open letter to todd baum*

Dear Todd,

My crazy running partner has somehow talked me into running the GLER with her next week. I suppose it’s some kind of revenge she’s exacting to get me back for dragging her to our first marathon a few years ago. Since then she has emerged as an amazing runner: fast, well-disciplined, dedicated, goal-oriented. And she wakes up early in the morning with pretty much no effort (something I still struggle with–though I’m nowhere near as bad as that Amy who was on Dr. Phil yesterday).

Anyway, since this is our first ultra, I’ve got a few questions for you. And since you have trained for and finished the Badwater Ultramarathon (congrats, btw!), I figure you can tell me what I need to know.

What should I be eating? Really. Because we are running so much right now that when I’m at home I’m either laying on my couch or laying in my bed. I don’t even have the energy to be hungry, much less CHEW anything. When we stop during our longer runs, I find my jaw and tongue become exhausted masticating a warm Power Bar. And I can also feel the energy it takes to work my jaw sapping energy from my legs.

How much bigger do you buy your running shoes? Because it seems as though there is a proportionate relationship between the number of hours I run and the amount of swelling my feet do. So, if my feet swell to a half-size bigger after a 10K, can I expect them to be 2.5 sizes bigger after the 50K? And what, then, should I do in the beginning to compensate for the extra room? I’m thinking extra Thor-Los.

We’re hoping that there is a Pizza Hut on the route. If not, we’re willing to meet a delivery person on the trail, a la Dean Karnazes, and we’re hoping this will not be a problem. Will I be able to get a cell signal so we can order en route?

It says that the aid stations are “well-stocked.” I expect that this means you’ll have a pair of fresh legs for me every 8 miles, right? Because how else on earth am I going to finish? I mean, really.

Most importantly: what can I do during this run so that my lovely running partner does NOT set her sights on the 100K for next year?

Thanks a bunch.

*Todd Baum is the race director for the Green Lakes Endurance Run (GLER), the 50K D and I are (probably stupidly) running in less than two weeks.