Uhwarrie is just a couple days away… 40 miles on a rugged, hilly trail. Current weather conditions show rain and freezing rain on Friday, and rain on Saturday, with a low of 28F and a high of 52F. So, time to make some gear decisions!
The 1st choice is in shoes. I have been very happy with how my inov-8 195’s and 190’s have been performing all fall — right up until the point where my AT/soleus flared up unexpectedly. That was a week before a 10 mile race, and after a week of treatment and running in my old Sun Dragons, the race went fine! I chose the sun dragon’s then because they have a higher heel lift than anything else I’m wearing right now, and that helped to alleviate the AT strain. However, the Sun Dragon’s have large rips in the uppers on both shoes, so I’m a bit worried about them. But I used some gorilla tape to hopefully hold them together, and that is what I plan on going with Saturday:
I took these out for an easy ~3 mile run, and it is obvious the tape won’t last 40 miles through Uhwarrie in the rain. There are multiple stream crossings without bridges, rocks, mud, etc. But if the tape holds the upper together just long enough, I’ll be happy. Besides, I’ll have a spare pair of shoes at the 20 mile turn around in my drop bag. Most likely that shoe will be a Solamon XA Comp.
Other gear will be a Nathan handheld bottle holder, though not with the Nathan bottle that came with it. That bottle leaks like crazy! I’ll also have a waist pack on that holds a bottle and a little fuel.
In addition to spare shoes in the drop bag, I’ll have additional fuel (see below), an extra pair of socks in case I need to change, and a head light. Lights are required past a certain time, and I doubt I’ll need it.. But just in case. I’d hate to get pulled from the course because I thought I’d be faster than I really am! And even if I’m having a bad day, I’ll want to finish if at all possible. I’ll have to decide at the turn around whether to grab the light or not.
As far as fuel, I’m going to follow the same strategy as last year and get 90% + calories from Perpetuem. I’ll have four 20-24 oz sports bottles with 4 scoops each, or about 600 calories in each bottle of Perp ready to go. Two will be in the drop bag to be picked up at 20 miles, and I’ll start with two. One in the waist pack will be without water — I’ll fill it at one of the aid stations when I need it. The one in the hand held will start full, and I’ll add water to it at each check point, slowly diluting it as I go. I’ll carry a gel and a few cliff shots for each 20 miles. I’ll have a bar or cookie in the drop bag, but I’m not sure I’ll eat it yet. There’s also plenty of food along the route at the aid stations, but I typically stay away from all of it.
The last thing is clothing. With conditions of 28-52F and rain, I still haven’t decided. Anything above 40 and I’d rather go with under armor 7″ compression shorts underneath running shorts instead of my 3/4 merino wool tights, which I reserve for colder temps. But with the rain, I’m not so sure. This may be a game time decision. If I go without the tights I’ll use the 2XU calf compression sleeves. For a shirt, I’ll use a 200 weight icebreaker merino wool shirt. Probably a long sleeve zip shirt, but maybe a short sleeve. Or maybe the short sleeve under the long. Again, a game time decision. It really depends on the rain. I’ll bring a Marmot Precip Rain shell, but again, may or may not use it. I’m going to keep this part flexible. 🙂 I’ll wear my traditional blue and yellow (Florida Coast to Coast) buff as a hat and some fleece gloves, at least at the start.
Oh, and body glide in all the right places.
And that’s it. What else is needed for 40 miles? If I’m missing anything, let me know.
If you have compression shorts under the tights then you can ditch the tights without scaring the children.
Have fun, Sean!
I *really* hope they are wrong about the rain, Sean. It would certainly suck to blow out a shoe in the rain, miles from a replacement. Think you could squeeze your Runamocs into your waist bag, just as an emergency fall back?
The waist pack holds a bottle easily in a bottle pouch, and then there is a tiny little pouch. Getting a gel and cliff shot in there is about all that I can do!
I’m not too worried about them blowing out. The upper’s are ripped across the top, but not terribly so. They’ve lasted an awfully long time, and I’m pretty sure they’ll get me through this race too.