Thursday, May 17, 2012

Body Fat Check, and Strategy Sheet for Jemez 50K Trail Race

A quick check-in to my blog before I leave tomorrow for the Jemez 50K race. Two things are going on:

1) I had my body fat analysis redone last night. I thought I had packed on a couple pounds after New Jersey Marathon with some junk food post-marathon "runger"-based eating. I wanted to see what the damage was. Well, my last test was April 4 where I was 19.3%. That equated to 29 pounds of fat.

So this time, while my weight was up a few pounds, my body fat came in almost a full percent lower at 18.5% of my body weight! How? Because I had actually gained some lean muscle mass in the last 50 days, a full 3 pounds of it.

This is a great mental boost going into race day on Saturday!

2) Jemez preparations have come along nicely. I'm a planner, and I took my experiences from my trail races so far and said, "What would I want to know out in the middle of a race?" And from this I made my strategy sheet.

I've learned through racing to turn off my auto-lap because the miles the GPS records aren't the most accurate, especially on a course with elevation. Then I hit the lap button at each aid station where I know from the race manual / website how far I've gone and can try to figure out what pace that represents with the limited carb-depleted math skills I have remaining.

And I hate trying to remember, "How far to the next aid station?" and "What's the elevation like coming up?" I'm out there on the course a LONG TIME so "go with the flow" just doesn't help me manage my energy level that well.

So here's my strategy sheet. I didn't make it into a strategy wristband as I have for other races (and PRed at other races with my band). I hole punched and will pin it to the front of my shorts so I can just angle it up and read it. Important notes to myself are in red.

Yes, it even has the elevation graph for a couple between aid station spots.
In the box, it shows how long that jaunt from aid station to aid station should have taken at different paces. So I should be able to lap my Garmin, see 1:48 at Mile 16.4 and say, "okay, that section took me 18 min/mi".

Here's the backside of the same card. Notice here that the last big aid station is 11 miles from the finish. The remaining two aid stations will have water and very limited food, and when your slow, limited food may mean no food by the time you get there. So I have a big note to not leave the aid station at mile 20.2 without filling the pockets of my pack with potato chips and cookies, HA!

So we'll see how well the strategy sheet works, but for a planner/analyzer/data junkie like me, it's never steered me wrong before!

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