I’m off to the Big Sky state for the holiday weekend, but a big congrats to the winner of Guess My Time: Grand Teton, scoring themselves a pair of La Sportiva Sandstone GTX hiking shoes. Though I feel pressured to put up fast times for these contests, I’m still having fun with it and thanks to La Sportiva for they’re generous donations.
For those that don’t do this sort of thing, it can be both physically and mentally challenging to truly stay focused once you push the start button on your watch at the trailhead. Both your mind and body go through different feelings and experiences when you are going hard and feeling good, slightly gripped on icy slabs above large exposure, or in the weeds and trying to recover. Sometimes…when you’re high on the mountain, low on blood sugar, and dehydrated…you really can feel out of it. Sometimes it feels good…other times it’s a little weird. The one thing I know is, I’ll be back for more.
Just a quick back story on the run up the GT. I started just before 10am and sweated like a fiend until the wind started to evaporate it above the Lower Saddle. Though I know people who can do better, my abilities only allow me to run to the Meadows, above that...I mostly power hike and run shorter sections because the trail gets more technical, steeper and rocky. Big quads...but short legs. 🙂 I feel I need to improve this aspect of the mission if I ever REALLY want to get my time down more. As it was though, I came within three minutes of my car-to-summit PR, of which I think one could easily account towards shooting video and the icy and crowded conditions on the OS. So...I was happy with that.
Though I was feeling good...physically, I think I went kinda slow on the descent at the top. It's been a couple year's since I've done the OS and the first time I've done the "cat-walk" section, so...blah...blah...blah. Through the middle, I really thought I might still be able to break my PR if I hammered it below the Lower Saddle. Things were going well, but my inner quads started to cramp up down by the Valley Trail junction...and it became more of a mission to just break 5 hours.
I'd say I probably didn't drink or eat enough...hence the cramping. I drank about 70oz of Nuun, had 3 GUs and 1.5 packs of Chomps. 2 more GUs and more water would have helped. I was pretty dizzy and queasy at the end, and a beard of salt encrusted my cheeks. I drank and drank (recovery drink/RedBull/water/beer) that afternoon and night...and never peed. I hobbled for two days.
Nice job Steve. The video is nice way to document that effort. Not surprising you cratered a bit at the end looking at your caloric intake. Of course, everyone is different but most endurance geeks would consider 300 calories/hr the minimum intake. With a 5 hour effort that’s at least 1500 calories. Take off a few hundred if you ate close to the start. Even with that, you only had 435 calories on the day. My stomach is growling at the thought!
Sounds like your fluid load was a little light like you said. Three liters would have been better. Your electrolyte intake was probably good with all the Nuun. I would guess the cramping was as much training, or lack there of, as nutritional. 7,000 verts down is way more punishment than you probably have been experiencing on a regular basis. That is trainable. Either way, way to suffer through it.
Awesome, Steve! I’d be happy to do it in half that time. About the cramping, I’ve been having a lot of luck with the Hammer Endurolite tablets. The Nuun alone wasn’t doing the trick for me during more intense all-day events, but the Endurolites have helped a lot. I hope I’m right because I’ll need good legs tomorrow for the Eight Hours of Labor mountain bike race in Butte.
On another note, why do you think the Vimeo format does not work on my computer? I have no problem with youtube videos. I’ve got super fast DSL and a modern apple computer, but the Vimeo does not work.
Pray for snow!
Day hike/run on the Grand? Beyond nearly everyone….great effort Steve!
We’ve been trying Sportlegs this summer for cramping and they do seem to help, but it’s metabolism-specific I think.
I have no training tips for you, just wanted to say nice going 🙂
And thanks for the tips and analysis everybody. I used to take Sportlegs/Endurolytes when I was training for ultra-marathons, but tend to try to keep things more simple these days. But maybe those extra steps are what are needed to really step things up.
Colin…what browser are you using when you can’t see the VIMEO videos…and does the whole page load up…or does it get stuck after the video?
You do have some entertainer qualities (apart from the obvious athletic capabilities). Nice vid!
Thanks Rob. From my end…I feel like I look like such a dork in the vids.
Ha! I had one of those “Oh my God, I’m such a dork” moments of self-realisation this week. The patrol supervisor was doing some video analysis of our skiing – and I thought I was stylin’ it but of course I looked anything but!