April 3, 2014
This is, perhaps, the least appetizing sports nutrition product I've yet seen. Were this the only thing at an aid station, and I mired deep in the throes of a massive bonk, I would choose to prolong my fast, or perhaps to gnaw some grass chosen from near the trail.
Indeed, I did not eat anything at last year's Heartland 50 for the first 16 miles, since the preceding aid station had no food I wanted, and I opted to carry nothing during the race. At 16 miles, however, I could receive some figs (fresh, not dried) from my Dad, which had been sent by my Mom (of her own accord, not at my request), knowing them to be among my favorite foods, and dense with sugar.
Several things to unpack there, and then extrapolate a bit:
1) Even at 25, and in the midst of an ultra, I'm far more sure of my parents to take care of me than I would be any other crew. This is with reason, I suppose.
2) I don't plan my nutrition at all, nor do I practice it. I've not eaten on any training runs in a couple years, nor have I carried water (though I will plan stops to drink at fountains, sinks, etc.). At races, I basically stick to fruit and soda/juice. Simple things I know my stomach can handle, and that I find appetizing. None of this is ideal, almost certainly, or even smart, probably. But I don't like carrying things, so here we are.
3) As a positive result, I do bonk rather gracefully. Thus in my experiment of one, and without empirical analysis, I conclude that one can in fact become an efficient fat burner without eating a low carb diet. To say nothing of the East African/Japanese mastery of the marathon, and the grain heavy diets eaten by those runners, but I digress.
4) I'm still not eating a goddamn wafer while running.
A word on potential fall plans, now that my spring target is but a week away:
1) I'm growing increasingly curious about the 24-hour "distance".
2) Aside from bonking gracefully, I tolerate boredom rather well.
3) I do not, however, stay on trail easily. So a short loop would be ideal for a long race.
4) Moreover, unlike a 100, I wouldn't have to carry water or calories.
5) I've written here and discussed with others in person that I don't consider myself ready to race a 100. If I'm being honest, that is more fear than modesty speaking. But a 24-hour race is not that exactly, though I would hope to exceed that 100 miles, hypothetically. Simply put, in a go-as-you-please event, there are no DNFs. And that appeals greatly my admitted cowardice.
6) A toilet every mile or so.
7) Company with which to run, regardless of field size or pace.
8) No goddamn sports wafers. I hope.