Monday, April 11, 2011

90 days and counting, and a DNF

On Jan 1 I entered a bet with Rich. Running 90 days in a row. It sounded like a great idea, especially as I was getting ready to run the Antelope Island 100 mile in March. I should have accepted Rich's initial offer of the loser mowing the winner's lawn 3 times during the summer, because 2 weeks into it, he went on a binge of rest days and missed 3 in a row. I had already won, but decided to keep on with it. On March 31 it ended, with only 2 days missed, which were within the guidelines of the bet. One day I missed because it was Sunday and I just felt like laying on the couch and eating a bag of Cheetos, the other day was spent in the car for 15 hours driving home from Mexico. Here's a few highlights.
-I started out with a bad case of Plantar Fasciitis, and it seemed to be getting worse. Defying conventional wisdom, I increased my mileage, decreased my rest days, and it went away.

-I ran 784 miles

-I spent way too much time on the treadmill, and ran up Grandeur exactly 0 times.

-I did, however, summit the top of Lincoln Lane and 2700 East about 55 times.

-I PR'd at the Moab 50K and felt very fit coming into the Antelope Island 100 miler.

Which brings me to the DNF. While in Mexico two weeks before the race, I felt great. What a great way to taper. Sleeping more than I've slept in months, long runs on the beach and deserted dirt roads, and soaking up some long missed warmth and sunshine. Instead of heading home fully rested and relaxed, I picked up a nasty sinus infection and stomach friend two days before heading home. I immediately loaded up on the kids emergency antibiotics I had brought, and was feeling decent by Monday. By Thursday the stomach was still a little funky and Friday morning (race day) my head was full of gunk again.

In addition, I had planned for a late start at 6 pm instead of noon on Friday as I didn't have enough vacation accrued at the VA dental clinic where I spend my Friday's. I got out a little early, made it to the start line by 5, where the weather had improved to perfect conditions instead of the blizzard conditions at noon, and headed off, fairly apprehensive as to how my body would hold up.

My legs felt great, my sinuses emptied fairly quickly, but from the moment I started eating, my stomach let me know it would be a long 100 miles. Even after stopping multiple times to clear my troubled intestines, I finished the first lap in 2:40, right on pace and legs feeling great, and hoping that after clearing itself, my stomach would settle down. At Lower Frary, I was still on pace, but becoming more unsettled and by the time I had left the Ranch (mile 33) and was headed back to Lower Frary, I couldn't keep anything in. No vomiting, which is surprising for me, but a lively version of the Aztec two-step. For me the race was over. I made it back to the start/finish area at around 1 am, informed a disappointed Mick that I had dropped and he didn't get to run 30 miles in the dark with me, and that was that.

Looking back, there is some disappointment, purely from the fact that I was really ready to run. I had trained hard and felt like I could have given it a good run. But, my body said otherwise, and from a health perspective, dropping was the right thing to do. From that standpoint, I have no regrets.You can fake a marathon, you can sometimes even fake 50 miles, but to run 100 miles, and to run it hard, the stars have to align themselves and your ducks need to be all in a row.

Now, I feel like a little redemption is in order. I'm in 100 mile shape, and the Salt Flats 100 is in a couple weeks. Anyone have any other suggestions?


Scott said...

Dumb luck with your sickness. I was certain you were going to run well. Same happened to me, but I was able to "fake" it through my race albeit it being the 50 instead.

As far as any other 100's, besides the salt flats one you will have to travel for it. Not a lot of options this time of year around these parts.

100 miles on the flats will surely get you seeing mirages haha

Jay said...

Must have been some nasty sh*t (pun intended) to have caused you to drop. You are as tough as they come in my book!

jojo said...

You'll kill it at salt flats.

I'd be really interested in a post about how you got plantar fasciitis and what you did to get rid of it.

Erik said...


Doesn't look like the Salt Flats is going to work out. Something to think about in the future. As far as the PF goes, there wasn't anything that really precipitated it's onset. it just slowly progressedstarting about 2 years ago, peaking around December/January of this year. I had been doing some stretching and massage to try and help it out to no avail. then, I started wearing orthotics (I have flat feet and have had orthotics since I was a kid, just hadn't been wearing them for a couple years) in my shoes at work, and didn't go barefoot as much. No orthotics or special insoles in my running shoes. That's the only thing I changed, and it went away. There's still some tightness in my arch, but none of the debilitating pain.

jojo said...

Thanks Erik,

I'm working through soreness in my feet right now that I think is PF. Trying to get rid of it as fast as possible. Planning on running the Bear this fall.