This article is sponsored by Gu Energy.
Going in to the San Francisco North Face Endurance Challenge, my excitement was bubbling over. I was overly enthusiastic about the beautiful terrain, amazing weather, seeing some friendly faces and the potentiality of overcoming a nagging issue in my racing. Using a new tool soon to be released by GU, I was better educated on my nutritional needs, taking into account my previous lack of integration of Amino Acids in my race nutrition.
My plan for San Francisco was to maintain a 9:00 to 9:30 min/mile pace, finishing in between 7:30 and 8 hours. Of course, I was verbally telling folks I was hoping to finish between 8 and 9 hours, so as to provide some buffer finish time. This handicap was not enough for what the day had in store for me.
After consulting with experts at GU, and with the new nutrition planning tool, I felt very confident also in my plan to meet the calorie, amino acid, electrolyte and hydration needs. Assuming roughly an 8 hour finish time, I was planning to consume roughly 2900 calories, 4120mg electrolytes, 24700 mg of amino acids and 240 oz of fluids. Being comfortable with the use of Roctane Energy Gels, I anticipated using 9 gels, in conjunction with 6 Roctane Electrolyte Capsules and 6 servings of Roctane Energy Drink.
As the day started out, I was feeling very comfortable and confident with how my race was going. The first 20 miles went as expected. I came into Tennessee Valley at 1:30 into the race, Muir Beach at 2:14 and Cardiac just around 3:15. However, as we went into McKennan Gulch, my wheels came undone.
As the wheels were coming off, I was surprised to see that my stomach and nutrition had gone immaculately well. Despite my inability to follow instructions (just ask my wife) I had followed the plan to a T. I was not experiencing any nausea or fatigue. My energy levels were up to par, and I was feeling good.
All except the cramping in my legs.
From this point on, my race digressed to a cramp filled jog. What I had forgotten to include in my training was the most simple component – mileage. Despite having a long history of ultras and doing a few training runs, I was not prepped for racing.
What ensued was a long and tumultuous adventure in the woods. Taking 3 hours longer than anticipated, I enjoyed (almost) every moment of the race. The company was great, the scenery amazing and the nutrition plan spot on.
Thanks to GU and TNF, I had an amazing day on the trails in San Francisco. While my nutrition plan was adequately prepared for, my life circumstances had regrettably not prepared me for the racing I had desired to have.