This year I felt 1000 times better than last year's race in the mud. But there were a few things I felt could have made me a smidge better:
1. Running Hills: Calves got a bit sore even though I've been running. So I would walk flat-footed up the hills to stretch the calf muscles. Next year perhaps do more hill sprints or extended hikes up steep grades.
2. Practice pits: Took a bit long (sometimes socializing) at the aid stations. Next year I could practice my routine: 1. filling bottles (then topping off with a squirt of the Infinit concentrate), 2. pop some Enduralites, 3. lube chain, 4. quick stretch.
3. THE SECRET WEAPON BOTTLE! I borrowed an idea from my teammate Brian. He creates a bottle of thick Infinit "gel". I did it this year but here's how I could execute this idea better: after measuring the quantity of servings I need in the bottle, use a marker and some math to make tick marks on the side of the CLEAR bottle so I can see how much I am squirting out.
4. Even more core work. I felt strong this year, but I think I could have used even more all-around strength.
5. Recover more! Too much rising going into the event tapped me out.
How I fared physically:
Core & Back: My back did not get sore until about the 8th hour, the Pilates and weight I did helped. Although I feel I could have done more, I felt a smidge hunched over and would prefer to keep less weight off the hands.
Neck: Sore, was it from the wreck? Looking up?
Arms: Triceps got a little tired late in the race, need to beef up the guns!
Feet: New shoes really helped, worked on my pedal stroke (I could have worked a bit more on it) to keep me from mashing.
Hands: I should have bought some gloves, although my hands felt way better than last year. A sore started to develop on top of my palms. Using Ritchie grips, I've tried Ergons and either my hands go numb or they don't—it doesn't matter what kind of grip. Weird huh?
1 bottle of Infinit (custom mix) per hour, 1 gel every 2 hours (GU Chocolate Mint and Blueberry Pomegranate Roctanes), Hammer Anti-Fatigue caps and extra water at Aid Stations. The Secret Weapon Bottle had 5 servings of Infinit in it, I could put even more in next year.
Aid Station 1: Refilled my 2 bottles with the gel bottle, Gu shot, Anti-Fatigue caps, stretched and lubed...
Aid Station 2: Spent way too much time trying to find a bandage, but I got a lot of water and made sure I topped off my nutrition.
Aid Station 3: Refilled all three bottles, the gel bottle had just enough to serve as a third bottle for the 28 miles between the Aid Stations. Really socialized waaaay too long.
• We got some extra Gatoraid at the top of a climb in the woods
Aid Station 4: 3 baggies of Infinit and a couple more gels were waiting for me. Mixed up the last of my bottles. I was sure this would last me the rest of my race and it did!
Aid Station 5: Filled 1 bottle with water for insurance, but it wasn't needed...
Aid Station 6: Skipped it!