I took the early 7am start since I am a slowpoke. About six other joined me in the brightening hours.
Julie and Pru on their second 50K
The group separated quite a bit before the Monkey Trails and I was running by myself. The first almost vertical hill had been rerouted by a gradual climb up the side of the hill and my quads thank NEO Trails for that today!
The windstorm that rocked Ohio Sunday even hit way over in Youngstown. But alas, the Love Log is still in the same place. I did my usual graceful “lay down on the log and roll over” it.
I was having a great race! I was running pretty fast (for me). In taking the early start, like last year, I wanted to set a goal of when the regular racers would catch me. With the change of the course direction, my goal this year was to be back to the Covered Bridge AS, having completed the lower loop before the front runners caught me.
I was also running a bit too fast for the first 10 miles of the race, but you know, I just didn’t care. I decided to adopt the philosphy of “go out fast and blow up later” cuz I was just having a good time out there. The weather was cool and beautiful, the trail was dry, everything was great!
I finished the first lower loop, where runners who started the 8am were still running in to begin their first loop. This was fun, because now I was seeing friends whom I mainly had not seen since Burning River, since I spent the whole month of August running races in WV.
The first male caught me at 9.47 miles, where I had already started down the trail on my second loop-check! First goal achieved. I was still doing very well out on the trails, taking my S Caps, eating some gels, ClikBlok Shots on schedule.
Where I make my Race Mistake
I get back to the Covered Bridge AS. I spot a cup with tomato/V-8 juice and drink it down. Then I grab a can of Ensure, drink 1/2 of it, then decide to finish it. Then I drink some Coke.
You know where this is going….
I start down the trail, get to say hi to Dave Peterman as he runs by me, and then start down the trail. Ugh. My tummy is sloshing. I feel like taking my waist pack off. I’m walking, although I’m on a downhill. I don’t feel sooo good. Somehow, I get about a 1/2 mile down the trail,
right past the cool Silver Bridge, that the contents come rushing back up from my stomach!
Of course, 2 or 3 runners went past, with the usual “are you ok?” I shouted I was fine between ralphing. I felt much better after puking, rinsed out my mouth. I leaned up against a rock and was prepared to feel sorry for myself, when I heard Nick!
I have been following Nick’s blog since around the time he started it, but we’ve never had a chance to meet. I think Nick asked me how I was, and I told him I had just tossed my cookies. He looked a bit dismayed! We walked down the trail together, then jogged a bit so we could talk. It was great to finally meet you Nick!
As we crossed a road, we started up a rocky climb, when whamm!! Charly horse in my calf! Nick went on ahead as I climbed slowly, now feeling cramps in both calves.
Huh. I never get cramps. So what that I had just tossed my cookies, that shouldn’t affect my electrolytes that much. Although I was sweating out alot of salt, I could feel it all over my face. And I wasn’t interested in the gels in my pack, my stomach wasn’t up to it. It was kind of a rough walk/jog back to the start of the race, although mentally and emotionally, I was still just having a great time!
I got back to the start, ate a whole banana, asked for HEED in my water bottle, took an Endurolytes cap, and took some dry pretzels, as nothing was looking too appetizing to my stomach. I started sipping on the HEED also immediately, but backing off when my stomach warned me. I was still having calf cramps!!
Second time through on the Love Log. See, I am still having fun…
Almost to the Covered Bridge AS, John DeWalt catches up to me. For anyone that doesn’t know John, John is an awesome ultra runner, he’s finished Hard Rock 13 times, his most recent this year, and John is 73 years old. He says his legs are “rubbery” (yeah, right John!) and runs by me. As I watch John go, you can’t tell if it’s a 30year old, 40 yearold, certainly not a 70 year old!!
I pick up a few more pretzels and HEED. It’s not much to run on, but it’s working for me. I continue down the trail, and now I feel my lower intestines cramping! Oh great!! This is an example of the trail here. River on your right, vertical slope on your left. No trees to duck behind…I somehow make it down the trail to the Silver Bridge again, run across the road, away from the trail! Ugh, man, I am getting all sorts of physical ailments to deal with today!!! LOL!
I am almost back to the race start to begin the 3rd and last loop when Jason from Pittsburgh catches up to me. This was very cool , because Jason and I ran most of the 3rd loop together, and made it a much more pleasant last time through. Bruce also caught up with us at the Monkey Trails, and I got to see how tall people got across the Love Log! No fair!
I finished up in around 8.35, way behind my goal of finishing under 8 hours. I continued to have calf cramps throughout the second half. I’m still puzzled by them.
1. Was my electrolytes that out of whack? I wasn’t swelling up. I was really drinking the HEED down. Cramping can be due to Potassium, sodium and magnesium. My food the 4-5 days before the race was probaly not as full as my normal veggies-we didn’t have power 1/2 the week, so eating was a bit off kilter. My breakfast pre-race really sucked-2 sugar cookies and a Monster Mash energy drink.
2. Did I go out too fast and just blow up? Huh, I dunno.
Race Director Bob Combs, me, and John DeWalt
Ate some good food after the race, after my stomach settled down. That is the longest race I have done on the most little food. I was pretty light-headed the last 2 or 3 miles in, but what can you do? I wasn’t worried about not finishing, or dying out on the trail, or something silly like that. I had a really great time, as usual!!