My goal was to get two 50 mile runs and one 45 mile run before running Burning River. That would mean one 40 miler yesterday, a 45 miler just before I leave for China, my much anticipated 50 mile Great Wall run, and a final 50 miler in July before tapering. I set out at 5 AM yesterday with the goal of getting a solid 40 miles in before lunch and also testing the running gear that I am planning on taking to China. Unfortunately, some foot pain around mile 30 caused me to slow down significantly so I decided to call it quits 33 miles in at a time of just over 6 hours. I'm not sure what the foot thing is--it doesn't feel severe, but I don't want to create a more severe problem by pushing myself too hard. I still have some time so I'm not worried. Yet.
The logistics of my China run are interesting for a few reasons. First, I will be traveling pretty light so won't have room for much running gear. Second, since it will be a solo run in relatively unknown terrain I will need to carry more food and water than usual. Third, since I am not checking any of my luggage I can't carry many liquids and, I have heard, even transporting energy Gels is sometimes problematic. So, I went out yesterday with my Camelback Lobo back with 70 ounces of water and 4 packs of Sport beans and 5 packs of Sharkies. Over 33 miles, I drank nearly all the water, ate all the sport beans, and 3 Sharkie packs. I also stopped and ate a breakfast sausage sandwich at a gas station (that's sort of like baozi, right?) The water + solid energy food + sausage sandwich seemed to keep my energy up okay so I feel good about my equipment/nutrient choices.
I should have enough room in my pack for 15 bags of sport beans (I've decided I prefer these to Sharkies) or 1,500 calories. Theoretically, if I consume 200 calories per hour that will carry me about 7 hours. Given Great Wall Marathon finishing times, I will really need to plan for up to 12 hours on the move. Consequently, I will need to plan on getting another 1,000 or so calories along the way. My hope is that a lunch of noodles and a few cokes should be enough to make up the difference. Ideally, I'll also be able to get a hold of some Gatorade, but I will have to wait until I am there to see. I've heard that I won't be able to expect much between tourist stops, but I believe these are about 20 km apart on the section I plan to run so I don't think getting a little something else to eat will be too problematic. There are still some details to work out, but I'm getting there!