Friday, October 18, 2013


So I never talked about what I did about hydration and food throughout the Brunswick Brawl.  Fortunately there were spots throughout the course where eating and drinking was pretty easy, so after the first lap I had a system down as to where I would eat and drink on each lap.

My plan was to drink 1 bottle per lap and eat one bar per lap.   Prior to the start of the race I ate a Clif Bar and drank some of my first bottle.  I previously mentioned that I felt a little dehydrated coming into Wilmington Friday night.... and I did nothing to remedy that.  I continued to do nothing to remedy that prior to the race, because that is the smart thing to do and all...

As I made it back to the dirt road at the end of lap one I had only gotten through half of a bottle, so I downed the rest of it on the dirt road to the pit.  My original plan was to start with two bottles so I would not have to stop to pick up a bottle until lap 3.  With my seat post issues I had to stop after the first lap so Annie offered me up another bottle each time I stopped - so it ended up that I always had two bottles with me.

As I got out for my second lap it was time to start eating.  I found a winding section where I was able to eat and ride, where speed or handling wouldn't be affected by my eating.  Eating was a bit of a chore to be honest.  I was able to do it each lap (except my 6th lap - I skipped it) but by the fourth lap I wasn't happy about eating.  The bars themselves were fine.  I'd had them on a ride before and enjoyed them... but lap after lap eating the same thing at the same spot became a bit monotonous.  This being my first 6 hour and I didn't know how my body would react I just pushed forward and kept downing the bars.  Looking back, I'm not sure they were providing enough calories per lap - but I never really felt hungry.  I think on lap 5 (maybe) I did have the thought of real food... but by the end of the race I "knew" I was hungry, but didn't really want to think about eating at that point.

Drinking became easier with each lap as I was able to identify better the short sections I'd be able to get my bottle out to drink and get it back safely before a turn.  There was some nice straight sections about halfway through where we jumped on a road for a quick bit and then back into the trail for a longer straight up/down/up section where drinking was easy.  By the third lap I was able to finish the lap with some left in the bottle, but down it easily before reaching the pit.

I did supplement everything with mustard as well.  I think it was after lap 2 that I downed one packet of mustard as a preemptive strike on cramps.  I started feeling the cramps in my calves start up in the third lap, and as I discussed they were killing me in the fourth.  I can't remember if I had another packet after the third lap, or just as I was laying on the ground in the pit that I had another one.  In any case I do recall that they helped, and for the majority of the lap my legs felt good, it was just every lap right before fence line the cramps started to show up.  Perhaps I should have had mustard then and there on the trail, but those little packets might have been a challenge to open while riding... then again, maybe not, I didn't try.

So, where did the cramps come from?

First, I do not think I started hydrated, so I think I was constantly trying to play catch up with hydrating - which isn't the way to go while exerting yourself out on the trail.

Secondly, I haven't ridden that long/far on the mountain bike before - so I don't think my legs would have been pleased with me had I been super hydrated anyway... I think it was bound to happen with just the level of demand I was putting into my legs.  Drinking Osmo and sneaking mustard seemed to battle my cramps - but unless I wanted to add an Osmo/mustard shake in per lap I don't know what else I could have done.

I will continue to mess around with food on the trail.  I still haven't played with some of the cool recipes that are posted on the Osmo site, but I want to try some of those options for nutrition while riding.  Having completed a 6 hour I do feel a bit better about where I need to be for the Snake Creek Gap series coming up in a few months.  Certainly the course will be a bit more demanding with 5+ thousand feet of climbing compared to the 900 something I did over 6 hours.  But at least now I have a sense of what my body is going to be doing after being in the saddle for so long.  I'm hoping that the Snake will take me a bit less than 6 hours - but this will be another endeavor that I go into more as a personal challenge and less of a race.  Plus, I just want that cool ass belt buckle!

1 comment:

  1. I almost puked my keyboard when you were for reals about mustard, at least follow it with a dog....