Monthly Archives: July 2011

Bad Medicine-The Leadville IV

If you are running The Leadville 100 Race, you can now “pre-order” your recovery IV Fluid for a mere 75.00 folks.  An additional bag is 100.00
Here is the link to the web site:

So you have finished your epic 100 mile race.You are tired, and dehydrated. You look forward to that IV fluid that you pre-ordered several weeks ago. Wow, recovery will go so much faster!

But what  happens if you finish the race-congrats-!  Go for your recovery fluid, which you ordered, because you assumed 4 weeks ago you would be a bit dehydrated-and you really are NOT dehydrated?

What  happens if you are the opposite: hyponatremic?  This is a medical condition where the runner has consumed too much water.  The sodium chloride level in the body is now too diluted. This causes the cells to swell with too much water. Although most cells can handle this swelling, brain cells cannot, because the skull bones confine them. Brain swelling causes most of the symptoms of hyponatremia.

This is becoming more of a problem as marathons get more popular. Slower marathon runners, who can take 6 hours or longer to complete a marathon, dutifully drink as instructed at water stations.  An older report from WebMD:

Marathon Runners Drink Too Much

Study: Dangerous Salt Loss Linked to Drinking Too Many Fluids
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News

April 13, 2005 — One in three marathon runners drinks more fluids than she or he needs, a study of Boston Marathon runners shows.

In the 2002 Boston Marathon, one female runner died because her body lost too much salt, a condition known as hyponatremia. Many of her race mates risked the same fate, find Christopher S.D. Almond, MD, MPH, and colleagues.

Almond’s team got blood samples and other data from 488 women and men who ran the 2002 Boston Marathon. They found that 13% of the runners had low sodium levels. And three of the 488 runners analyzed had critically low sodium levels — putting them at very high risk of headache, confusion, seizures, and death.
Since 15,000 people ran the race, this means that nearly 1,900 of the runners had too-low sodium levels at the end of the race. And some 90 runners, Almond and colleagues estimate, had critically low sodium levels. The main cause of low sodium levels: drinking too many fluids during the race, diluting the body’s salt.
“These observations suggest that hyponatremia — and particularly severe hyponatremia — may be a greater problem than previously recognized,” Almond and colleagues report in the April 14 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

I won’t even go into the legality of this. I’m assuming there is a Medical Director of this race.

I have never (and knock on wood) needed medical treatment after a race, but I am “assuming” someone takes responsibility, when, in a race or post-race, a decision is made that someone needs a bag of IV Fluid. I am not a physician, nor a paramedic, so I don’t know how that all plays out, who makes the decision of the administration of fluids.  This may be a protocol approved by the Emergency Department at the hospital that the EMT’s can use their own judgement in a ’emergency run’ situation.

But who is taking responsibility when Susie Finisher shows up at the IV Tent, ready for her IV,  and it’s not medically appropriate and/or necessary?

If you are a health care professional, I have a question for you: Could you or would you hook up someone to an IV after a race, just because they requested it?

Update: The web page has now been removed from their website. Glad I grabbed a screen shot of it!!


Did not do my 2 mile walk after work tonight, but picked 2 quarts of blackberries instead. Managed to tear up my legs also as  I fought my way through the thickets.

Where is the summer going? It’s almost August. This coming weekend, I am going to the Spruce Knob Area of West Virginia. At 4000 feet, I bet it’s pretty cool there.

Adam and Kadra finished their speed hike of the Appalachian Trail last week!

Jen Pharr Davis is smoking her way south on the Appalachian Trail with the purpose of breaking the speed record for hiking the AT; not the ‘female’ record, the “overall record”!!

Me, my summer goals?  I ran a 12.5 hour 50 mile race at Big  Bear, pleased with that.

Trilogy Training starts! Two months to go until that race, my fall “A” Race.  A 50K on Friday, 50 miler Saturday, 1/2 marathon on Sunday. I’ve learned alot about fueling and nutrition since last fall; lost more weight and became a faster runner; just need to keep the training going well for the Trilogy.

August is going to be “Clean Eating Month” for me. I want to hit 159 lbs before The Ring.

I haven’t really worked on the  compass skills .I need to work on this.

I have been working on getting to bed earlier and getting sleep in. Rather than sit and watch crap TV, we’ve been abandoning the idiot box and hitting the hay instead.

I’m going to stop wearing the extra large shirts when I run and wear something that fits me.

Hot Run

Well we all know it’s been hot. So enough said about that.

Friday arrived and I needed to get a run in. At home, on the treadmill, or venture outside in the dire heat warnings?

I decided I needed to keep up my toughness and opted for an outside run. Temp,92 degrees.

I decided to head for Salt Fork, for the hiking trails, where I would be completely under tree cover.

(Note to self: just keep a pair of trail shoes in the vehicle!!)

Off I go. First run since Big Bear. It’s hot and humid (OF COURSE) and I take it easy. Knees feel a little wonky (weird) but legs are fine.

The hiking trail spins me back to the main campground road after 1.6 miles and I decide to just run back to my vehicle-around 10 minute miles on the road!

It was amazing how hot my body temp felt after stopping running. I’m glad I just did an easy two miles(I cannot remember the last time I did a training run of 2 miles!) in the heat.

Rest Day is a Training Day

Just a quick thought here. I was getting ready for work, thinking, okay, another day off training.

Then I reframed that. Because a zero day, a rest day, IS part of the training plan. It is not slacking off, being lazy, being wimpy. This is a day of rest that was planned for post race recovery.

I am slowly learning that recovering well is just as important as hill repeats.

Rest days are training days!

Offical Splits from the Big Bear

2008 6 Loops 1.32 1.41 1.47 1.57 1.56 2.08
2009 6 Loops 1.28 1.39 1.47 1.51 1.53 1.57
2010 7 Loops 1.26 1.35 1.44 1.48 1.51 2.02 2.00
2011 8 Loops 1.18 1.26 1.34 1.37 1.40 1.43 1.44 1.48

Splits from the Big Bear Lake are published, so I wanted to put them out there.
3rd out of 14 females, 11 minutes behind 2nd place.

Really pleased to see the time improvement over the years.

Next year, 9 loops!!

Hot Hot Hot

We’re diving into a heat wave here in the MidWest. Highs for the next few days are Monday 90, Tuesday and Wednesday 89, Thursday 95.

You know what? I don’t care.

Cuz I’m in recovery mode.

For Monday, I plan on making a WW Zucchini Chocolate Cake after work. That’s Monday’s workout.

I think I took Tuesday off too.

And I think this would be a good week to enjoy some air conditioned time at the gym, in my recovery week here.

Getting Loopy at the Big Bear 12 Hour

This was my fourth year at the Big Bear Lake 12 Hour Race.
Here is my data from the previous years:

I went back to the website and looked at my historical data. It’s nice, with the same loop course, you know nothing has changed besides your own performance.

2008 6 Loops 1.32 1.41 1.47 1.57 1.56 2.08
2009 6 Loops 1.28 1.39 1.47 1.51 1.53 1.57
2010 7 Loops 1.26 1.35 1.44 1.48 1.51 2.02 2.00
2011 8 Loops 1.17 1.26 1.33 1.37 1.43 1.41 1.07 for 3.8 miles (Garmin died here)

2011 loops are my unofficial splits from my Garmin, but with this raw data I am very pleased with my results.
I believe my race time was around 12.40 or 12.50 for the full 8 loops, of 52 miles.

This puts me at running my 50 miles at just about 12 hours-a BIG GOAL of mine realized. I now know I CAN finish a 50 mile race in 12 hours.

Loop breakdowns:

Loop One and Two: fairly uneventful. Had to kind of patiently wait through miles 1 and 2 and bound past some folks going too slow and talking too much on the downhill. Ran with Kenny, fellow AS worker from Highlands Sky, who is training for Grindstone. Then Kenny took off and I didn’t see him again until Loop 7.

Loop Three-my hamstrings were feeling awful here. Tight tight tight. Maybe I should not have done hill repeats on Wednesday…I felt I was going so slow on this loop, so when I ended the loop and saw it was 1.33, I was pleasantly surprised.

Loop Four-The RATTLESNAKE Loop! It was warming up on this loop. I picked up my music, and was running with my headphones in one ear only. That way, I could hear other runners approaching, and…snakes rattling!!

I was around 3.5 miles,on a nice runnable downhill section through these big prehistoric ferns, when I heard-and saw-these rattling tail on the trail.

I don’t know how I went from running downhill to reversing direction and nearly falling on my back, at the same time never taking my eyes off this huge snake moving off the trail.

A lady runner caught up to me and I had to point out the snake to her, so I had a witness! It was amazing. It was fat around the middle, and it was at least three feet long. It moved off the trail, into the ferns, and we beat feet down the trail!

Of course, now I am paranoid and seeing snakes everywhere. The rocks, which I have hopped right through before, I am being careful to keep eyes on the trail.

Loop 5-it’s getting warm out. There is plenty of water at both the unmanned AS and the manned AS in the pine trees, so I pour the rest of my water bottle over my head as I approach the AS.

Loop Six-I make the mistake of calling this loop in my head “the place holder loop” because I have to run this loop just to get to Loops Seven and then Victory Loop Eight. This makes the loop seem long.

Loop Seven-I start Loop Seven with Heather, the Race Director, telling me second place female-Sandy Yoccum-is only five minutes in front of me, and there is prize money for second place!
But I encounter Kenny just down the trail, and he decides to run with me. He’s hurting a bit, and we chat just to get some miles in down the trail. Kenny tells me to go on around mile 2.5, and I put my music back in my ear and get on down the trail. Dave K, who is volunteering at the Pine Tree AS, tells me Sandy has ten minutes on me, and I kind of relax. I don’t think I can catch her, but being second was not my goal for this race. My goal was to complete eight loops, and to run 50 miles in 12 hours.

Loop Eight-I start Victory Loop Eight at 6.05pm. I am trying to keep an eye on Garmin, who is threatening to blink out soon.

There is no one else on this loop. The relay runners must have called it an early evening and stopped. I have the music low, and am enjoying the sights. This is a very enjoyable loop (I’ve now run this loop 27 times total!!!). Garmin gives up the ghost at 1.07 time, 3.8 miles. But extrapolating my finish time, of 52 miles in around 12 hours, 40 or 50 minutes, I did run 50 miles in around 12 hours!!

I was tired after. I forgot that a 50 (or 52 miler) can hurt. And be tiring. But despite being salt-encrusted, dirty, smelly, sun burnt, it was a great trail run!