Gearing Up For A 50k Run in China

Curious about EXACTLY what gear I use for a 50k running race? Well here it is! This is the EXACT list of things I will be wearing/using during the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k in Beijing, China.

Watch – Timex GPS Global Trainer. After the craziness is said and done,  I want to share with you the course profile, my pace, my heart rate, and other fun data from the race. Out on course I’ll be able to see how far until the next aid station (they tell us the distance between) as well as how long the next climb is.

Clothing – Sugoi Turbo Singlet – Timex branded of course. And to hold in my thunder thighs – Sugoi Piston 200 shorts. The compression of the shorts will help lessen the fatigue on my legs over the 31 mile race. And for the footsies, I have a pair of Timex branded Wigwam socks.

Glasses – Rudy Project Ability. These things are light weight, don’t slip around on your face, and give amazing coverage without any blind spots.

Anti Chafe – SBR TriSlide to keep my thighs from rubbing together and starting a forest fire.

Hydration – The Nathan Quickdraw Plus for water and the Nathan Sprint for PowerBar Perform sports drink. I like to have a bit more water, so that I can pour it on my head as I run. I can easily refill both at each aid station. The Quickdraw also has a little pocket where I can bring an emergency PowerBar Gel. Eating is key during a race that is as long as this one!

Shoes – Saucony Peregrine. With only a 4mm heal to toe drop, these trails shoes feel very “minimalistic.” There are no rock plates, torsion control, air/gel cushioning, just a few millimeters of higher density foam. They are thick enough to protect from those sharp, pointy, bone bruising rocks, yet still pliable enough to allow for me to feel the ground below me. The upper is durable, yet unrestrictive.

Camera – Go Pro camera with chest strap to capture the excitement along the way.



If At First You Don’t Succeed… Tri, Tri again

The first two races of the year yielded two less than stellar results. I had such high hopes after a solid three months of base training, but unfortunately our trip to France had a rather negative affect on my fitness level.

At both Vegas and Waco, I felt as if I just couldn’t get into 5th gear. I was stuck in 4th and there was no way to shift into race mode. I was going hard, but without the proper training to back it up, the performance on the day was rather lackluster. Its pretty obvious if you check out the heart rate profiles from each of the races.

Heart Rate from XTERRA West Champs in Las Vegas

Heart Rate from XTERRA South Central Champs in Waco

I was wearing my new Timex Race Trainer Pro during both races. It has a funky new ergonomic design that I have to admit takes a bit of getting used to with the feel. But after a week or so, I can’t believe how awesome this watch is! By moving the screen to the side of your wrist it is incredibly easy to see. You wouldn’t think that it would make that much of a difference, but it does! Whether its riding and running on the roads or on the trails, that screen is sooooo much easier to read than a traditional watch.

At Vegas I did have to take on the course with only the big ring up front on the bike (front derailleur broke). And after a rather brisk swim (you wouldn’t think the water in Las Vegas would be that cold), I struggled to get things moving on the bike. I was quite frustrated that it took me a whole lap to catch Mel. She and I rode into T2 together and in a flash I was onto the run. I was able to put together a decent run split relative to the other guys, but far from what I know I am capable of. This is one of the disappointments that has motivated me. Finishing 19th was rather embarrassing and I don’t want that to happen again.

Waco was similar to Vegas in that, I hit the “Go Baby Button” and nothing happened. The week prior, I had had a respectable swim (for a slow fat kid) and was proud that all the hard work done with Grant at Rally had paid off. But this race didn’t have the same results in the water. I was minutes off the pace I had set just 7 days earlier and the entire 1500 meters, I struggled to “feel” my stroke. Not one to let a slow swim get to me, I took off on the bike with hopes of using my technical abilities to maintain a respectable finishing place. That wasn’t so much the case. Once again, the lack of fitness was apparent, especially when Cody passed me after fixing a flat and he rode away from me like I was standing still. Frowny face. Big frowny face 🙁 I did produce another exceptionally mediocre run split to cross the line just in time to not get chicked. 14th place isn’t as bad as 19th, but both are a far reach from my potential.

With all the disappointments said and done, Shelby and I ended our trip to France early to remedy our unsatisfactory situation. Now she is able to focus on work, get in lots of trail runs with Bella (her fav), and not have to put up with the smokers and rude people. And I am able to get on a solid training schedule, get much needed sessions at LifeSport Chiropractic and Alta Physical Therapies, and have a solid group of athletes to swim with in hopes of no longer being 5 minutes down from the leaders out of the water. I am excited to prepare for the XTERRA Pacific and Southeast Championships in the coming weeks and move up in the rankings.

We are both very excited about being back in Boulder and I am reminded of why I love it so much. It just sucks that it took a bad trip to France to figure that out. Lesson learned!