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.

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