1/2/09

Across The Years - Race Report 2008-2009

It has taken me almost a week to get over the head cold that I got while running the ATY. Well, I had it prior to the race, but was getting over it by the time the race came around.

By 2:30am I had completed 100K and was as happy as could be.


It started for me the night before, with a good shower and then I taped my feet up and prepped them for the race. I am so glad that I spent that hour or so working on my feet. I started by drying my feet really good, wiping them down with an alcohol wipe and then applying kinesio tape to each of the toes and bottom of my feet. I learned how to tape my feet properly from the book "Fixing Your Feet: Prevention And Treatments for Athletes". I really do recommend all the athletes that have any foot problems to read this book. They took me the entire 62+ miles without one hot spot, black toe nail, or blister. After I finished my feet, I put on socks and went to bed. The night of rest went well and 5:15 am was soon here. Chad picked me up at 6am and we went for breakfast and then headed to the race. (10 miles from my house).

We got there with plenty of time to setup and walk around. I did not have to check in since they gave me my chip and equipment the day before, because I help out with the setup and when ever needed for this race. They have an email system where people can leave messages for the different runners and they print them out and put them in boxes for the runners to pickup. I checked my email box and had two emails one from my cousin and the other from Karen in the UK. They were the only emails that I got all day :( I did get several calls from Leigh which was needed and she is such a great friend to have cheering and coaching you on to your first 100K. Thank you Leigh for everything.

Finally 9am rolled around, I started off the race on a nice slow jog where my pace for each .31 mile loop I would do it in around 4:05 to 4:10 and continued this for the next 7 hours. At about 3 hours into the race, I decided to switch out my new shoes for my older ones since they were not as roomy as I am use to. I then stayed in these for the remainder of the race. After the 7 hours of running, I went to a controlled march / brisk walk of about 15 to 16 minute mile which I tried to maintained nonstop for the next 10.5 hours which slowed down as the hours ticked on.

Chad stayed there for the first hour or so then went to join Julie and Lori who had the kids and were heading to the Pizza place where the kids could play. About 1 pm or so Chad returned with Lori and Kimberly who cheered me on for a while. Kimberly loved to play in the grass and cheered each time I passed by. Lori and Kimberly left about 45 minutes later or so and then Chad went for his weekend run down the canal that is next to the ATY site. After his run, I had changed from running to brisk walking and he decided to tag along for the conversation and the additional exercise. He hung in with me for several miles before deciding to head home. I could say that I was now all alone, but I had so many people that were in the race, that I knew and cheered me on and gave me words of encouragement that I forgot to put on my mp3 for about 10 more hours.

The biggest problem for me the entire race was having a head cold and coughing and blowing my nose every 10 minutes.

For the nutrition, everything went ok or not so ok, at the beginning I was able to pee and was feeling strong, then I got intestinal shutdown and everything I consumed, stayed in my stomach and I continued to keep my calories up for the next 12 hours or so like this. I knew the only way to clear it out was to throw up, which I never had the desire to while running. This is a common occurrence for me on my longer runs, that my stomach will shut down.

There are several probable causes for this happening to me:
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance is affecting peristalsis, Peristalsis is very sensitive to salt and water imbalance in the intestinal tract.
  • Most people maintain normal gastric emptying and intestinal motility by remaining below a heart rate which corresponds to less than 70% VO2 max effort. If you don't use physiologic testing to facilitate training, this corresponds to approximately 80% of your maximum heart rate or the effort commonly referred to as ‘steady'.

Any one or combination of these may be the cause of my dismay. I will have to train and test each one for a solid solution to each.

At 2:30 am (17.5 hrs) into the race, I hit the 100K mark. It felt like the night was standing still and the laps were not adding up quick enough. At about 94K I started to feel aches in my feet, ankles, knees, hips, and major chafing in the groin. Maybe it was my body telling me that enough is enough for the first ultra.

I went into the heated tent and warmed up and that is when my stomach told me it needed attention, so I went to the restroom and emptied it. I then went back to the heated tent and curled up on the floor for 2 hours and let my body recover. After getting up and being stiff, I decided that 100K was enough, I could not physically have made it to the 100 mile mark in 24 hours and did not see a reason to take the risk of injury for a couple more miles.

So, Chad gave me a ride home and I took a nice warm bath with epson salt and then got some more warm rest. All is feeling great now and I am looking forward to doing the 48 hour race next year.

This is definitely a race to do if you are an ultra runner or just want to give it a try. There is an aid station and medic tent every .5K and it is impossible to get lost on the 15 feet wide gravel track. The scenery is amazing and the people are top notch.


Before I go, I need to congratulate some people for their accomplishments at the race:

In the 72 hour group:
  • William Sichel for completing 269.3 Miles
  • Gavin Wrublik for completing 50.6 Miles (Age 7)
  • Robert Andrulis for completing 143.8 Miles
  • Rick Cheever for completing 148.8 Miles
  • Jean-Jacques d'Aquin for completing 164.9 miles at age 69 (May 8th at 3am he is doing a double crossing of the Grand Canyon with a group of ultra runners for his 70th Birthday)
  • John Geesler (American 48hr record holder) who injured his ankle and still completed 160.9 miles

In the 48 hour group:

  • Lisa Bliss who Completed 150.6 Miles
  • Dan Jensen who completed 110.2 Miles with one leg amputated (see the Documentary: Running on the Sun)
  • Jeff Hagen for completing 180.5 miles

In the 24 Hour group:

  • Wendell Doman for completing 124.5 miles (you never stopped!)
  • Summer Wesson for completing 80.46 miles
  • Stephanie Buettner for completing 85.4 miles
  • Sue Norwood for completing 82 miles
  • Deborah Goodwin for your first ultra and completing 75.1 miles

Here are a couple pictures that were taken at the race:















Here I am on the inside with Debbie and Steph both on the outside (Drawing a blank on who is next to me).



















John Geesler and Gavin (7 years old) during the third day.

















Here I am about to take Lisa Bliss or was this when she passed me, I do not know they both happened many times.

















Here I am in the distance running along the front of the Nardini Mannor

















Here is Chad, Lori, and Kimberly (behind the table crawling in the grass)















Here I am early in the day looking fresh and ready for a long day.

9 comments:

Jeff said...

Way to go Eric, literally. Can't even imagine all of those hours on that little track.

About that kid -- man, I'm not sure if my 8 yo would have made it around the track 10 times without whining but 51 miles in 72 hours? WOW!

Congratulations on a truly monumental accomplishment!

Chad Sayban said...

Great race report and a fantastic job in your first ultra. You really held tough the whole day and were very well prepared. Take care of that cold and recover well. See you this weekend, buddy!

Burt said...

Awesome, I cant imagine running that far. Great job.

Stephanie said...

Crazy, crazy...not only the distance but staying in one small loop. Super job, Eric. I wish I had checked your blog sooner I would have left you a greeting!

Marcy said...

I remember reading the report when Chad did that last year. That race sounds sooo freeking cool! CONGRATS what a HUGE accomplishment, my friend ;D ;D

Lisa B said...

Congratulations on your excellent run. What an accomplishment! Very nice report and pictures. I'll see you at ATY next year and will cheer you on in the 48. I will be there to crew for the person who crewed for me this year. Have a great 2009!

Pat said...

congrats. That's amazing. I did send an email before you started. Sorry you didn't get it, but remember many people were thinking of you.

Gotta Run said...

YOU ARE KIDDING ME RIGHT... am I to understand that this was your FIRST Ultra. AMAZING!!! I am so impressed and excited to read your race report.

Enjoy the high for as long as it last. the "heated tent" sounds like it was a death trap but even I could not resist that.

Cheers Eric.

Amy said...

Wow! 1st Ultra? That's awesome!

What's the story on the 7 year old???