Tomorrow I will be embark on my third Vibram Hong Kong 100 journey (and my sixth 100 km ultra)! It will be a very different experience this time, and one I’m very excited about: I’m running it with my boyfriend. As he stood amongst a heap of plastic bags, energy bars and other equipment last night looking seriously befuddled, I realised that not only do I have race prep down pat, I also have a bit of a routine I’m fond of when it comes to ultras. It’s strange and awesome so, naturally, I thought I’d share.
Here are three things I can’t live without when running an ultra.
1. Ridiculous racing nails
Right now my ten fingers are painted shades of electric pink (fun!) and gold (go fast!), and two of them are decorated with lightening bolts (energy, woo!) When I ran the CCC last year I had gold nails, stars and love hearts. When I ran The North Face 100 Australia I had more lightening bolts and pink nails. No, I’m not a fan of Hello Kitty but, yes, I think we’ve spotted a trend.
Perhaps it’s just some weird little habit that I developed while living in Asia (encouraged by my wonderful friend Jane), but to be honest, when you’re running your 70th-odd kilometre with 30-odd kilometres to go and you look down at your nails all shimmering in their obnoxious glory, you can’t help but laugh. And when it comes to ultra running, it’s either laugh or cry. I’ll pick laughter every time.
2. Green Juice
A few years ago I did my first ever juice detox at the Genie Juicery. Not only was the whole process incredibly beneficial for my body, I also found it helped my running. Ever since, I’ve got into the habit of doing a cleanse in the weeks leading up to an ultra, or at least supplementing my diet with green juices, especially the week before. This time has been no different, and I’ve been sucking down the green goodness like there’s no tomorrow. The best part? I love their bottles and I always use them for my runs too, as they’re a great fit to carry in the little holders at the front of my bag! (Check out the photo above!)
Confession: I am potato-powered during ultras. Whenever I sign up for an ultra, I always make sure I commit some wonderful soul to making hot baked potatoes so I can chow them down on the run. For the last two years, my wonderful friend Anna has been doing it for me on the Vibram run (last year while pregnant with baby number three, this year with baby number three in tow)! Thank you Anna and family!
Which I guess takes me to the fourth thing I can’t live without: friends and family. I’ve been inundated with calls and messages wishing me good luck today. Our friend, Andre Blumberg, is coming to support us tomorrow and will spend the whole day following us around tirelessly and making sure we have everything we need (and making sure the Boyfriend makes it over the finish, which I know he will!).
When everything hurts, when you no longer have the will to go on and feel like giving up, it’s that passion, love and support that ultimately takes you forward and to the finish.
So, when planning your next ultra (apart from the nails, juices and potatoes) don’t forget to involve your friends and loved ones too!