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Ask ANYTHING: CCC100 Edition

My Cascade Crest 100 recap took several days, 4,227 words, and many, many beers to write and I still don’t feel like I scratched the surface of the race.

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Like, how did I not mention that I probably consumed an entire pound of bacon before Mile 50?

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Or that I had a collective 23 miles logged on all four pairs of the shoes that my crew lugged around, yet managed to escape without a single blister.

Or that one of the biggest hurdles to jump in the second half of the race was when Chris needed TP, started our second fight of the day over my lack of spare wiping material, and resorted to a damp, discarded Subway wrapper? (1) Ew. 2) Sorry for outing you to the world wide web, CG. 3) Thanks for leaving a trace, stranger. 4) If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, make sure to check your hydration pack before you introduce trash to your ass. You’ll probably find some TP.)

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Last year, I repeated what I did after my first (and only ironman) and opened up this digital floor to questions after I ran Pine to Palm. And then wrote a post that rivals the length of my CCC100 race recap answering all of them.

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Which was really, really fun. Not as much fun as actually running 100 miles, but still, a damn good time.

Since I got pretty distracted by training, and work, and blog hacking (yeah, that happened) in the days and weeks leading up to the race, there’s plenty of material covering that aforementioned training, and gearing, and actually running the 100 miler that never got chatted about on the internet. So let’s try this question and answer business again.

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Plus, it will give me something to do during the off season while my ass heals from trying to ride my bike for the first time in two years.

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Since there’s no such thing as TMI in running, especially ultras, hit me with your best shot. Fueling, training, pacing, finish line beering, running, pooping, stripping, snacking, gearing, what I plan to bribe the RD with to get in next year. It’s all on the table. Fire away, friends!

33 Responses to Ask ANYTHING: CCC100 Edition

  1. Where should a total ultra newbie look for training guides? It all seems so overwhelming!

  2. So when are we doing a 100 miler together? And which one are we doing? :) (tahoe? zion? the bear?)

    What were you able to improve upon the most from Pine2Palm? (there’s no substitute for experience with these things!)

    You should really consider Big Horn next June :)

  3. hey Emily, this sounds amazing!

    What did you end up wearing for the day? Did you change clothing? How did you avoid 25 hours of chafing?!

  4. Congrats on completing that epic race? I’m entering the lottery for next year….Is there anything that you would have done differently? It seems like you had a pretty successful day and placed rather high…Just finishing in that weather is WOW! What kind of advice would you offer to someone for next year? I am most terrified by that 5.5 mile hellacious stretch and the rope part….I am not the best descender, either….Steep descents are my major downfall but I have quite some time to work on that, I suppose.

  5. When can we drink together?

  6. Hi, I know barely anything about ultra running but I love to follow your adventures! I was wondering what you ate during the race and how you recover after the race? Do you take a week or more completely off or do you stay active?
    Great race report by the way :)

  7. I know you talk a lot about your long runs on the weekends, but what does your mileage typically look like during the week? And how much cross training/yoga/stretching do you think you do in conjunction with all your miles?

  8. I am in awe! Great recap and congrats!

    I have a few questions:

    1. Have you found that you recover quicker after a trail run vs. road running?
    2. Do you track your pace on your training runs and typically how much do you slow down based on ascents/descents?
    3. At night during the race (especially during the terrifying tunnel part), did you ever actually feel unsafe or are there enough runners around that it was fine?
    4. Any tips for solo trail running?

    Thanks!

  9. 1st of all- Congrats what an amazing accomplishment!!! I love your positivity about the race but I would like to know more about how your body held up over such a long race. Namely, your feet. Did you get blisters? Toenail issues? Any aches or pains? if so, what were they and how did you fight through?

    • Second the questions about toenails/feet, and also, since nobody else has asked yet . . . what do ultrarunners do about poop?

  10. How do you go about fueling during an ultra when not at aid stations? I’m new to trail running and still trying to figure out what works – I have a picky stomach and have a hard time getting enough calories in.

  11. A while back, you talked about the Maffetone-method. Have you used it in your preparations (lower heart rate, more fat for fuel)?

  12. What does base training look like for you going into 100 miler training? What felt like a solid week of training? Do you feel like any cross training (besides the yoga) would have helped your training, or just taken away from time could have spent running? Congrats!!

  13. how many ultra runners have tattoos? (not asking for a specific number, just wondering if they are more common in the ultra community then elsewhere)

  14. What comes after a 100 miler – are there 200 milers? Multi-day trails? What’s on your lifelong bucket list? Also – detergent secrets!

  15. I’m curious about the pacer-runner relationship. What if your pacer can’t keep up with you? Does this ever happen? What if your pacer needs to use the restroom, do you have to wait for him/her? How do you go about asking someone to run 20+ miles in the middle of the night with you at your pace with zero glory?

  16. EMILY I got to pace a good friend at Bighorn 100 for 38 miles. It was the best experience of my life and I just have to do it myself in ’16. What did you do differently after your first 100 training-wise, raceday-wise, ect?

  17. In your first 100 miler you talked about some of the lows of the race. In this one is sounds like it was all good all the time. Is that an accurate description? If not, what were the lows you experienced this time?

    **This sounds like a really negative question…like I want to hear your misery. That’s not the case, lolz. I’m just curious about this in addition to many of the questions asked before mine.

  18. Do you feel like you have to have a job that allows you to do things like lunch runs, etc? Training for this level of race seems so time consuming, especially if you have a corporate job with long hours! I feel as though I have barely enough time/sleep for marathon training and I’m definitely more in the “intermediate” category.

  19. The no blister on your feet part amazes me, especially with the rain. Did you do anything special to prevent this? What socks did you wear? Did you use moleskin? Any other tips? Also, what is your next race?

  20. Is it hard to get in to CCC? I live in the PNW and would LOVE to run it next year!!

  21. How do you plan to recover from this ultra (cross training, lower mileage, beering, etc.)?

  22. 1. What were the biggest surprises you encountered in this race? In particular, things that were different and unexpected compared to Pine to Palm.
    2. I do a fair bit of aid station volunteering. What was the most helpful thing that an aid station worker did for you in the race?
    3. Do you feel like 100 miles is your preferred distance at this point? Or do you like being able to run a 50 mi or 50k more aggressively and be done in time for dinner? (I think this question requires a fair bit of honesty with oneself. 100 miles is certainly the coolest answer, but it’s totally legit to prefer shorter distances, in my opinion.)

  23. I have to admit, I’m totally 100 miler curious. I’m not ready to tackle it myself as I still need to cross the 50 miler hurdle, but any tips you can give for progressing from 50ks on up would be great. I’m really getting into the 50k distance, but also know some day I would like to go farther. Also, compare and contrast your two 100 miler training cycles? What worked best or didn’t work?

  24. How do you make the jump from 50k to 50 to 100? I’m doing 50ks now and am itching to bump it up but am a little nervous about injury.

  25. Hi and congrats on a great race! I’d like to know if you had any time/ranking goals going into CC? And what ambitions do you have for your future in ultras? I ask because it seems like you have the potential to achieve podium finishes etc. Or are you more laid back and just running for fun these days?

    Thanks and btw you should come to Europe and do UTMB one year- it would blow your mind……

  26. So digging these posts. I’ve been tweaking a lot of nutrition stuff lately, so my question is what does the last few days before a 100 miler look like, food wise? Is it normal or different? Is it different than you would do for a shorter race?

  27. I’ve always wondered about the crew team. I heard somewhere that crewing for someone requires 100 percent unselfishness, so I’m wondering if you do anything to thank them? I was thinking in terms of buying a little gift or maybe covering the lodging, etc. What’s the general etiquette in the Ultra community?

  28. nice view :)

  29. Echoing some previous questions here…

    1. Are you still primarily training via HR/Maffetone Method? If yes, how’s it going, and if no, why not?
    2. What does a typical training week look like, structure-wise? Long runs on the weekend, but during the week…?
    3. What, and how much, were you eating to fuel your training for a 100? (I did a back-to-back 20 mile road/10 mile trail run this weekend and I can’t stop eating all of the things. Is there a hunger breaking point??)

    Congrats on an awesome race!

  30. Awesome job!
    Can you talk a little about mental fatigue and what, if anything, you do to work around it?
    Also, when you started running back to back long runs on the weekends, what did your mileage look like? Were both runs equally long or one shorter than the other? Were they both relatively easy paced?
    Thank you!
    ps…I think we went to college around the same time – I was midd 05?

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