Saturday's run on the Wonderland Trail was by far the longest I had ever been out on the trails without any sort of external aid. I learned a few things about what I am going to need to carry with me in order to make those sorts of long runs a little more manageable!
Whenever I have a long run to do, I figure in my head how many hours it will take then pack 200 calories per hour. Preferably more, because you just never know!
Here's what I packed:
I threw one more pack of fig bars in there, too.
This was a total of roughly 1500 calories. Originally I guessed the run would take us 4-5 hours, so 800-1000 calories. It took us almost 7. Now, I did have enough food for 7 hours, luckily I packed more than I thought I would need-- you just never know! Or rather, I could have known if I had asked a few more questions before the run, because the gals I was with might have known how long it would take. I ended up eating about 900 calories. This shocked me when I added up my empty wrappers at the end because I legitimately felt like I was eating a lot. Fortunately I never once felt like I had low energy, so it all worked out. Also? Those Oreos were a pretty awesome idea.
I give myself an A+ for variety of types of food (ie not all gummies and gels like at Sun Mountain!), but man, all of that sugar got old well before I was done running. I started seriously craving a turkey and cheese sandwich about 3/4 of the way in. Will be trying to figure out how to incorporate more savory snacks in to my arsenal. Just not exactly sure what that would look like! Wendy had salami and cheese in her pack, which sounds amazing, though I am wee bit leary of un-refrigerated cheese. Now my gears are turning, how could I efficiently pack food that needs to be kept cold?
I also had salt packets with me, which were simply leftover in my pack from Sun Mountain. I did swallow one about half way through the run, just to be safe.
My pack carries 1.5L of water. This wasn't anywhere near enough for the run. Fortunately all three women I was with had a water filter and I borrowed one to add a bit, probably about .25L to my pack just before the half way mark. At that point I still wasn't exactly sure how much longer we would be out there. I made an effort to conserve water and ran out before the end, as well. My headache the next day told me I was definitely a bit dehydrated. On Sunday I bought the same water filter my friends had, as it was small and easy to use. They had the Sawyer Mini. Now I have a Sawyer Mini! Such a copy-cat.
Can't wait to use this! Except mine is pink. Because pink is awesome.
Of course, the idea of carrying MORE food and MORE water and MORE gear made me really want a bigger running pack. I absolutely adore my Ultra Vesta, and it had served me well for the past almost year I have had it-- but I think that a seven hour unsupported run is about it's limit. One drawback is a bigger pack full of more stuff = more weight and can potentially be more uncomfortable. Bigger packs with a larger water bladder also means $$$. Not cheap at all!
This is all food for thought as I expand my running horizons. Would hate to have something as simple as the wrong gear keep me from being able to participate in, or succeed at, a new adventure!