Friday, March 29, 2013

7 Lessons from Our First Ultra: Lessons 2 & 3

by Matt Gray

Mile 28: Remember that tight feeling in my legs from Mile 23?  Well, as I complete lap 15, the pain is still there, and it's even more intense.

"Your calves and your quads are tight? Are they cramping?" Todd Carpenter asks with both compassion and concern.  I nod.

Todd is an ultra-distance bicyclists (I'm talking 508 miles through Death Valley and the Mojave Desert of California in 30 hours), so I trust whatever advice he's about to give me.
And I couldn't be happier that he and his wife, Bonnie, (who crews for him on his long rides), have joined our team to help us through the race. Along with their son, Finn, cheering, "Go Matt! Go Matt! Go Matt!" every time I pass our station, their assistance becomes instrumental to my crossing of the finish line.

"There's nothing in this,"  Todd states, holding a package of my electrolyte mix. "You're dehydrated."

Our crew reacts quickly and puts together a water bottle with Endurolytes from Hammer.  And yes, that's an unpaid product placement . . . over the next 14 miles, I'll catch back-up, and then try to stay ahead of my hydration.  Without Todd's advice, and his tried and true use of this drink mix, I'm confident I would have bonked out at mile 35.

Lesson 2: Fueling and hydration during a race, matter as much as training before a race.  Buy good products, test them out, consume wisely, and take care of your body.

Lesson 3:  A knowledgeable crew, willing to go the extra mile for you, can get you through some of the toughest sections of a run.  My parents, Lindsay, the Carpenters, Juniper, and Margaret were instrumental to my success. I can't thank them enough.

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