Land Run 100
By: Dani Arman
Land Run 100 was a prefect example of both the healthiest and masochistic form of peer pressure. I only say this because I signed up believing it will rain, and it may 12 hours to complete. My teammate, Kristen Legan has a season stacked with gravel events and I thought it would be fun to see what hype was all about. Previous years indicated complete torture was inevitable. Let’s call it, spring cleaning and/or rust busting. Having ridden one five hour ride in the past nine months, I figured it would be a ‘hang-on for dear life' situation paired with an eating contest. Wasn’t too far off.
The atmosphere at this event was something else. The organizer, Bobby Wintle, put on an experience more than a race. He would be awarded the “most stoked on life” eagle scout badge, and those vibes were extremely contagious.
Realize Bobby has more energy than 5 Dani’s
Liz has 99 problems go down with before the race begins, yet still makes it to the start ready to roll
Gun goes off, lots of brake checks, one immediate pileup (we dodge it)
Throttle activated, *this pace can’t last too long*
One hour goes by and I’m pretty sure the speed went up
deep and gnarly terrain
33mm tires were a bad choice, ah well
At 1.5 hours I wave goodbye to the lead group (regretfully, in retrospect)
Find some nice Trekkies to ride with (i.e. Trek employees)
little single track bits, bringing me to life!
Seriously proud of my eating consistency after 2.5 hours
Took way too much time in bag-drop, probably why I was terrible at transitions as a tri-person
Chugged a bottle and rolled with a group
I’m predicting a 5.5 hour day at this point
Lack of volume slowing creeping up on me around hour 4 & lose that punch repeatability
*Dani stares at stem for 1 hour*
Someone just offered me whiskey shot, taste puke
YES, a person! hangonhangonhangon
But miss the lounge spot (wampwamp)
Sub 6 hour, unlikely
Solo couple hours, Garmin hidden, just keeping the pressure on the pedals
Run out of water for the last hour (oops)
90, 90.1, 90.2… ok that’s not helping
I’ve never been so happy to see pavement
"huh, didn’t know I could do that”
Hug from Bobby (he gave every single finisher a hug)
KP right behind me!
…Impressively insane, after she completed half the event on a single speed (Di2 charge oopsy)
Eat (literally) a two fund burrito
…ok Liz helped
Snagged third place
Prep & Retrospection
I decided to compete at Land Run 100 in early February. With the race being mid-March, having a full-time career, and coming off of a knee injury, I didn’t exactly provide time for a large base load. Working coach man, Grant Holicky, we strategized the year as a whole rather than focus on this specific event. This includes physical and mental training.
We concluded that I perform really well with volume and intensity. A cocktail like that however, could lead to long term fatigue and loss of drive. An example was the walking pneumonia I had for most of this past CX season. I’m great at overdoing things. The ability to look at things objectively has always been a challenge and therefore, a major long term goal. I work and will continue to work to determine the difference between hurting myself or accepting I may be tired and need to dial it back. I have a lot on my plate. No matter if its mentally or physically taxing, stress is stress and it takes a major toll on the body. There is a reason “happiness watts” is a thing. We are the most ready when we forget ourselves and live in the task at hand.
Some personal red flag indicators:
Low heart rate feedback during intense/long efforts
Moody AF (i.e. stay clear of dragon woman)
Constantly hungry/craving sugar when I know the body does not need it
Getting a full nights sleep, yet feeling horribly groggy in the morning
Major brain fog and/or anxiety
Whenever I experience one or more of these bullets, I take a step back to assess why I may feel this way and determine if a workout is the right thing to do. Thankfully, Grant is always there to provide insight, taking all of the externalities of training and life to making sense of the feels. In order to have that relationship, I needed to be real with him. Which is sometimes challenging for me to set that ego aside and think objectively, but that will always be a work in progress. Having zero expectations, I was very accepting and ready. I would do what I could with the cards I was dealt. Was even able to sneak in two longer easy days prior to the event, and that felt like enough. The mind was relaxed and I had no reason to feel anxious. Told myself to let the group dictate the pace and I’ll just hang-on. This tactic was easy for the headspace. All I had to do was ride my bike that day and it felt great.
Training included days of high intensity, big recovery, and strength training. As mentioned, I do not exactly have the time to ride 5+ hour days consistently. So we needed to improvise. I hit it hard and took loads of recovery to compliment. Meaning, the right amount of sleep, eating, and stretching. Having a puppy helps with shake out walks and mental breathers. We worked to remove too much time spent in tempo pacing, focusing on base, LT, VO2, and sub 100 watt recovery. Although my inclination is to go hard all the time, it is more effective to be deliberate. I was seeing high numbers for long periods of time when it mattered. Sounds so obvious… because it is. But try not to care on the next group ride and see what happens.
2 x Sound Probiotics prior
Topical Edge application
Breakfast was 1 Bobo’s Oat Bar, crumbled and mixed with other grains and nutrients
Water: Five total. Two for the first 2.5 hours. Picked up 3 bottles on the bag drop
Each bottle had one Nuun tablet
8 Gu Energy Gels (in top tube bag)
3 Clif Blocks
1 Legan potato pocket
*Felt good with this amount/type of food and water, given the temperature was cool (~62 degrees)