16 September 2014

The mighty YT50: Pickle juice & bear spray

As I read through the YT50 race director's preparation emails and the website race page information, I found a few gems:

 - We have to tell you to carry bear spray for your own safety.
 - All racers, crew and staff must display courtesy, good taste, decorum, and sportsmanship at all times. Nudity is specifically not allowed, especially in a snowstorm.
 - Don't pet the buffaloes.
 - Watch out for cows on the road.
- All runners must move forward on the course under their own power without any additional assistance. This includes drafting, the use of any type of trekking pole or walking stick, or any other form of physical assistance from another person or mechanical device. (Soooooo.....the roller blades are out?)

I also get to wear a whole outfit of "glow gear" - because a glo-belt will not suffice for scaring off bears, apparently - which consists of two flashing lights, one front and one back, and a full reflective vest. And you thought the Marine base PT rules were strict! (Here's the full list of rules and regulations.)

I am excited for the race, and I have to say, grateful that I am only running 50 miles of it. I don't think my legs are quite ready for 100 miles, especially at altitude. Below is the course overview, winding through a portion of the Targhee-Caribou National Forest, through some farmland and into Driggs, ID. The 50-miler starts just below 6000' MSL and ends just about 6000' MSL (not AGL, mind you, for all you pilots out there), dipping back down to around 5200' MSL early on, like mile 8, and then I get to steadily climb back up.  Thankfully, while there are three rated climbs on my run, they are only 4s and 5s - whew!
(Click to enlarge)
I am selecting what to pack for food along the way as well as which racing gear to bring. I have my GU Chomps, Stinger Waffles (now in ginger!), and my electrolyte capsules, which I'll pack, but most of my distance race food doesn't come in packages. Pickle juice will be obtained in Jackson Hole, as will the potatoes, chicken broth and rice, and stuff for mac'n'cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches.  I like the Bolt Farms soy protein smoothies and the Sweet Leaf's Mint & Honey iced tea in addition to water. I am sure that some of the hydration drinks that I used to drink back in the day as a triathlete have been greatly improved upon and probably worth trying again, but I just haven't found myself able to stomach the gritty feel and the chemically taste, even with some of the "natural" ones. (I am open to suggestions if anyone has something they love.)

What else for the gear list? K-tape, IcyHot, hand-held H2O bottle, running visor, sunscreen, shades, my rolling stick, ibuprofen, compression calf sleeves and recovery socks and running gear to take me from the low 70s to the low 40s (if I end up taking a REALLY long time to finish). And lip balm, totally key. I really dislike when my lips feel dry while I'm running.

Weird, I know, add it to the list.

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