On the 8th of July I attempted my first ultra race - Ultratrail Val d’Aran by UTMB. The race took a place in Spain Pyrenees and was my first encounter with this part of Europe. I didn’t train much for the race and to make the matter worse I franticly decided to catch up with the training and aclimatise the week before the race. Leading into the race I did 2 long runs on Monday and Tuesday followed by 2 very easy days before the race.
I woke up at 4:15 and had a light breakfast consisting of granola, oat milk, blueberries, and skyr-style soy yogurt. The race started early in the Morning at 6pm with a packed field. Contrary to what I was told to do I started fast and tried to get to the front of the field (I started at the very end). This meant overtaking a few hundred of people over the course of first 25km until the field finally thinned out.
After the first quarter I felt confident. The legs were feeling good, we already had large chunk of the vertical meter behind us and I was able to consume calories at a reasonable rate. The good spirit continued up to 45th kilometer to the first aid station with support allowed.
Instead of taking my time (which I should have done and will definitely do next time) I rushed through the aid station leaving in less than 10 minutes after chuging down 2 cups of cola, 1 cup of soup, handful of raspberries and blueberries, but nothing of substance. At this point it was already 13pm and I was slowly heating up in the blistering heat.
The aid station was followed by 1600m vertical descent that hurt a lot. My quads are not used to the pounding so by the end I was praying for the next climb. At this point I started to feel sick, my legs were heavy, head disy, and I was having trouble cooling down.
Most of the time between the descent and the next aid station on 62th km I spent walking. At the aid station I lied down for a bit as my head was spinning. For a moment I was considering giving up and it took me 20 minutes to regain some composure, drink a few cups of cola and water, and set off.
The following 14 km segment was the worst running experience I ever had (yet). My stomach was upside down and I was seeking every opportunity to wash my face and soak the cap in the cold water running down the hill. I walked, and walked, and then walked some more. The 14km between the two aid stations took me 3 hours and by the end even walking hurt.
I ended the race on 76th km, 29km and 2000m vertical before the finish line.
This month we did some cycling at Cihelny close to Karlovy Vary with the dentist group. It was fun and hilly ride with Klínovec being the highest point. The day after we went for an easy trail run instead early in the morning with Verča. Nothing groubreaking.
More interesting was the last weekend, on 30th August Breadfit store Litoměřice organised the 4th annual Einstuck ride titled Transcendence. I knew only Lukáš, the owner of Breadfit store and Vojta, who joined for the ride, until that point. The rest of the peloton (which was around 30 head strong) were all interesting invidiuals (read hipsters) from Prague up to Bratislava.
The ride we did was long and rainy. It started very hard with a few short 360w+ efforts up the small hills close to Litoměřice when I tried to keep up with Feňdák. I gave up not short after and decided to keep up more reasonable tempo with the group behind. We stopped two times, one time for lunch and the other for a really bad coffee at which point it was already 4:30pm and we still had more than 120km to go so we ended up splitting from the group only with Vojta a went full TT mode from Bad Schandau back to Litoměřice.
- clearerthinking.org has nice tools, articles, and blog to help you make better life decisions.
- The Gray Man, didn’t enjoy it, the only thing that made it bearable was that I was riding on zwift at the same time.
This month I learned
- What happens when you swip a credit card
- Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. Trees produce a wide range of useful and marketable products from fruits/nuts, medicines, wood products, etc. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has multiple benefits, such as greatly enhanced yields from staple food crops, enhanced farmer livelihoods from income generation, increased biodiversity, improved soil structure and health, reduced erosion, and carbon sequestration. Agroforestry practices are highly beneficial in the tropics, especially in subsistence smallholdings in sub-Saharan Africa and have been found to be beneficial in Europe and the United States.
- gingerly - in a careful or cautious manner.