Sunday, March 8, 2009

3/8/09: Not so great success

Yesterday I hopped into the Seneca Greenway 50K for another fun, hard training run. It's a great race about 35 minutes from home on the scenic and not too tough Seneca Greenway trail.

This weekend was unseasonably warm in DC. It was over 60 degrees at the start and around 75 at the finish. It was a really nice change from winter weather, but I think it ended up taking its toll on me.

I took off running pretty hard. I was definitely going faster than I should have since I hadn't tapered and was just using this as a training run, but I ended up in the front with some of the lead runners, and my competitive spirit got the best of me.

I came through mile 19 in 2:30, which is sub-8 minute mile pace. For me, that is definitely hauling some ass for a hilly, muddy trail run. I knew I'd have to slow down after that so I didn't kill myself in this race, but I was hoping that I could still cruise in to a 4:30 finish.

Nope! I had a stellar blow up at mile 20. My legs were still fine, but my stomach just went crazy. I had been really careful with taking S-caps and had switched over to Ginger Ale, so I should have been fine. But fine I was not.

I got to the point where I couldn't even run anymore. I found a nice big fallen tree and ended up laying down on the tree for 15 or 20 minutes to try to pull myself together. I finally felt good enough to at least walk a bit and slowly made my way to the next road crossing. If I needed to, I could have had one of the volunteers call to get me a ride to the finish, but I really wanted to try to pull this one out.

I sat down for a while, finished off my Ginger Ale, and took yet another S-cap. After quite a while, I asked how far it was to the next aid station. The volunteer asked if I wanted her to call me a ride. I said thanks, but I wasn't giving up that easy. I took off down the trail and was back running again.

Unfortunately it was hot out and I had already gone through all my Ginger Ale. After a few miles I was pretty dehydrated and was forced to walk to the next aid station. I filled up there, sat down again for a while, and then pushed on to the next aid station in about 3 miles.

Once again I was fine for 2 miles and then really struggled for the last mile. I downed my 5th S-cap but could tell that I was still having trouble absorbing anything that I had been drinking.

Right before the 25.5 mile aid station, I threw up all over the place. Nice. I also had a bloody nose earlier, so I really looked like quite a mess (even by trail ultra standards). Since things went downhill, it took me 1 hour to cover half a mile and 2:45 to cover the 5 miles. It had taken me longer to run 5 miles than it had the first 20!

Well, enough was enough. It was a while to the next aid station, I was really dehydrated now, it was still hard for me to get liquids down, and this was just supposed to be a training run! Game over. I caught a ride back to the finish and called it a day.

Cons from the day:
  • Miserable last 5 miles
  • Still have stomach problems to figure out
  • First ultramarathon DNF
  • Hands down most disgusting I've been at the end of a race.

Pros from the day

  • Blazing first 20 miles. Definitely getting better at fast trail running.
  • It showed that given enough time, I think I could come back from any stomach problem (though it would have taken a long time on this given day)


SBK said...

Pros from the day:
"I threw up all over the place. Nice."

You seem to be self-doming a lot lately. And losing. Intervention?

Kapil is running a marathon in two months. He says based on the training runs, he'll be halucinating so bad he'll be calling himself Mr. Potatoehead by mile 20.
He assures me he won't boot though.

Will said...

Yeah, I have to get myself under control.

Which marathon is Kapil running? You should definitely go and dome him at mile 20. Yeah can even spot him 2 or 3 beers.

Danny said...

If you're not covered in blood and vomit (yours, or a friend's) you're not having a good time.