Grandmaster Prep, and Yet More Stuff

The Grandmaster 100K is less than a week away, and today I got out and updated the race checklist. Somehow I managed to keep it to a single page. Landscape mode, with four columns, but still a win. (And one more page for my drop bag lists.)

Packing for the race means breaking out my gear boxes and laying stuff out before bagging and boxing it up. I’ve accumulated enough junk essential gear over my ten years of ultrarunning to stock a reasonably-sized running store, so it’s not a trivial process. One might think I have enough stuff in my closet(s) to handle just about any type of race in any conditions.

Yet despite that, I’m heading to Arizona with two newly acquired items in the suitcase. Yes, I continue to find stuff I didn’t know I needed. But I’ve already come to appreciate both of them. One I plan to use the entire race, and the second for the days afterward.

The first is my pair of GO Sleeves, which have become my go-to calf sleeves. For years I’ve worn 110% sleeves, which have done the job but are a major PITA to take off after a long run or race. After the Burning River 100 last summer I avoided even attempting the job for half a day. It doesn’t help that all the hard pulling and stretching brings on very painful cramps after a run like that. (You can see me wearing them in my banner photo.)

Inside-out view of the GO Sleeves showing the patterned adhesive strips that “lock things in place.” So you roll them on/off vs. pull them.

By contrast, the GO Sleeves go on and off smoothly and easily, and they do an equally good job providing calf support. Inside there is some adhesive similar to KT Tape that locks them in place. After the Loup Garou 60-miler in December they rolled painlessly off.

Putting the GO Sleeves to the first ultra test. They passed!

If you’re interested, you can find them at their website here. They’re about $100 retail, which is high for this kind of thing, but having worn them, I think they’re worth the price. That said, I got them as swag for attending the U.S. Trail Running Conference, so I may not have bought them otherwise. Glad I signed up!

My other new toy is an electric massage gun. Move over, foam roller, there’s a new gig in town.

Hurts so good.

I found out about these at a party last Christmas and got to try one out. While I enjoyed pummeling my quads, my wife saw her golden opportunity to get her extremely-hard-to-shop-for husband something he’d actually like. So before I even got into serious shopping around, this dropped into my lap. I’ve tried about half of the torture attachments so far, and they do a good job of relieving muscle soreness.

If you decide to try one, here’s a couple of quick tips. Use them only on soft tissue – hitting a bone is not a good feeling. Also, per my trainer, don’t necessarily hit the most sore areas first. Loosen up the surrounding tissue first and gradually work your way toward the sore areas. Clothing is fine – I have jeans or tights on when I use it.

That’s all for now. Gotta get packing! Race report to follow next time. Wish me luck, and luck also to my buddy Charlie who paced me at the VM 150 and is now attempting his first 100K!

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