hand-held every 10k - whether I want to or not. This race will require almost twice that and hydration doesn't work through "catching up". Once you feel thirsty, dehydration is already upon you.
Cooler 2 - Fuel. We've both adapted to a variety of snacks on the run. I am so thankful for my mostly iron clad stomach and the ability to eat while running. I couldn't do it at first but nibble by nibble - I made it! In the spirit of 10 kimonos, here's what I'm packing:
Sports Beans - Orange
Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars - Dark Chocolate (they're held together by honey - perfect quick fuel!)
Planters Omega Mix - walnuts, dried cranberries and chocolate covered soy nuts
4 small veggie burger & black bean wraps
Natural peanut butter & a spoon
Final 5k secret weapon - glazed donuts - if I can find some...
I remember an interview with a vegan ultra-runner and Registered Dietitian named Matt Rusigno. He pointed out how funny it is that people are amazed that you can be a marathoner or ultra runner and not eat meat when ALL that's served at races is vegetarian - oranges, bananas, bagels, Gu, Gatorade, Sports Beans, Shot Blocks, etc. Food for thought.
Cooler 3 - Stuff. Oh Dear...
2 Diamond Back headlamps
Extra batteries to be carried in our waist packs until lamps are no longer needed
2 iPods for me - just in case one dies
2 pair sunglasses
Camera + extra batteries
Zensah compression calf sleeves for Stages 5, 6 & 7
My MCM hat, extra socks and street running shoes for Stage 8
Cooler 4 - Magic.
1 bag of ice
1 pitcher of cold water
2 bath towels
Oh, the magic of the ice cold bath towel. When you're so hot that your brain is boiling, when your ankles are screaming bloody murder, when you bend over to tie your shoe and your lower back says "I don't think so" - just wrap a bath towel soaked in ice water over the effected area. Problems solved.
In many ways, this race day will be easier than the training runs because we have the rolling buffet, I mean, support crew. My only concern is the condition of my left ankle. If it holds, I'm golden.
Now, we have 48 hours to get good sleep and eat good food!
*I'll update this post after the race to let you know how much of this was totally unnecessary.