|In transition at CP A. Photo by Suzanna Renner.|
I really wanted to do this race with my 10L pack/vest. It's small, light, and has tons of pockets for snacks. I pinned my number on it Friday night and started stuffing it with everything I would need for the race. Everything fit (since I wasn't carrying any team gear) but it was a tight squeeze. I talked things over with Doug and he agreed to carry shoes or anything else I had extra during the race. Thanks, teammate! But, the more I looked at the tightly-packed vest, the most I started second-guessing myself, and finally made an eleventh-hour switch back to my normal AR pack, a 24L GoLite that evidently isn't in production anymore. This was the right decision. The extra roominess of my 24L pack helped speed up our TAs because I could take care of my own gear, including shoes. The boys were already carrying enough extra stuff (paddles and team mandatory gear) and I was pleased to be just a little self-sufficient.
|The boys' packs are much larger than mine.|
I have been training lately in an Alpine Shop favorite, the Brooks Cascadia trail shoe. This shoe is a little less aggressive than the Salomon Speedcrosses I wore at the SHITR, but still plenty of tread and a really supportive last for the longer races. I brought both pairs of shoes with me to LBL and, much like the pack situation, found myself staring at them on Friday night unable to make a decision. The Speedcrosses were great over shorter, on-trail distances but I was concerned that longer off-trail treks might hurt my feet. But, I didn't have any frame of reference for the Cascadias since my longest run in them had been 90ish minutes. I eventually solved the dilemma by using visualization. I took a few quiet moments to picture myself running through the woods on the way to a CP with my teammates. I visualized the terrain and then pressed pause to "look" down at my feet. They were wearing the Speedcrosses. So that's what I raced in and they were excellent.
|Speedcrosses tucked safely in my pack. Photo from CP B, the canoe take-out.|
I usually target 250 calories/hour when packing for ARs, but end up eating only 175-200 cal/hr. Not at LBL - I ate almost everything I brought. This was a combination of Probars, Snickers (regular and peanut butter), peanut butter crackers, Nutter Butters, Oreos, CarboRocket, EFS Liquid Shot, Clif and Honey Stinger gels, beef jerky, turkey and cheese sandwiches, Coke, and Honey Stinger protein bars. As you can see I favor variety. I shared a lot of this food with my teammates, and they shared stuff with me (nutty bars, yogurt-covered pretzels, sour cherry balls, Reese's crunchy bars, etc). I think it's important to offer your food to your teammates because it reminds everyone to keep eating, especially the navigator who is often more preoccupied with the map than food. And, sometimes the best food is the stuff you didn't even bring.
|Pre-race shopping binge.|