Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Earlier in the year I tried some of their Clip2 and I just could not get past the taste. I tried it sitting at home in the kitchen and I had no desire to drink it during a run. It just didn't appeal. I gave away the sample packs that I had and wrote it off for good. So I thought....
Since then I have been struggling with finding the answer to nutrition during long runs of 20 miles or more. Run after run I found myself struggling into aid stations behind on water with low blood sugar and starving. I would eat a LOT of food, drink some fluid, fill up my water bottle and head back out. I would feel good for a few miles and then the cycle would start again. It was very frustrating to run this way.
Several runners have suggested that I give a powder such as Clip2 another try. I reluctantly agreed and feared that it would make me nautious while out on the trail. However the pros simply outweighed the cons. Here is the description of Clip2 from Succeed's website...
* Better recovery after a long run
* Prevention of muscle breakdown in long runs
* Single-serving packets
* Anti-oxidants Vit. C and E to prevent exercise-induced muscle damage
So I figured why not give it a try at the Woods Ferry 24 Hour Run? Worse case scenario was that I would drink it and get sick. If so, I could always go lay down for a few hours and then get back to running.
After completing 20 miles I decided to give the Clip2 a try. I filled up my 20 oz. handheld halfway with water and then added a pack of the powder into it. I screwed on the cap and shook it hard for a few seconds and let the fizz buzz off then filled the rest of the bottle with water.
The powder has a faint smell of fruit and has the consistency of baby powder. I was really nervous about taking the first drink, but did so and was pleasantly surprised! It tasted like very weak Kool-Aid with a little bit of Gatorade mixed in the back somewhere.
I sipped on the mixture for about 5 miles and then rolled into the next aid station feeling much more nutritionally satisfied. I had a few pretzels and filled my bottle up with water then got back to the run. I noticed that the Clip2 seemed to keep me feeling "even" for about 15 miles. I used four packets of it during the race (68 miles over 24 hours) and will probably never go over 20 miles again without having it available.
While I did have some hallucinations during the early morning around the 24th hour of running I felt more alert during the night. I seemed to have better control over my emotions and I was able to think more clearly.
I can't say enough good things about this stuff. It is relatively cheap at $18.95 for 24 packs plus they have a sample size for you to try out for about $5.00. They even have larger quanities available for a reduced price.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Christian & Wayne offered to pick me up on Friday afternoon and carry all of this stuff down to the race. I offered to help Terri out with some equipment to be used at the main aid station. No, I didn’t run with that backpack on – it just had all of my camping stuff in it.
I camped with a few running friends including Mike Riggins. We only talked for a short time, gobbled down some pizza that Mike had brought and I was into the tent sleeping before 10:00 PM. The campground was medium size and only has about 30 sites, but two tents are allowed at each one. I felt safe there for the most part, but there were some interesting sights of the “local culture” on the way into the park. Banjo pickin’ rednecks and the movie Deliverance come to mind, but I’m gonna leave it at that.
I slept great on the air mattress in the tent Friday night dreaming about a great run to come the next day. The night past quickly and I heard runners driving in and moving about around 5:00 AM. I drifted back & forth to sleep until 6:00 and decided it was game time!
It was so nice to wake up at the race and not have to worry about driving directions, getting lost, finding a parking spot, etc. I just walked 100 yards down to the picnic area and had everything I needed in my hands or in my backpack. This is the main aid station, check-in, start & finish. The Broad River is behind the picnic shelters.
I never get tired of the buzz before an ultra. The air is electric!
Mike Riggins getting ready to run...
Wayne "Weezy" D. getting his game face on....
Monday, April 5, 2010
This is all about Sweet H20. Here is the race description...
"Sweetwater Creek State Park offers winding, moderately difficult trails in and around the park, following the lovely rapids of Sweetwater Creek, and venturing past Civil War-era textile mill ruins. This 50k crosses the Sweetwater Creek twice - you WILL get wet. (but that's the extra fun part!) The race will be open for 9 hours allowing for plenty of time for course completion. An intermediate cutoff of 4.5 hours at mile 17 will be enforced for runner safety."
Confederate Soldiers Start the Race With a Bang!
We hit the trail head after about 9 minutes and I'm out of breath, but moving quick through the forest. A few runners take off past me and we quickly run upon this drainage ditch around mile 2. As you can see there are two ropes on each side of the ditch. Rappel yourself down, cross the river, and then pull yourself up on the other side. What a great way to begin an ultra - I loved it!
Pictures will not do justice to these climbs. There are about 4-5 rolling & sun exposed climbs that let you see the next one in the distance. Here is a picture looking at the final climb after going up and down about four of these. It cant be overwhelming to look at it too long...
I took a deep breath and reminded myself one step at a time. I was pouring sweat at this point and my head was getting very dizzy. I knew that I was hot and very hungry. Something bad was about to happen, but I wasn't sure what. All that I knew to do was take two Scaps and keep moving. I drank my last bit of water to swallow them and I worked my way up the final climb to the top.
I was about to pass out at the top. I felt worse than I have every felt during a race. My head was on fire, dizzy, weak and I dashed towards some trees to vomit. And then one more time. I had one more mile to get to the aid station which had food. I ran hard since I just wanted to eat and had all of that water off my stomach.
One minute after getting sick I reached the hard earned TOTW...You could look out in all directions and see great views of the towns below. I didn't care - I wanted to eat and eat a LOT! I made it to the next aid station in about 10 minutes and ate well. Chocolate chip cookies, oranges, PB & Jelly sandwiches, jelly beans, and Gatorade. I felt like a new man & ready to run!
After leaving TOTW the trail takes you back down to the river, but it's not quiet that easy. There are three more massive & exposed climbs to conquer before you see the water again.
So now that I'm out of the river there are about 12 miles to go as I'm now 20 miles into the race. I chased down two Advil with a 5 Hr. Energy and got back on my way. The drugs kicked in after about 15 minutes and I was feeling fantastic. I enjoyed the next five miles as they rolled along the river with some incredible scenery. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and it had turned into a great run.