Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
I got by, for sure, and it was high up in the mountains of Virginia a week ago when I completed my first 100K at the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC). It was by far the most climbing I have encountered during a race.
At UROC, there was 11,000 feet of gain and an equal amount of loss. For comparison my previous races have included the Big Turtle 50-miler (8,000 feet of gain and an equal amount of loss), the Leadville Marathon (6,100 up and down), the Bel Monte 50K (4,954 of gain and loss), the Chattanooga 50-miler (3,300 up and 3,405 down), the American River 50-miler (3,592 feet of gain and 2,752 of loss) and others with far less elevation change.
While UROC’s unrelenting hills and rocks posed a challenge, I was pleased to cross the finish line in just under 15.5 hours. I found it difficult to properly prepare for the hills since I live in the flatlands of Indiana. However, thanks to my coach Steven Waldon of Marathon Training Academy, my mileage was at all-time highs during February through April.
I am thankful for his coaching, as well as the support displayed by my family members, friends and the running community itself. I am also grateful for the various brands that I have been working with.
Before I agree to work with a brand I test their product or service to make sure it is something that is beneficial to me. I believe in each of the brands noted below and encourage you to check them out. Feel free to contact me with any questions about any of them.
Thanks to my support network that helped me achieve my 100K goal, including:
Coros Global: You want a watch with amazing battery life? Then check out the options by Coros Global. My Coros Apex had 61 percent battery life remaining after UROC when it was tracking me through the mountains for roughly 15 ½ hours.
I have found Coros watches to be less expensive than other brands and simple to use. I have not had to look up the instructions even once. Check out their website and use code CAP-Howard to receive a free watch band ($30 value) with any watch. You must add both the watch and the band into the cart and apply the code at checkout to redeem the promotion.
Inside Tracker: For several years, I have had bloodwork analyzed by the experts at Inside Tracker. Not only do they provide analysis of more than three dozen biomarkers, Inside Tracker creates customized recommendations for you. I have used this data and recommendations to improve my once-deficient Vitamin D score, for example.
InsideTracker offers a variety of packages on analyzing your blood results and providing personalized recommendations so you can improve your health. Get 15 percent off with this link.
Honey Stinger: I am a big fan of the gluten-free waffles and gels from Honey Stinger. They are easy to digest and eat on the run. I have tried other gels but none worked well with my gut. During UROC, I had six of the waffles and two gels, along with aid station food and other nutrition. I use Honey Stingers in my daily training as well, regularly grabbing one in the morning as I head out on my run or to the YMCA for cross-training. The 120-calorie boost is all I need to have a productive workout.
During May, Honey Stinger is having a special 20 percent discount on its gluten-free products in honor of Celiac Awareness Month.
UltrAspire: I used several UltrAspire products during training, including a vest, hat and water bottle. The Alpha vest suits me well. It comes with two good-sized water bottles that kept me hydrated during two nearly 12-mile stretches without an aid station during UROC. In addition to the bottles, there are pockets for keys, nutrition and other necessities.
I was able to fit a rain jacket, extra shirt, a pair of socks and a headlamp in the back compartment without it feeling weighed down or bulky. I also had a pair of UltrAspire arm sleeves in the back, which I ended up not needing. But for my next big race, a summer 8-hour event, I know that I will put those to good use as a way to ice down and cool off.
Prevail Botanicals: As I pounded out the mileage during my build-up to UROC, recovery was critically important. I used Prevail’s CBD salves daily to speed my recovery. I prefer the salves to oral options, which I have also tried. They are safe, of course. Learn more about what makes Prevail a great resource for endurance athletes and safer than NSAIDs. Use code HENRY20 for 20 percent off your order.
Run Rabbit: Before the race, the weather forecast had called for showers throughout the day and temperatures in the 50s and low 60s. Fortunately, the rain was off and on, and actually cooled us off. I wore a Rabbit shirt throughout the race and it worked perfectly. I’m no expert when it comes to clothing but the shirt’s softness, fit and comfort were exactly what I needed. Use my special code to get 10 percent off your order.
Squirrel’s Nut Butter: I have been using the anti-chafing salve since I started doing longer races. Once again SNB prevented any blisters from ruining my day. I applied the salve to places where the combination of skin, heat and wetness might create an issue. I also used SNB’s Happy Toes on my feet. I did not experience any blisters once again.
Hammer Nutrition: For recovery, I have used Hammer’s Tissue Rejuvenator for years, as well as their amino acid products after long workouts. Tissue Recovery helps promote muscle recovery and repair. Hammer also offers a variety of other products to help you before, during and after workouts and races. Another favorite of mine is the protein and snack bars, which come in a variety of options including gluten-free and vegan. In fact, I munched on one after UROC.
First-time Hammer Nutrition shoppers get a nice discount off their first order. Use my code 239185 at Hammer's website.