I wore Injinji trail socks the whole race,
a fantastic Skirt Sports Marathon Chick skirt that was so soft I didn't ever feel it. Zero chaffing or rubbing from it all day and night. Love the no center seam on the liner.
Wore a Smartwool seamless bra and
Gore Magnitude singlet. First time wearing it which isn't always smart, but it was soft and comfortable.
Shoe wise I will never trade a foot shaped toe box. I wore the Altra Lone Peak 2.0 that releases this summer. Just a great shoe. Regular cushion, good fit, great traction. Slightly more cushion (like 2mm more) and nice aggressive lugs. Had it not been just a little too short for me I would have run the whole race in it. Very nice! Went great with the Altra gaiters I used too. My feet were definitely cleaner for the 50 miles I had the Lone Peaks on. The second half of a the race I wore the new Altra Paradigm, a light weight, max cushion road shoe with good traction. I had it half a size up because I wanted room for swelling and it was divine, perfect to have that extra room. While not a trail specific shoe, I never slipped, rolled or anything, I was very happy with it. The extra cushion really did feel heavenly as I headed down that 3 mile long downhill after Pink Cliffs and over the rest of the course. My feet never hurt during the race! That is BIG for me. They have always ached badly after both my 100ks.
I wore an Ultraspire Spry pack for most of the race. Holds 30oz of water and surprisingly more in the small elastic back bladder pouch than I expected. Plenty of room up front. A simple lighter vest that got me through several hour gaps just fine. It is one size and was a little wide on my shoulders so I took a small zip tie, and secured it around the top center back fabric I bunched together. Problem solved.
Used my Ultraspire Quantum belt for 20 miles, also no complaints. Holds enough water for me to go 90 minutes and that front zip pocket really can hold a lot. The whole thing doesn't bounce though, that's what I love.
At Proctor at mile 82 when I knew I'd be slowing down and taking longer I changed into my Nathan Vaporshape vest. I've always found this vest comfortable and it's my go to longer run vest.
Nutrition wise I used Vfuel gels every 30 minutes until mile 50 with the exception of a sample size Larabar or something similar a few times instead just to break it up. Love Vfuel and the fact that it was on the course! I had most of it in drop bags ready to resupply my pack with but would grab one at every aid station too. Never worried about what flavor I grabbed, they're all good and they all go down well. After mile 50 I sprinkled in a few higher caffeinated Gu's, peach fruit cup, few handfuls of boiled potatoes, watermelon, and my fair share of soda for my stomach. While my stomach got mad at the end, I think it hung in there a long time (75 miles) without complaint.
I dosed both of the bladders I'd be carrying before we started then carried a pocket flask of Elete with me and used that to add electrolytes to my water (I do 1 capful/20oz of water on average). I still consumed a few Gu salts here and there, but it was nice knowing that most of what I needed was in my water, especially those last 3 hours when I couldn't take anything in but water. I really like Elete. Easy to take in, works for me, and is a mental edge knowing I'm always feeding my body what it wants. I have always used it in the 3 days leading up to a race, in everything I drink, but I liked using it during too and will continue to do so.
What I did well:
Ran smart. Didn't get caught up in competition at all even when those around me brought up what place I was in or told me to go catch someone. Didn't get into that until really mile 90 at its peak.
Ran easy. I kept the idea of an easy trot in my head all day. It worked, my legs were never fried.
Survived without aching feet! Was really worried about this, I attribute a lot to the Paradigm I wore
Always kept moving. I recall being worried about being sucked into aid stations, especially at night before I started this race. Wasn't a problem, I did what I needed to do but was in and out fast. And then even when I resorted to walking at the end, other than my few stops to sit down at my lowest point, I was always walking, moving forward, often walking fast.
Stayed on top of nutrition and hydration. Cannot slack here. Watch went off every 30 minutes and I obeyed. I drank at least every 30 but typically more, on demand.
Thought of landmarks, the next thing to come, that's good for me.
Waited till halfway to turn my music on. Could have waited longer
Brought a couple brush ups disposable tooth brushes. After so many gels my mouth started feeling gross. It was surprisingly refreshing to use those.
Carried my split sheet. Works for me where GPS doesn't (I hate looking down and being reminded I've only been .4 miles) and I liked having a very simple sentence about each section on there (3 big climbs up, big descent before AS, etc). Also was good to list any specific instructions for an aid station. It was on a 3x5 piece of paper in a zip lock bag I could just roll and tuck away.
Didn't carry my phone or camera. For me, it's too much distraction. If I was there simply to enjoy the course being able to take pictures is nice.
What I could improve:
Don't change packs. Didn't really need to since I was comfortable. Not the biggest deal though.
Stay cool at night. Carry arms warmers maybe near sunset, but don't pull out the big guns long sleeve and jacket until at least midnight. Was warmer than I thought I would be and it was uncomfortable being too warm in my clothes.
For me it seems I must have a pacer and be willing to sleep at an aid station if I want a less miserable night experience. I am very proud to have done it alone and survived, but I imagine it could definitely be more enjoyable with someone to help me and 20 minutes of sleep at an aid station where I can stay warm, safe, and be woken up.
On a similar note, I bet hanging out at aid stations for even a minute or two longer than I did, taking them more casually is enjoyable. Maybe not as fast, but enjoying the race as an experience vs just a race is something for me to evaluate. The pressure of performing from myself gets to me though. I'm sure there is a balance. I always thanked the volunteers, but there were times it looked like would have been nice to sit down and hang out and eat.
I will need to figure that last 25 stomach thing out. Wouldn't mind taking in more real food during the race as sit went down fine at the Zion Traverse I did last month. Maybe solid food first 50 would allow gels in second 50?
Could have used trekking poles after Blubber. Not that it was super technical but they could have helped on the ups, could have kept me moving smoother maybe, and worst case scenario are protection :)
Smile at the finish no matter what! For goodness sakes at least it's over and you can sit down :) Drives me nuts when I don't do this because the whole reason I'm out there is the experience as a whole is fun. Smile!