Thursday, June 7, 2012

FANS 24 Race Report

This is my race report  - 128.66 - 4th place OA, 3rd Male.

I will post other thoughts about the race and other peoples races next week.

I needed a few days to digest and process the FANS 24 hour race.  By mileage results it was an epic fail!  If measured by what I learned during those 24 hours it was a priceless win.  Basically with poor race management in the 1st 70 miles - I ended up setting myself up for failure.

I had very big expectations of myself for the race and I had publicly shared them. As I spoke with people pre-race many knew my goals and knew I was "A Big Horse"

Pre-race I had pointed toward Joe Fejes, Harvey Lewis, David James and myself as the men to keep an eye on.  Harvey ran the smartest race in this group - When he needed it, be was tough as nails.  In the end he took back the final spot on Team USA from Joe who had took it from him a few weeks before.  Hats off to Joe for putting skin in the game and trying to defend his spot.  Harvey - Enjoy the experience of the 2012 World Championship in Poland!

When the race started at 8:00am it was in the low 60s.  It reached the mid to upper 70s with mostly sunny skies and reasonable humidity ~ All-in-all a pretty fair day to race. 

My chest was still congested - But it never really became an issue until much later in the race.

I started with a few intestinal issues, losing @ 5 minutes the 1st 4 hours to the bathroom.  It did not limit my performance, just cost a bit of time.  I made an early mistake by actually paying attention to my lap times, I thought I was moving pretty easy - But any time I look at laps it means I am probably going to push a tiny bit more than the super-duper easy pace I want to achieve.

At 9:30am, I asked for an Ziploc baggie of ice to put on my head - I was already pretty hot and this immediately cooled me off.  Although a great idea and good move, it hit from me the amount I was sweating.  I was drinking until my stomach hurt (40-50 ounces per hour), eating pretty good and taking S-Caps 2 per hour. 

I made another major mistake the 1st 4-5 hours.  I did not take my walk breaks.  With the amount I was sweating this would have helped to cool me off.  I kept feeling comfortable clicking off 21.xx laps.  Reality (Although I did not know it yet) was I was outrunning my ability to stay hydrated.  I could not have drank more, so I needed to slow down to keep the sweat rate down.

I hit 50 miles in 7:24 ~ About where I wanted to be, but 20-24 minutes faster than were I needed to me (Hind site is 20/20).  Soon after this I started to have difficulty eating, although I was always taking at least 300 calories per hour.  Somewhere between 11-12 hours the laps started to get hard.  My muscles were starting to cramp and I was a bit light headed. 

It was time to problem solve.  I was 90% sure I was significantly dehydrated, but I wanted to weigh myself to be sure.  The problem with weighing is if the Doctor sees you and you are off by 5% or more you are forced to sit and re-weigh to prove you are within the spread.  I thought I snuck in as he was taking care of someone else, but he ended up seeing my 13 pound weight loss.  Now I had to not only sit, but walk the 1/8 mile to my crew and then walk back to prove I was allowed back in the race. 

1/2 hour later I was back in the race.  But I also know I had to not out sweat the little bit of hydration I had just put into my body.  The next 3 hours were pretty miserable as I sat for lots of time and kept the effort low.  I could have pulled the plug and we could have all enjoyed the evening.  This was the 1st of 3 times Jen (a friend from Chicago) poked me back into the game.

Once 11pm came around I was very mad at myself for strategically managing this race so poorly as it was calm and cool.  A person who took care of their body could be making hay.  For 3 laps I ran like I was back in the race to see if I could force a re-boot and be competitive.  I ran a 24, 23 and 22 minute lap.  I calculated out I would need to run @ 22 minutes laps to the end to have a chance at my original goal of 143 miles.  Sometime before or after this I hit 100 miles in 17:20?  Basically a 10 hour 2nd 50.

It was obvious 22 minute laps were not going to happen as my knee had left me.  I think because of my dehydration my quads muscles shorted up (Stiff) and it pulled on the inside of my knee.  I had to do @ 2 miles really slow walking way on the outside of my foot.  I grabbed a strap made for ITB issues (Outside of knee) and made it work.  The knee would bark occasionally but I was not limiting.

After hitting 100 miles I really could not find a reason to continue ~ There was Jen again pushing my buttons, pissing me off and getting me out for another lap.  Soon I found another goal = 200k.  In 2008 I worked the whole race to pass the 200k sign and finish the lap, only to fail.  At this point I was also not mindful of conserving time.  I sat occasionally and did not mind waiting for something I requested.  I was confident to make it to 200k.

18-19 hours into the race my congestion decided to kick in.  I went a lap where I coughed the whole way.  Getting dizzy as I could not stop.  I stopped by the doctore to listen to my lungs and he said there was nothing to stop me from continuing.  I said I would sit a few minutes to let them settle down.  Jen did not like this, so she came up with some story to get me moving again ... Soon I had menthal carmex on my chest and under my nose - Just breath slow and deep.  Smoothing out my breathing pattern did put it at bay the rest of the race.

Between 21-22 hours, my feet were really hurting, I had hot spots and they just ached.  Once I knew I was dehydrated (Hour 10) I stopped taking anything to help the pain.  The 200k mark pulled me along and I hit it right at 23 hours. 

Good enough ... Damn you Jen.  Jen pushed my buttons again ... There was a woman Lana Haugberg just a couple miles behind and she was moving really well.  Did I want to fall into 4th place ... get chicked.  Fine, I will keep going, but the Doc is going to look at my feet.  No serious blisters, just bad hot spots - 5 minutes later I was on my way with duck tape on one foot (It did help).

I figured I would just walk 3+ miles.

I walked the short laps until 5-6 minutes left (220 yard out and backs) until I realized I wanted to finish at the end my crew was at, so I started to jog and do fuzzy math to make it so.  With about 1 minute to go I hit my crew and was done ... there was Jen yelling at me to get 1 more 220 done in the last minute ... I flipped her off and stopped.

Funny thing - That short lap (.125 mile) would have kept me from getting chicked.  Lana had run a great race and showed a lot of determination running hard the last hour.  She finished in third with 128.71 miles to my effort of 128.66 miles.  It still makes me smile.

My crew was excellent.  My good friend Richard and his wife Renee had driven up from LaCrosse.  My wife always does a world class job, this time she had Richard and Jen to help her, help me problem solve and motivate me to continue.  She never misses getting me exactly what I need, but Richard and Jen are better at the ass-kicking we all need sometimes.

It was also nice to get help / support from Jeff, Allie and Jeff.  Thank you for letting us use the Tent.

I also got me meet 4-5 people in real life from the internet. (Don, Buzzie, Paully, Drink-n-run)  I am sure I am missing people.

Multiple people made it fun by cheering me on with "Go Big Horse"!

Thank you fore reading my rambling - I will post a few more thoughts in the days to come

Good Running to all

1 comment:

  1. I still think you did awesome, you took time and problem solved even though you did not win, you hit the 200K distance and you could have easily found ways to not, Kuddos to Jen for giving you a ass kicking as needed.