Happy Friday friends! We made it to the weekend! I *think* we will be backpacking tomorrow night, but still deciding (ha, nothing like waiting until the last minute!...). What are you up to this weekend?!? I have an 8 mile run to do, but otherwise I'm cutting back for my 50k (one week from tomorrow eeeeek)! I've switched my original plan of my ultra to have a time goal (because let's face it, running UP a ski mountain is REALLY hard), to just having fun, enjoying the experience and finishing! Any ultra runners out there have any advice for a first-timer?
I wanted to share with you some of the products that were absolutely necessary for my MS Run The US Relay.
These items I was SO thankful to have throughout my 175 mile journey:
- Two pairs of sunglasses. Goodr sunglasses were perfect and if I couldn't find one pair, I had the second one there are a back-up.
- Oofos Recovery Sandals for post-run recovery. I couldn't tell you how many times when I was running that I looked forward to slipping my feet into my sandals.
- Buff neck gaiter. I had never used a Buff before this relay, but I had read a bloggers article about the 'must haves' for running an ultra and a buff was on there. This seriously was amazing to keep my neck protected from the sun, as well as it kept me cooler and helped wick away sweat.
- 3 pairs of sneakers. I had 3 pairs of Brooks Ghosts and switched them halfway through my run each day. My feet IMMEDIATELY felt relief and often I found myself having an extra little pep-in-my-step after slipping into a new pair. Additionally, two pairs of socks for each day (AT LEAST). When I switched my shoes, I would also switch my socks. Sometimes, I'd go to compression socks and other times it would just be nice to go to something that wasn't sweaty or had some extra cushioning (really nice to have a few extra plush pairs of socks for those later days in the relay when your feet are killing you).
- Some type of windbreaker/ all-weather jacket. I LOVED my merrell 1/4 zip windbreaker/ waterproof jacket. It's actually discontinued, but you can find something similar HERE. It kept me visible in the fog, but also had me feeling prepared if a rain storm where to come out of nowhere.
- Ultimate Direction Hydration Vest. I really loved this vest, EXCEPT that mine was a bit too large (so it actually rubbed against my neck and created this lovely hickey-looking scar that is STILL faintly there). Some type of hydration vest is needed.
- Some type of small iPod Shuffle/ Nano/ similar product. Although my iPod Nano didn't have bluetooth, it really saved me (and my phone battery so I could take more photos). Plus it was nice to go from listening to music on it, to my phone for a podcast and then back.
- Two Hats. I brought along my Honey Stinger Trucker hat, as well as my Boston Red Sox visor. It was so great to have the option of what I wanted to wear each morning and also gave me a break from wearing the same thing every day.
- Some type of light top layer. When it was expected to be in the 90s in Denver on Day #6, I was so thankful for my Oiselle Flyout Shirt. It provided UV protection and felt so light that I didn't even realize it was there! Also kept my shoulder protected from the sun, unlike a typical tank top would do.
- Gels/any recovery items if you're specific. The relay ended up not having a full supply of Honey Stinger gels (they got restocked at the beginning of my segment, but didn't unpack them yet) and they only had some Hammer Gels (I've never tried those). I'm really hesitant to try new things when I'm running long, so I was SO glad that I brought along (and had Alex drop more off halfway through my relay segment) some Honey Stinger gels with caffeine. I also brought along my own Tart Cherry Extract (it's pretty expensive), which I would take after running to help aid in recovery and reduce inflammation. I felt slightly bad about bringing my own things, but looking back- I shouldn't have. If it will help me with my run, then there's no reason not to break it out.
- Icy Hot & Lotion. My feet really started to get torn up in the later days of the segment, so lotion was sooo nice to have. I'd put some lotion on, then some icy hot all over my feet and calves, then my compression socks before taking a nap in the afternoons. I also always do this after I race to help aid in recovery (plus it feels amazing).
- Inspiring book to read. I read Scott Jurek's book during my relay and I remember drawing on some of the things I learned while out on the run each day. It was also just a nice break later in the afternoon to look forward to reading something I really enjoyed.
What are you up to this weekend?!
Any ultra runners out there have any advice?!
Favorite must-have products when running long?