Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Monday, July 21, 2008

Full Moon and the Crazies are Running the Place!

Oh, El Scorcho! You had two distances to choose to race, the 25K (15.5 mi.) or the 50K (31 mi.) So at Saturday night, midnight, July 20 a 150 runners lined up to commence the 50K. I was in that group. Here is something you need to know. The course is a 3.1 mile loop in Trinity Park, Fort Worth Texas and you have to run it 10 times. It consists of crushed limestone, grass, asphalt, and dirt roads. Here is something else you need to know. The temperature was about 88 F with 50% humidity at the start. As the night went on, the temps go down and the humidity goes up…you just can’t win. The low temp was about 75 F.

My goal was two fold: To nail down some nutrition and hydration details and to try to finish in under 6 hours. The first 5 loops were fairly uneventful and for the first 15 miles things were going smooth. I was even about 15 minutes ahead of pace. Regardless of that last sentence I knew things were going to go south on me for the simple fact I was hardly able to stomach any food/fuel. After the first hour I had grabbed ½ a PB&J sandwich (that is what I had been training with on the long runs) and choked down about 4 bites of it. By the second hour I could hardly stomach one bite without feeling nauseas. I could take gel packs, but they are only 100 calories each and even they weren’t going down easy. By mile 16 I was downright sick at my stomach. Even to the point water was starting to bother it. I kept with the routine of taking a Salt Capsule every 20 minutes and taking about 70 to 80 oz of water per hour.

After 3 hours, My stomach wasn’t doing well, my legs were really beginning to hurt and I was still sweating heavy but I couldn’t pee.

OK, let me explain. When you run for such a long time you need to stay hydrated to the point where you can still produce urine. I learned this lesson the hard way about a months ago during a 5 hour run on a hot day, when my urine was coffee brown. For the record, that’s bad. That means there is myglobin or broken down protein in the urine. Next step, kidney failure…you have got to stay hydrated to the point of producing light color pee. It’s that simple…I had no fuel and no pee, my body seemed shot and mentally things also went south. There was a full moon out but at about 3:30 AM it was dark in my world. I had resolved at the next aid station I would take whatever nutrition they had regardless if I had trained with it or not. I also resolved to keep taking water and salt caps and see what happens. So at about mile 18 I took a banana and some orange slices. I also downed some Cliff Blocks. That was another first. I just had to get some fuel in my body. I also doubled up on Acclerade gel packs. Things started to go down the hatch smoothly and the stomach didn’t mind. Good. At 4 hours I had to go pee….great….it was a very light yellow. I had food. I had pee…and my legs started coming back to life. At mile 21 I began to feel a lot better. The last three loops (9 miles) I ran negative splits. (Every loop faster than the one before.) I had fallen to far behind to meet my goal but things were looking up. I was now hydrated to the point I was having to pee every 40 minutes….Life was good. The hydration issue was more of a mind thing than physiology.

I finished in 6 hr. 27 min. I didn’t make my time goal but I really felt good about this race for the fact that I was able to improvise when things started going south. My Ultramarathon friend Rick had mentioned in one of his race reports that the Ultramarathon is a race of correcting issues before they become real problems. Oh, yeah…Rick ran the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler this past weekend in 26 hr. 13 min. We both ran all night on Saturday only he was on the back side of a century. That really puts things in perspective... I have a long way to go…literally and figuratively.


Running Eagle said...

Hey Magic Man,
John "Heavy" here. Congrats on the finish. 31 miles is a long way to go for sure.
I bought the book, not quite finished it yet and bought some brand new running shoes, Asics they feel wonderful. Expensive little puppies though.
Getting the 2 miler down looking to extend it next week. Didn't want to push too far and crash you know.
Have a good one.

rick said...

Nice job Dave. Yeah being able to correct and survive your issues is key to these ultras. You did that this weekend and that's how you were able to finish strong. On the last hours of TRT I was gagging on the food and gels but I shoved those things down knowing that not having them would put me in worse shape. Way to go Dave, you just survived your first major low point in an ultra. The question is how you got there in the first place. Was being ahead of pace, going too fast the thing that affected your stomach. GI issues are major. I ran with a guy who had to drop at mile 90 because of stomach issues. Well you made it. You knew from your training that you needed the calories to keep going so when your proven nutrition didn't work you tried something else as a last resort. Way to know and solve the problem.

By the way you were taking salt caps every 20 minutes? Those are probably Endurolytes right? Try Succeed. They pack 8 times more salt and a smaller capsule to boot. With those you only need to take them every 45 minutes on a really hot day, 1 to 1.5 hours on a cool one.