I racked up another DNF at the Laurel Highlands 70 Miler last weekend. The weather was awesome, and I went into the race very healthy, so I have no good excuses.
Unfortunately I ran into stomach trouble that finally forced me to drop at mile 46. The stomach issues seemed different from what I have experienced in the past. I started feeling “off” around mile 15. I had taken the usual number of gels and fluid up to that point, so there wasn’t anything that should have thrown me off.
My best guess is that I took too many S-caps. I was slightly on the aggressive side with S-caps, and when I started feeling bad I took more. I think I probably misdiagnosed and made my problems worse. It was a pretty cool morning, so I don’t think I actually needed that many S-caps. In retrospect, I think I also have not fully adjusted to using HEED and Perpetuem as my main fuel source instead of water. They have a lot of electrolytes and combined with the electrolytes in gels, I probably don’t need all that much else on cooler days.
I struggled from mile 15 to 30 and dialed the pace back to try and reign things back in. For much of those miles I latched onto another runner who was going a bit slower than otherwise would have. This kept me from pushing too hard but also kept things on a decent pace.
At mile 30 I threw up, and I felt pretty bad until mile 35. Then out of nowhere I snapped out of it and felt great! I ran really well from miles 35 to 40, and my head was totally back in the game. I was pumped to finish the race. I was not at all thinking about dropping and instead had my eye on a negative split since the pace was so relaxed from 15 to 35.
Then out of nowhere I felt awful and threw up again. After that, I just couldn’t stomach anything at all. I was really nauseous couldn’t get any food or fluids down. I had taken in very little since mile 15 and had thrown all of it up since then. I had nothing left in me and was not in great shape. When the next aid station finally rolled around at mile 46 after walking for 5 miles, I was complete done and ready to drop.
My punishment for dropping came in the form of a crazy grandmother in her 70s nagging me nonstop for 3 hours while I waited for a ride at the aid station. She told me the rest of the course was really quite easy and that getting to the finish shouldn’t be a problem. Throwing up wasn’t a big deal, and some orange slices would probably fix everything. I think she missed the chapter in the grandmother handbook saying that a grandmother’s main concern should be to get grandchildren to eat more and not to force them to keep running when they have been throwing up for hours.
I don’t have any major races on the calendar for a while, but I do have a fire under me to go out there and bust out a good race. Now I just need to find a race that fits in my crazy schedule and get a stomach transplant.