Sunday, 6 June 2010

Picky Bugger - Reinventing the wheel...

What started out as a blog about food, has turned into something rather more contemplative. To be perfectly frank I've lost focus and it's taken a while for me to reach that conclusion.

I began 2010 with one goal and one race entry - the Highland Fling. Following the failure of that I randomly entered every race available in a misguided attempt to redeem myself. What has followed has been a serious of disasters and training runs that would make even Scott Jurek weep (well maybe not...). Having discussed my recent lack of success with other far more experienced runners, it's clear what's happening.
  1. I'm not an experienced runner. I've been in this game about 4 years and I'm trying to tackle much too soon. There's an assumption that by ultra training I've completed countless half and full marathons. Wrong. I've done 3 halfs and 1 marathon. As I say, not very experienced.
  2. I'm expecting too much of myself. I'm expecting to run well at shorter races just because I've done a lot of miles. Nope! I have to decide what my main goal is and concentrate on that. I can't expect to perform well at everything, particularly when a 5 mile road race comes 2 days after a 28mile training run!
  3. I don't have much reserve. At under 7 stone there's not much of me. I really need to sort out eating in both long training runs and races.
This morning I've been poring over the races I had planned for this year and decided to focus primarily on 2; the Clyde Stride and Loch Ness Marathon.  Difficult tough it is, it's goodbye to the Speyside Ultra and the River Ayr Challenge and the Fling 2 Backwards with my fellow DNF buddy and hello to sensible training and a few targeted races thrown in for purely training purposes and "fun".

Moving on to the issue of nutrition, there lies a problem.  I'm notoriously fussy.  Planning what to eat on an ultra is therefore as much a challenge as the race itself.  I've listened to and read shedloads of advice but I'm not really much further forward. I can't stomach gels, I hate ginger, I detest milkshake type stuff, I dislike honey and complan etc. makes me boak. I have just 6 weeks to fix this...
dying a death at the Strathallan 5 Road Race


  1. ah, this sounds too sensible. as someone with a very shallow learning curve i find just entering stuff and braking yourself is good training ;)

  2. You've had a tough year Lesley, you have my sympathy. You do seem to have stomach and nutrition problems and it's holding you back from realising your potential.

    If it's any consolation, I think getting nutrition right for ultras is tricky for everyone. There's often an element of luck on the day though as what you've used in training may not work on race day.

    I've moved away from sweet things as I find I grow to dislike them very quickly during long runs. Currently experimenting with snack sized pork pies. Not to everyone's taste I'd agree but they seem to work for me.

    Keep experimenting but above all, try little and often and don't wait for a couple of hours before starting to eat, have a little something well before you get hungry and then every 40 minutes to an hour, right from the start. Later on you may find it harder to eat but hopefully your fat metabolism will be well cranked up by then

    Good luck!

  3. Glad to hear you're keeping the Clyde Stride in your mix :-)

    Mrs Mac x

  4. Mmm pork pies, maybe worth a shot Tim! Cheers for the comments.
    Kate, sensible head lasted 2 days tops before I started filling in entry forms again. la la la.....
    Lee, really can't wait. I'm gonna make it to the end! And I'm not gonna spew once!!!

  5. I ate a couple of mini pork pies at the Cateran and my sister made me teensy, tiny sandwiches. It's really hard to find tasty things when you don't want to eat at all, but my staple is my pic'n'mix - a random mixture of soya rice cracker snacks, jelly babies and chocolate raisins - sweet yet savoury and it travels well. It's taken me almost 20 years to figure that I need to eat early and eat often but it seems to be working. Best of luck in the rest of your runs this year. I'll see you at the Stride.

  6. Oh, and Clif gel shot bloks aren't nearly as cloying or sickly as gels and you can eat them one block at a time. Worth a try.

  7. cheers for this karin. it's experimental time just now but hopefully it won't take 20 years! see you at the 7 hills!! :o)

  8. I have had a similar realisation this year (though for slightly different reasons) and I think it is a case of too much too soon. Once you get your 'issues' sorted you will be flying XX

  9. I agree, once the nutrition is sorted, then it all goes so much more smoothly. It took me about 7 or 8 marathons before I really found what worked best for me and didnae make my stomach heave!! You will get there and I'm looking forward to seeing that finishers smile at the Clyde Stride. :-)