What I ate and drank during the Keys 100.
One thing I have learned doing ultras, is that you have to constantly refuel yourself, and you would be shocked at what the stomach can tolerate while the body is performing. Since the race started at 6:35 for me and I always try to eat something prior to an ultra, I woke up at 4:30 to eat a waffle. Plenty of time to digest. Even though it was cool and overcast to begin the race, I wanted to make sure to stay hydrated. 20 minutes prior to start, I took a pack of Gatorade Gatorlytes. I always do this before starting an ultra. Like during my prior ultras, I tried to stick to a schedule of taking a gel (my favorite brand is Hüma) every hour and 15 minutes. During the cool hours, I took an Endurolytes Extreme electrolyte cap by Hammer every 2 hours. This particular type is supposed to be more potent than their other capsules so I would not need to take them as often.
Around mile 10 I had some pretzel M&Ms. Mile 20 a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Mile 30 the aid station had these awesome new potato’s covered in salt, it was the best thing ever. I ate a lot of fruit at these stops as well, bananas and oranges. Mile 40 I had some more fruit and pretzels and a swig of Mountain Dew. Mile 50 fruit and sweet potato chips and another new potato covered in salt from the aid station. At this point of the race, every 5 miles or so I took swigs of Mountain Dew. On the 7 mile bridge at mile 53, I took both water bottles, one of which was filled with a GU electrolyte drink tablet. When I got across the bridge to Mile 60, it was actually cold from being exposed to the high winds at that time of night. They had soup at that aid station but I just stuck to some more fruit and another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Mile 63 around midnight is when I drank a Starbucks Doubleshot, and after fasting from coffee for a month and a half, it did its job. I would HIGHLY recommend fasting from coffee at least a month prior to a 100 or over night race, so that during the night when you need to stay alert and awake, the caffeine you consume will hit you like a grenade to the face. Mile 70 I had some more oranges and a banana, and that was the last time I ate oranges because my wife fed all the rest to the key deer wandering around the car. Mile 76 I drank a shot of NoDoze, its similar to those 5 Hour Energy shot drinks, and it had the same effect. I was wired. Mile 75 at the check in aid station I ate the grilled cheese sandwich of destiny, it was seriously amazing. Back when I ran my first 50 Mile race, at mile 42 I ate a grilled cheese with bacon and I swear that is the only reason I finished strong. Mile 80 to 90 I stuck to just water and gel since I was really picking up my pace and barely was stopping long enough to eat much. While I ran some great miles and was storing time in the bank, this may have come back to haunt me later. Mile 90 I had a swig of Mountain Dew and a banana and pressed on. By the time I hit Mile 95 it was hotter than hell and I could definitely tell I was going to blow up. I just tried to constantly hydrate and cool down with my ice bandanas and keep moving forward. I didn’t eat consume anything the rest of the race except water and electrolyte caps. I was really out of it. Luckily I was close enough to the end to just keep crawling forward and finish.
I guess since the only part of the race I really “struggled” with was those last 5 miles, I wish I had kept up with the fueling the last 20 or so miles so I could have avoided that collapse. I did eat a lot during this race, and at no point did I ever feel nauseous or have stomach aches or cramps. Of course it was battle every step of the way and I fought through the exhaustion and fatigue you would expect from a 100 mile race in South Florida during the month of May, but there was absolutely no doubts about myself or causes for concern until those last 4 miles, and like I said, by then I was so close I was not to be denied.
All of the snacks and food that my wife had for me was neatly organized into its own tupperware container and labeled. We had two coolers, one for water and anything needing to stay cool, and one cooler just filled with ice water that she used to wet the bandanas and hand towels that she used to wipe me down when I was turning into a hot sticky mess. She used the ice cubes in this cooler to put into plastic backs that were placed inside my bandanas. All of my gels and electrolyte caps were in their own plastic bag. Your crew needs to stay as organized as possible so aid stops go smoothly and their is no chaos looking for things that you will need. If I ever asked for anything, it was there almost instantly because of how organized we were.
I hope I didn’t leave anything out, it has been about 2 weeks and a few days since the race so of course there may be a few minor things I snacked on that I am leaving out. Hope all of this helps, there were a lot of things at the aid stations that I hadn’t tried before and I tend to stay away from anything new in the middle of a race if what I have going seems to be working fine.