What NOT to DO during your first 100 Miler { my DO's and NOT to DO's }

As I sit here in bed, not running,

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I keep a notepad next to me so I can write down all of the thoughts, pains, aches, and epiphanies as they come flowing in.

Today marks 2 weeks 5 days exactly since I came running across the finish line of my first 100 miler, that is 19 entire days without running… 

I know that everyone’s first 100 miler is very different, but as I prepared for mine, I found it helped to squeeze every piece of advice and helpful info out of all my accomplished 100 miler friends.. 

For all of you who are in that phase now, before your 100 to come, the following is for you! 

We will start with the what NOT to do’s, and then I will conclude with the what TO do’s.

 

WHAT NOT TO DO:


Don’t put your only headlamp in a drop bag at mile 55

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Keep a headlamp with you always, from the start.. or at least put it in a drop bag well before it should get dark… think hard about this and actually do the math to see what time that is (yea we fucked this one up bad, what a rookie mistake!)


DO NOT Stretch your quad mid-race..

 my knee 2 days after.. SO swollen! 

my knee 2 days after.. SO swollen! 

 if you cannot grab your foot easily…  at mile 30ish I did after struggling to grab my foot, pulled I guess too hard for what my tendons could handle at that time and strained/pulled/loosened the tendons and ligaments around my knee.. I did not notice the seriousness of this until after the race when my knee swelled up the size of a grapefruit! So now I know not to do this and be really careful while stretching in my next big race. I am still not running due to that damn knee! 


Don’t eat 4 PB&J’s + pretzels + banana + oranges + weird electrolyte water all together at the first major aid station..

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or two… you don't need that much food! I was regretting this decision about 20 minutes later as I suffered the worst stomach issues I have ever had! I probably should have just ate less, and maybe stuck to foods I usually eat while running. ...................................which leads me to my next point


Don’t think that just because it is a 100 miler and the pace is slower that you can eat all sorts of things you would never normally eat during running..

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enough said.. it just doesn't work.. for me at least. It is still a run, and my body still didn't like lots of food during running. I was and am seriously bummed about this one, and am really jealous of all those people who can eat anything during races!!! Gwen!!!


Don’t count down miles from 100.. start the count down at mile 50 for your sanity! 


Don’ go out Fast!

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In fact go out slower than you regularly would run a race, keep that slow and steady pace until the last 20 miles, then if you feel good at mile 80 you can pick it up, and if you are feeling really good at mile 90 you can really go for it. This is where you are going to pass people, at this point.. this is where it actually matters!

  • Gwen always says that if you pass people in the first half and go fast… it is all worthless (most of the time) because you won’t be able to sustain that for 100 miles, and at some point you will slow down.. and then they will all pass you and beat you. Rather do the opposite, start slow and then pass them at the end!

Don’t panic if you feel horrible at mile 15..

you have 85 more miles to get used to it! Hahahah.. but really, don’t panic.. in fact it is better to get it out of the way early.. You probably will feel horrible at one point in the race, so consider it a blessing if it happens at mile 15 like it did for me. It was a really low low point and I thought it was over, but I just walked until I felt better and then it was gone for the rest of the race!


Don’t be that annoying runner who is trying to pass everyone on single track at mile 10..in mid-pack..

Your middle of the pack so just accept it and wait for a wide spot to pass without being a fucking-idiot. 


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WHAT TO DO:

Do try to have a fellow nutcase runner (of similar fitness) sign up for the 100 with you so you have someone to run with the entire way!

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Make sure you like them a lot, and preferably that they are a better runner than you so they won’t slow you down.. but rather that you will slow them down.. make sure they love you a lot and that they do not ditch you. This really really helped me in so many ways..THANKS GWEN! If you don’t have this luxury, see my next point. (Gwen wants me to tell you, that if you do have this option, make sure you know you can only use this credit once.. once you use it, it is over.. lol).


Do have a PACER, or two, or three!

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Take this seriously, as I did not really think it mattered but it matters so freaking much! Especially if your running alone, have a pacer for the nighttime hours for sure. Having someone run in front of you at night, to light the way, chat with you, and to spare you mental energy so you don't have to be the one searching for course markings and worrying about staying on course! They can do all that for you, and at mile 65 when you are cold, tiered as fuck and delirious, this really can make a huge difference! We had one pacer from mile 55-71 and it was so amazing, he ran in front of both of us and gave us the energy we needed to continue through the night. We wish we had another one for the remaining miles but we had each other.


Do try to have a support crew!

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This can be family or friends and they do not have to be runners (all though that probably helps). Our crew were our best friends Lacy and Jan (owners of Happy Campers Gluten Free Bread) and it was so so helpful to have them there! They took care of the car after we started, they drove along the course to scream at us and bring us treats and clothes, and they were there at the finish to drive us home and prepare food for us. It is sure nice to have such support, and the race would have been different without them. 


Do pack warm clothes, really warm clothes, much warmer than you think you will need

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- for those night time hours. Running that far your body temperature drops a lot, so you will be cold even if it is warm out. Carry a light weight jacket with you always but then in the night-time drop bags have hat/gloves/tights/long-sleeve-shirt. We used all these things!


Do prepare to be pretty much out of commission right after your finish, for a while..

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don’t drive or do anything demanding.. heck I couldn't even get myself a plate of hash browns - my crew had to get me it because I couldn't get up from the chair once I sat down.

I also couldn't drive that entire day - so plan to be out. (Gwen was very different, he could have driven and was walking around fine).


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Do use poles!

Of course practice with them before hand, and assume that you will want them on the second half even if it is pretty flat. We used them on uphill to power-hike but we also used them on the flats and downhill to stabilize us (because at that point we were so tiered it helped to have the extra support).

We picked up our poles at mile 71, and I really think they saved my legs and saved my body lots of energy overall! 

We use the Leiki Micro Trail poles and LOVE THEM!

They are expensive but a good investment

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Do LUBE up your toes and butt from the START!

We use small tubes of vasaline on our toes because it is cheap and we use a lot of it!

Yea its weird but it will save your feet and your butt. literally… Use vaseline under your socks, directly on your toes so they are really slippery, and under the undies directly on your crack (yes, it is necessary). This keeps the friction and rubbing down, preventing blisters and chaffing right from the beginning. We should have done this from the start but we didn’t think it would be necessary until about mile 30, but by then it was too late, the hot-spots had all ready started.. so just play it safe and lube from the gun! 

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(Gwen wants to throw in an extra tip- he tapes his toes sometimes and for this one decided to tape only 2 toes on each foot, and the other toes got blisters.. so he says to tape all of your toes or none of your toes- not half.. I think tapping is a bad idea anyway and your safer just using vaseline, tape usually creates strange rubbing on the edges!)


Do drink the hot vegetable broth...

they serve at the aid-stations at night! It is full of salt, warms you up and is a good way to get in water during the second half!


Do eat oranges and watermelon!!!

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if you are having trouble stomaching solid food. These fruits are full of water, electrolytes and some calories to get something in.. better than nothing and they really do not upset the stomach! Super easy to digest. (Oranges, Watermelon and Gels are the only thing I ate for the last 75 miles, and they saved me).


Do make our special energy-bites :)

 And eat them if possible during the race.

I could not eat anything solid for my first 100, but for Gwen’s first 100 they were the food that saved his race, he couldn't keep any calories down except these little guys, probably because of the ginger and turmeric in them! 


Well guys, That is all I got for now..

If you have not seen the race video, here it is, watch it, share it, and learn from it!

but i would LOVE to add in your DO's and DON'T's so please COMMENT BELOW AND I WILL ADD  THEM TO THIS LIST

Love you guys,

Katie