‘A Life In A Day.’ A 100-mile footrace is often referred as this. You have good times. You have challenging times. Things go smoothly. Things go awry. Ultra endurance endeavours are a terrific vehicle to fast track the introspective learning process of oneself.
What do you do when your best laid plans go astray? How do you respond?
I had a nutrition strategy for Saturday but after the first energy gel, I knew it wasn’t going to work. My stomach just wouldn’t settle and if you’ve ever tried running when your stomach is a tad off, you know what an unpleasant and off putting experience it can be.
The heat soared as the miles ticked by. At times, even water was causing my stomach to turn. The only way I could settle my stomach was by not consuming any liquid. The occasional bite of an energy bar seemed to be okay.
All well and good; but in a race where I’d likely burn 12,000+ calories and lose around 19 litres of sweat, I knew I needed to at least get some nutrition and hydration down me as soon as possible and consistently as the miles passed.
‘Adapt, Improvise and Overcome’
I always run with the U.S. Marine Corps motto at the forefront of my mind. It serves as a mantra, a means to settle the mind and to process the issue, and respond in a rational manner to overcome the problem as best I can.
The aid stations throughout the course were stocked with everything from roast potatoes, rice pudding, homemade brownies, various cakes, energy gels, fruit, sandwiches, wraps, sweets - to Nicola’s surprise and dad’s delight.
Rather than remain rigid and continue with a failing plan, I adapted and simply ate whatever appealed to me at aid stations. Real food seemed to relieve some of the issues, and whatever I craved, I indulgently lapped up. Fresh fruit, particularly watermelon seemed to be the winner for the most part.
I was gradually able to start taking on board more fluids too, and what could have completely derailed my race, slowly but surely was taken care of.
‘Adapt, Improvise and Overcome’. If it helps during a life in a day, I’m sure it can help for days in our lives.
Steps 👣 + Smiles 🤗
Keep #Smilinggg 💛