24 Hours Around the Lake - 2011

"Stupid is a strong horse. It can be ridden be very far."

Welllllll. That went miserably. Race wise. Awesome wise it was pretty off the chart.

Format of the race - A short .83092175012957210369712036712603971206972069402976024967209607 mile jaunt followed by continous loops around the 3.16539759262598723698176919183003015001503 mile track. There was a water only aid station halfway through the loop and a well stocked aid station after the timing chute. (Seriously, it was impossible to do the lap to mile ratio in your head.)

I thought a 7PM start would be great! We'd get in some serious miles when we were fresh and it was nice night? A little drizzle and a cool night would suck the heat right out of me? Well, with even just a little mugginess I had little hope of cooling off. For some reason I couldn't stop myself from pushing the first marathon stupidly hard. I didn't even get anywhere near my PR and I felt like I was working my arse off. At the end of the race people were coming up to me like "What happened to you? I thought you were a lot farther along?". Doh.

I finally reigned myself in on the last lap of the first marathon and started working some walking in. It was too late though. It was almost exactly the same as my 50 in PA. My stomach turned and I could not bear the sight of Perpetuem. Once again the supplement that worked in training seemed to be just too much given the "Race Level" intensity. Raising the bottle to my lips made me nearly gag. Dehydrated, nauseous and lacking energy I started walking to try and sooth my stomach. After 6 miles (2 laps) of straight walking I was ready to call it a night. I was soaking wet and all I wanted to do was go home and curl up in a nice warm ball under the covers.

Then a miracle happened. Stopping at aid station 1 my eyes landed on a slize of pizza.

Stomach : "Eat that friggin' slice of cold pizza."
Me : "LOL, no way stomach. Like that is going to settle well? Here, have some perpetuem."
Me : "Alright! Alright! I'll eat it."

Them my stomach went crazy. "Fig newtons you say? Cram them in. 2 X 2. Is that a bag of potato chips? Yes. Do it."

And it worked. I was able to start shuffling again. My stomach was fine with the pizza. And with donuts and pretzels and orange slices and everything else. Given this info I think my new fueling strategy is going to simply Head + solid food. The near tastelessness, ability to curb my hunger and electrolyte profile should be enough to keep me going with solid food providing proteins and needed minerals.

I kept things going until my feet started killing me. At that point I started doing 2 laps, then grabbing a 10 minute nap with my feet up, rinse and repeat. Daybreak 10-11 hours into the race was great. My first break of laying down was between 6-7 AM I think. I watched the sun come up over the lake and felt the first few subtle rays of sunshine warm my skin up. It stood in stark contrast to how intense the sun was later in the day. There was a light breeze and it was just great to lay under a tree and enjoy the weather.

But, yeah. Holy heat stroke later in the day. Temps got up to 90 I think. I kept a cooler of soaking wet shirts that I threw on before each lap and they dried off in 10-15 minutes. I kept eating from the aid station and hydrating with Heed. It was slow going. The limiting factor really ended up being my feet. I really enjoyed my breaks because it was great to lay down and listen/watch the race happen. I think it was the first time this year I was outdoors and really appreciated it.

Everyone there was great! From aid station workers, to the RD peeps, to the other racers. I met some really great people who I hope to run into at other events.

Really depressing though (In a first world problem kinda way). I think I could have done a lot better. 50 Miles came a full hour later than my last PR. I trained hard.. I think? Maybe incorrectly. Was it all in the diet snafu? Is that what derailed it? I don't think I was used to walking that far in my Vibrams so early in the race. Maybe they won't be the shoes to take me 100 miles? Definitely dumb going hard and not stopping to walk in the first 26.2. Did the sinus infection last week and resulting inactivity hurt me?

Oh well. summer100 in a few weeks with a chance at redemption. My feet hurt. I am going to go to bed. I'll update this report later for better record keeping.

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