Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moab 100 2011

This race is just too hard! It has unique hardships not found in any other race. Slickrock is brutal. Not just because it's hard as concrete, but because it isn't flat/smooth.
There's sand that is more like powder than sand. It collects in your shoes and can wad-up around your toes in just one 5.37 mile loop of the 18+- loop race.
I'm definitely undertrained but was confident with years of experience with this race that I could nail it. For one thing, as sick as this may sound, I was completely in the mood to feel the profound agonies that hours and hours of punishment can dish out. I actually welcomed the pain.
It was a lot of fun, even with the agony, but my legs virtually became paralyzed by 67 miles. I had inadequate steering and brakes and came close to a catastrophic plunge down the slickrock. I staggered a bit and ended up going downhill and my legs couldn't keep up. Only luck saved me.
I dropped at about 70 miles.

I was surprised how many dropped. I was equally surprised how many finished. You definitely need your walking legs and feet. I don't walk well, for too long. I have a great powerhike that allows me to pass some people who are running, but I can't do that too much. Walking generally hurts more than running, even if it requires less energy. But there's no way in he'll I can walk 100 miles.

Next year - Gore-Tex shoes to try to keep the sand out, and gel inserts.

As for the legs, it was weird. If you have a glycogen depletion systemically, then you get emotional and pissy. I was fine, though - still having fun. Earlier, I was a bit hyponatremic, and had to take extra salt to balance-out.
I'm going to guess that the problem was localized glycogen depletion in the muscles of my legs, but still not sure. If that happens, doesn't your body start eating protein? That's unmistakeably painful, and that surely didn't happen. I lost no muscle in this event. I ate half the calories I should have in an attempt to work off the extra fat I accumulated over the past couple of years with plantar fasciitis, but like I said, I was not systemically bonked with calories or I would have gotten pissy. Maybe the combination of the earlier electrolyte depletion and localized glycogen depletion, with lack of training mileage, led to my legs diving into an almost paralyzed state.

That state didn't go away the next day. Now a week later, my legs still aren't right - mostly my feet. My feet are not bouncing back. There are cramps and pains I didn't have to put up with during the race. During my 11th lap, I stubbed my left foot pretty bad. It hurt a lot at the moment it happened, but not afterward. That's because my 1st-toe, which took the brunt, is almost completely numb. I've probed it to see if I can find an injury, but I can't. I'll take a numb toe over a painful toe any day!
I walked several miles Thursday, and ran probably just over a mile, but the legs are still a bit wasted. Standing around hurts more than walking. My feet swell up unless I get the circulation going.
My next event is 35 days from now, so I should be good-to-go.

Late Sunday after the race, I went to Canyonlands N. P. for the first time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Salida Marathon

No photos. It's a great course, but it's not the most photogenic.
I didn't feel good or bad, leading into this race. My daily life was so frantic I didn't have time to read the website, but I glanced at the map - new course similar to the old one.
I slept in the back of my car near the halfway mark of the race course.
Before the race, I consumed a quart of Gatorade, two 20oz coffees, and about 8-12oz of water. So about 80+ oz. That's well over half a gallon pre-race.
I ran with a 20oz bottle and didn't bother stopping at the first two aid stations. After that I filled up as usual.
I was feeling pretty decent, but my lungs were full of gunk. I couldn't tell if it was all from my asthma, or if there was still junk from my recent illness with the "crud". I had more respiratory problems than I'm used to having during such a short race.
I screwed this race up. Between the 4th and 5th aid stations is the furthest, and I ran out of fluids. Hard to believe how incredibly quick I dehydrated.
I wonder if my asthma, filling my lungs with fluid, dehydrates me internally faster than a regular runner? The water is still in me, but it's in my lungs, not my blood-stream where my organs could use it.
Anyway, by about 15.5 miles, I was screwed. I basically had to stop racing and go into survival mode. I was suffering.
But I loved it. If I'm on a trail and moving, I'm happy. I'd rather be moving fast, but I'll take slow if I have to. I asked myself if I'd rather be anywhere else? No. You like pain, right? Yeah. You're miserable? Yeah. Then you're happy, right? Yeah. Alright then.

Wow, Tim Parr was incredible. Even Nick Clark and Ryan Burch couldn't reel him in. The new course is HARD! There's a killer steep climb thrown in near the end. How Tim managed this course in 3hr is a mystery to me. The guy's having an incredible year. And this on the heels of leading Red Hot nearly all the way. He's always been fast, but this year he seems to be the one to watch.
Nick Clark is still fast as ever, and seems to do well even when he doesn't have a great day. If anyone shows him any weakness, he'll take the lead. On a good day, with a chosen key race, good luck staying ahead of him.

I spent Sat. night after the race sleeping in my car above Leadville. Gold Burro still gave me the local discount, even though I told them again that I'm not a local. Looks like Pbville hasn't had much snow since I last visited, but it started snowing during the night and blanketed the dirty snow with pristine white stuff.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Red Hot 55K Photos

It's raining, and I'm smiling. All a boy needs is mud, sticks, and rocks.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Cold

I've been repeatedly dodging the bullet. Everyone around me has been getting sick with "the crud". When I've gotten sick, I'm just run-down for a day. This one started that same way. For an entire day i had to wonder if I was sick or not. I didn't feel bad, really, but something wasn't right. And all day I just stayed the same. When I drove by Wash Park on a sunny day and saw everyone running, and I felt no urge to join them, I figured I HAD to be sick. As I was going to bed, finally I began to feel it in my chest.
It never got severe. My job requires me to touch a LOT of people's stuff. Keyboards and mice are as filthy as money. Funny how many of us wash our hands at fast-food restaurants, then go to the register to pay and touch money that has passed through 400 people's fingers.
Who knows where I caught it from? One day with less than ideal hydration, maybe not enough sleep, and pow. So even though I wasn't real sick, I took Monday and Tuesday sick-leave to keep from spreading it around. I slept and slept and slept some more.
I ran hard for probably over 13 miles Thursday night, so I'm mostly over it.