Wednesday, March 17, 2010

T Minus Four Days

The planning is done. All that’s left is the execution. Four more days of taper. Then it will be back to life as it should be.

Speaking of taper, I’m keeping my running light this week:

  • Tuesday: 30 minute tempo run. (Done. 3.3 miles).
  • Thursday: 3 miles. Stretching.
  • Saturday: 2 miles with Cal Coast.

That will add to last week’s cutback of 26 miles. My legs should be fresh on Sunday. Everything felt pretty good during yesterday’s quick tempo run. Taper is going quite well!

I wanted to thank everyone for all the comments and ideas of the last few days. Anyone who doubts the value of blogging – send them my way! Just the ability to share ideas makes every minute I spend here worth it! I thought I would share a few answers and ideas today:

  • AZ and Brian asked about my normal race day breakfast. Ha ha ha! If you are new to my blog, my “normal” race day breakfast is a gooey apple fritter. Yum! The heavenly mix of carbohydrates and sugar eaten about 30 minutes before a race is guaranteed to deliver a sugar high at the start line.The problem this time is that 2:30 AM thing. Sorry. No Dunkin’ Donuts here on the West Coast. Most donut shops are small mom and pops and don’t stay open 24 hours. That doesn’t mean I won’t try. I’ll drive past the local donut shop in search of my sugary gooiness, but I’ll pack the bagel just in case.
  • Jeri mentions that there is good chance that she’ll still be out when I’m rising and she would send a virtual shout to me. Jer – you realize that’s like 4:30 AM your time. Man. I’m hanging with *your* friends if I ever make it to the Dakotas!
  • Tea Time mentioned her challenge of fumbling for the Endurolyte capsules on the run. Here’s an idea. Go get some blue painter’s tape and tape the capsules to your gel packets. Then, to get to your capsules, just grab a gel packet! Works like a charm. Here are some before, during and after pictures:


  • Steel Springs asked about my choice of gel flavors. I’ve sampled many gels and fueling options and have pretty much settled on Hammer Gel. It’s consistency is a little more liquid, which means it goes down a lot smoother. I’ve pretty much settled on three flavors – Apple Cinnamon (nice and tart), Tropical (sweet and tart) and Espresso (bitter for the latter stages of a race when sweet is not so appetizing). The latter two are also spiked with caffeine (Tropical – 25 mg, Espresso – 50 mg). And as Jill mentions – even if the pick me up is mental – any little bit in the latter stages of a race helps!
  • A final note about sodium intake. Some were a little surprised about the link between sodium intake and fatigue/cramping. I’m still trying to get my hands around this as well. I’ve spent a little time doing research and can’t find anything that unequivocally shows the link between sodium and cramping. There are some studies that claim the reduction in sodium (Na+) affects the ability of nerves to communicate with muscles, thereby allowing them to contract uncontrollably. Other studies say that that is poppycock – that our bodies store about 80g of sodium and is very effective at regulating sodium levels. But, one good piece of information came in yesterday from my friend Lori (an ultra runner) - “one of the interesting things was that the difference in the 100K runners(the DNFers, myself included) and the 100M finishers was the amount of sodium ingested. The finishers consumed alot more than the non finishers.” There you go. Real world data.
  • Speaking about sodium, Brian pointed out that each gel also includes sodium. I had ignored that earlier. So, with my 6 Enduolytes and 2 gels every hour, my sodium uptake will be about 350 mg per hour. That’s closer to the 500 mg per hour suggested.

Thanks again everyone! Just a couple more runs to go until my victory lap!


  1. The value of blogging. The first half of my running career, I did not blog. Since October of last year, I started, and have found it to be very rewarding. I have had many of questions answered and a lot of advise thrown my way (that you cant find in RW magazine. lol) It is awesome to get the feedback from runners who run. Best wishes Glenn!

  2. Thanks for the painter's tape idea Glenn! Will this still work if I carry my Gu's in a fannypack-like thing? Also, will the Gu packets stick together? What if my fannypack gets wet, will the pills dissolve? I wish I would have tried this at least once during a long run. I am kinda nervous to try it now. I will do some research in the next couple of days to see if they make a pouch like wrist holder.

  3. I'm going to ask Elsie (ex hs biology teacher) about the sodium thing. In addition to being my "phone-a-friend" cuz she's the smartest person I know, she also explains all these science-type, human biology/chemistry related things so that I can understand them.

  4. ummmm....time zones..excellent point. :D Also, I'll be doing 20 miler #1, so to be honest, I'll be lucky if I see 9pm on Saturday night. Although every once in a while I might see 4:30am....I wouldn't put it past me... :p

    I'm getting so excited for your race!!! :)

  5. Glenn -- I can scout out some 24-hour doughnut shops in my neck of the woods, if you think it'd help. Worst-case scenario -- there are a bunch of Ralph's right off the 405.

  6. Ah! I just love your blog. Thanks for the tips. What a great idea with the painters tape! I had a long dicussion with my coach this morning about electrolyte tablets. I never really considered them, but he warned me about San Diego and the potential heat issues once the sun comes out. Such great info to have. Thanks for passing along that real world experience, too!

    Four days! Whoohoooo!

  7. Hi Glenn,
    That was so good to read!! I agree that blogging is priceless! Everyone has so much information, advice and knowledge to share:) What, no Dunkin' Donuts! Well thank goodness for gooey apple fritters:) Happy St. Patty's Day!

  8. Cramping and sodium is a direct impact on my body. I take S!caps, little caplets that I pop about every hour. 1-2 if it's chilly and I'm not sweating a lot, 2-3 if I am sweating.

    It's all going to be good, Glenn! All good!!!!!! :)

  9. Here is a good article on Sweat and Sodium by Andy Baldwin, good info.

    Looking forward to's gonna be fun!

  10. Have a great week, Glenn! Sounds like your are more than prepared and are in a great frame of mind. I think you are going to have a fantastic race this weekend. All the best to you!

  11. ohh i just happened to stop by on a very good day! this was an excellent post, full of great information!

  12. So I have been a little busy lately and haven't been able to comment and I am sorry.

    I hope you are feeling ready for your race! I know that you are ready because I have been reading and you will do great! Enjoy that 2:30am wake up call this weekend!

  13. I don't get the cramping and sodium thing either...I'll be curious to hear about what you learn! Nice, easy week for you and you deserve it!

  14. "back to life as it should be" ... which is??? 'cause i'm not entirely sure myself :)

    think an apple cinnamon gel could sub for the fritter on race morning? jk, not even close i'm sure. why don't you get the fritter the night before? who said you had to get it morning-of?

    you are prepared glenn!

  15. Good lord, I'm BEHIND on blogs. Can't wait to hear how you think enduralite did. I've been looking into the possibility of taking some of that when the PHX heat really kicks up