since i’ve gotten into long-distance running (about a year ago), i’ve been pushing my limits and figuring out how far i can
actually go. a good friend of mine, fly, is a major running guru (the dude runs 100-mile ultras) and has taken me under his wing and shown me “the way”. needless to say, i am forever indebted to him. anyway…he invited me to join him on a super intense 50-mile trail run through the john muir wilderness. of course i accepted. my first thought was, “holy shit, i’m really gonna do this thing” and my second thought was, “what the hell am i gonna eat to prepare?” we would be joined by another of fly’s running guru buddies and another newbie to ultra running (like me!). the plan was to arrive in bishop, california during the early afternoon hours, hang out, set up camp, nap for a couple of hours, and then don our headlamps and hit the trail at ten o’clock at night. i can’t even describe my excitement. would i be able to hang? after all, the furthest i’d ever run was about 30 miles…i knew i would need to fuel up the whole day leading up to the run, as well as during the run and i did not want to be a weak link. when you’re that far out in the backcountry, you depend on your buddies…if one person “blew up” (a running term meaning some part of your body is preventing you from finishing a run) then we would all have to stop and figure out how to get everyone safely back to a trailhead and get help. i also always feel a bit under the microscope because i’m a vegan long-distance runner…i definitely wanted to prove i could hang. so, during the down time i ate an incredible, easy recipe from this amazing website. right before the run i guzzled this smoothie, from scott jurek’s new book. during the run i ate gu’s and then switched to bean energy bars. (lucky for me, other vegan athletes out there have developed smoothies and energy bar recipes and have been kind enough to share!) so did i finish the run you ask? you bet your sweet ass i did. and, in the end, it turned out to be 56 miles. which gives me extra street cred, for sure. running such a long distance, which involved 23 hours of straight running (that’s how long most 100-mile runs take) is an insane experience. and the terrain we were running in was gnarly and unforgiving, but possessed unsurpassed beauty. hallucinations, experiencing every possible emotion, and extreme fatigue pretty much sums up my experience while running. however at the end of the run, while sitting in my tent, eating salsa and chips, drinking a cold-ass beer, and reflecting on my experience, i felt enlightened, clear-headed, and like i could take on the world…anybody up for another 50-miler?