Monday, July 27, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of My First 50 Miler

The Good:
1. The Race Plan: I just felt like I ran a good, smart race. I had a very conservative start, and still felt relatively strong at the end. I definitely slowed down some in the last 22 miles, but I think I did so well because I was able to keep running for almost the entire way, with the exception of about one steep mile.

2. Troubleshooting: My stomach felt off from very early on. I just remember reading one of the signs of hyponatremia is a stomach that won't empty. I wouldn't have thought it'd be a problem that early since I was drinking sports beverage, eating solids and gels and it was still relatively cool. But I couldn't think why else my stomach would feel so full. So I took 2 S-caps! 45 minutes later, I had emptied my water bottle, but I still felt the same so I took 2 more S-caps! This felt a lot like disobeying the warning on the Ibuprofen bottle, you know the one that says,"Do not take more than six tablets in a 24 hour period without consulting a doctor." I also didn't drink much over the next section, but by the next AS, it seemed like all was good and I even chugged a big cup of ginger ale before heading out.

3. My Loving Husband: I gotta give him big thanks for putting up with my running neurosis. This time was especially hard because he had to take care of the kids in a campground. He's a pretty supportive guy, even though he does a lot of eye rolling when I talk about ultras and despite admitting that when he saw me and Erin (who ended up second), he thought she was definitely going to pass me back and win the race!

4. Camping Before the Race: Several people warned me that this was a bad idea, but I thought it was fun. It was a little challenging with the kids, but I still got a good night's sleep and it felt like the race was more of a weekend get away than just the usual show up, run, and leave routine.

5. Heed: Despite my salt issues, I really liked this beverage, mostly because it wasn't very sweet but it still had more flavor than water.

The Bad:
1. "Wonky" Stomach: I pride myself on an iron stomach so I really didn't like that I had some issues. Fortunately, I was keeping everything down and the problem seemed to resolve after a little intervention.

2. Camping after an Ultra: As much as I liked camping before the ultra, I wasn't so fond of it the second night. There were no showers and a washrag and soap only goes so far! Plus I wanted a soft bed and more milk (we ran out after my second glass - who knew I'd be craving milk?). And dealing with the kids at the campground took a bit more energy than I had after 50 miles.

3. Hacky Cough: I had a dry cough for a few days that felt like what I would imagine asthma to feel like. Too much dust inhalation?? I don't know, but I didn't like it.

4. Nuun: The fizz in this was just all wrong. I am not a fan.

5. Left Shoulder: This was actually my biggest pain after the race; it felt like I had some bursitis or something. I am feeling a lot more comfortable carrying a water bottle, but I am sure I tense up that shoulder too much.

6. Men's Shorts: One of the prizes for the ladies race was a pair of men's shorts!! I hate to be critical of free stuff and I am super grateful to the race directors for putting on such a great race, but this prize is a bit odd!

The Ugly: Unfortunately, it looks like three of my toenails are going to be casualties of this race. My feet are not going to be pretty when they fall off!

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