Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dr. Update

I decided to go and to see a Dr. for my lower back pain. I thought to myself do I go to the guy who might check out the heart, cholesterol, prostate and all of the other things you get checked when you are a 50+ year old male. Nope I went to the guy who does training and chiropractic and I think I made the right choice.

He asked me what I thought was going on, I told him I had lower back pain and that I thought it was probably muscular more than anything else. He then put me through his process of evaluation and after doing so, he said my diagnosis was on track, matter of fact he paid me a huge complement. He said I win his prize for having the tightest hips he has seen in 2010. He also complemented my ankles for being tight as well as my hamstrings. I said to myself, sweet, I am finally first at something. My wife later said something like, you know that isn't a good thing. Based on the bending and stretching he put me through, I think he would agree.

So the plan will be to work on some stretching for the next week and hopefully I get a bit looser before Afton. If I don't well, it ain't going to be pretty. I ran today with Wayne in Hyland and the back was sore and I had to do more walking than I hope to do all of next weekend. The only thing that complicates it is that I get to sit in an airplane next week for a trip to San Jose. Not a good way to keep the back loose.

Oh a few other medical stats: Blood Pressure was 108/70, Pulse was 52 so no ill effects to worry about from FANS. As to that other Dr, I will go and see him but not until after Afton.

Time to do some stretching..........

Monday, June 21, 2010


Based on the title you might think I was going to post about barefoot running, well you would be wrong. This is about barefoot driving.

I grew up driving barefoot, ok, I can almost hear some of the thoughts from those that know I am from southern Indiana (once a hillbilly, always a hillbilly). That doesn't have anything to do with it, I grew up in a small city, ok at least not much. Anyway, I started driving barefoot right after I got my license. I used to go water skiing and if you ever have wet and sandy feet, well shoes aren't really appropriate so I used to just drive without any shoes. The other problem I had was the clutch and break pedals on my old Datsun 510 were a bit smooth and if you had any moisture on your shoes, you foot would just slip off the pedal which would usually lead to a few other issues.

So, one of my favorite days in Minnesota is the first day I drive barefoot after a long cold dark snowy ugly winter, it is usually in late February or March (ok I have been known to rush it) and after that first time I tend to do it all spring/summer/fall long up until the first or second snow of the next winter. If I was tough enough I might do it all winter long but alas I am not. The way I do it is to wear my soccer slides to the car and I slip them off to drive. It does mean that I have to put shoes on in my car when I get to work as soccer slides and dress pants probably wouldn't meet our dress code. It does work ok for Kwik Trip though. It also might mean I occasionally wear strange shoes or socks at work as I have forgotten my work shoes once or twice (I always have my running stuff) but for the most part no one noticed or at least made any comments to me.

Now I used to think that it was illegal to drive barefoot but since I wasn't sure, I googled it and here is what I found on wikipedia:

Another common myth is that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while barefoot. Some people speculate that, because you use your feet while driving, there's more room for error and your feet could slip off of the pedals, resulting in an accident.[7] In fact, in all 50 states and territories in the United States, as well as in Canada, and in the United Kingdom, it is perfectly legal to drive barefoot.[7][8][9] However, in some jurisdictions, police officers may ticket you for other things if the fact that you were driving barefoot or in flip flops/high heeled shoes hindered your driving and/or resulted in an accident.[10]
You can check out the references on wikipedia under barefoot
So if you get bored wearing shoes and aren't yet into barefoot running give barefoot driving a try, it may not be the smartest thing I do but I do know it makes driving more fun at least for me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

S Caps revisited

Karyn and I went for a run yesterday on the Lake Minnetonka Trail, a converted rails to trails with a crushed limestone surface that goes from Hopkins to Victoria. We picked it up in Excelsior with the thought of going to Victoria, returning to Excelsior, grabbing more fluids and then running a few miles towards Hopkins and then back to Excelsior.

The plan was to go for 19 as Karyn is back in marathon training mode. Turns out, she is a marathon away from qualifying to join Marathon Maniacs (Bronze Level - 3 Marathons within a 90 day time frame) . She did two in May, so she needs to get one more by the end of July. We are thinking of doing Okoboji in Iowa on July 17th, I tried to convince her to do the Afton 50k or 1/2 Voyageur but she is not sure that a conversion to trails is where she wants to go.

Back to the run and my hydration, at FANS, the good Doctor thought I took in too many S Caps (and I am sure he was right) so I didn't want to take in too many on this run. We had gotten a late start not getting there until around 4 PM. When we got there I was feeling a bit sloshy from drinking water on the way up so I took an S Cap. Hoping that it would help. Not wanting to overdo them again, I held off to take another one until after an hour even though it was a bit warm with temps near 80.

About 20 minutes into the run, I knew I was having a bit of low blood sugar. I have had this happen on a couple of runs and thankfully have learned that taking a Chocolate #9 or Clif Shot Bloks usually get me back in equilibrium fairly quickly. I took in a #9 and sure enough all was well within 10 to 15 minutes.

We ran the 7 miles into Victoria to where the trail ends. At times it seemed uphill but I don't think it had that much grade. We started back and I suggested we go into Carver Regional Park. Karyn wasn't too sure but agreed, our first venture into the park was at the Lake Steiger entrance, turned out to just be a boat launch. Shortly after that wrong turn we turned onto a paved bikepath that led it's way into the park. For this section we were pretty well exposed and the sun was hot. We looped a bit around in the park adding in 2 or 3 extra miles. During this section my back and shoulder blade started hurting again. I tried to stretch out but didn't seem to have too much success. We ended up stopping when we got back to Excelsior with 17 miles complete and both of us thinking stopping would be a good idea.

On the S Cap front, I ended up taking my second S cap at one hour and since I was still queasy I took another one 40 minutes later. Since I still didn't feel great, I thought that maybe I was taking in too many again and I wondered how much salt does HEED have and what about Perpetuem? It occurred to me that these are things I should know before I start a run. I held off taking any more S caps so total S cap consumption was 3 which works out to 1 every 80 minutes. Should I have taken another one, maybe or was I just getting dehydrated or was it both electrolytes and hydration?

What did this run tell me? Two things, I need to get the back tightness/pain resolved and I have no clue about maintaining my hydration and electrolyte consumption. So I guess I better get to work on both.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steve Q theory - a test?

Steve Q. has written a lot of interesting posts through the years, in a recent post which he titled "Steve's Rule for Ultrarunning" he said he had come up with one good rule for ultrarunning:

"run 1/3 of the distance, with 1/2 of the climb in 1/4 of the time"

In his post, he explained it this way, say you want to run 100 miles at FANS 24, that means you need to run 33 miles in 6 hours. Seems reasonable, now this formula may or may not be scientific but when it comes to running longer distances, I think that is ok because the more running I do the more it seems I just need to have something that keeps me focused for training and believing that I can do the longer distances.

At FANS I wanted to run 50 miles in 12 hours, if I had used Steve's formula using the marathons I ran with my wife as a predictor, they had us going through ~17 miles in 3 hours 30 minutes. It would say that the 12 hour goal would be a stretch. Neither marathon was very hilly but both had a few more hills than FANS so I am not sure that we matched the "1/2 of the climb" requirement or not. In order to make the "1/4 of the time", we would have had to be a 1/2 hour faster, since it was a marathon not a 17 mile race, I can't be sure if we could have shaved the 1/2 hour or not but I think we could. If we had nailed his formula during the marathons, I think it would simply have given me a bit more cushion at FANS. I failed at FANS (at least in my mind) because of the combination of the back, the nausea and the hypothermia which all led to the medical tent issue but I was on pace for 50 miles having gone through 40 miles in 9 hours. I thought at the time that I could walk 10 miles in 3 hours and at that point I had no intention of walking it in. I like to think that take the back issue away and I would not have had to stop, I was working on the nausea and I wasn't planning on stopping because of that. Regardless, I know believe I can do 50 miles in 12 hours on a flat course. Yes I have to prove it and I may fail the next time I try but the reality is I now believe I can, which to me is an important step. Getting the mind to believe so the body will follow.

So for me, I want to eventually run a 100 mile race and I was thinking a 28 hour goal would be something to train for. Therefore using the formula that is 33 miles in 7 hours, why shoot for 28 hours, well it just seems like a reasonable goal to shoot for. Sure I would like to run it in 24 hours but let me think a bit on that, I have yet to run sub 12 for 50 miles so all I got to do is accomplish that and then double it, nope not likely to happen. I am not not sure the 28 hour goal is doable either but it does seem like something I can imagine doing.

So what does this mean? It means over the next couple of years, I would need to get my 50k times down to around 6:40 which is an hour faster than I am currently at. Can I get there, I think yes and it will become my goal over the next 12 to 18 months. If I can't train to do that then I question my commitment towards doing a 100 anyway.

My next race is Afton and I don't plan on trying to run that pace there but I would like to try to cut the deficit in half. So I am going to try and cut a half hour off which basically means a minute/mile faster which is doable. Of course, I do need to see what the weather is going to be and probably a few other things as if I learned anything from FANS, it is make sure you adjust to the day and then adjust even more as the day goes on.

Am I wise to follow Steve's formula, time will tell but it does give me something that I can use to shape my training towards, I kind of view it as the ultrarunning version of Yasso 800's.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New blog appearance...Oops.

I saw blogger added some new templates and I was kind of moving through them when apparently I saved one and since I didn't back up the old one, my blog now has a new look.

You can let me know if you think it is worse or better than the old one or that you don't care.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FANS revisited

Ok, I have taken a few days to reflect on my Saturday efforts and I am quite content with how things worked out. I looked back at what I wanted to accomplish, my primary goal was to improve in the fueling area and to pace myself more conservatively. I did have a secondary goal of 50 miles in 12 hours but that was more to see if I could and I know now I can even though I failed on this day. Can I do so on a trail like Ice Age, I now think it is possible where before I did not. So how did I do?

Not that it counts for anything but I did end up with a couple of race PR's of sorts. My first participation in FANs along with the ~43 miles in 10 hours (it will be officially recorded as 12 hours) and I crossed the 50k point (per my Garmin) in around 6:48, considering I was taking it easy that was nice to see. My best 50k is 7:45 and in almost all of them I have had issues with fueling, hydration, cramping and/or injuries so it is nice to see time improvements (yes, I know this is a much easier course).

So what worked?
  • Pacing
  • Fueling combinations of Perpetuem, Heed, Clif Shot Bloks, EFS Liquid shot and granola bars (options are good)
  • North Face Fireroads - no issues outside maybe cushioning
  • Les's foot lube - no blisters
  • Garmin counting loop times and avg mile pace within each loop.
  • Running around friends
What didn't work?
  • S-Caps - no adjustment of my intake for the weather
  • Ginger chew - too many S-caps may not be fixable with ginger chews.
  • Pre-race prep - what pre-race prep?
  • Race shorts - chafing was an issue
On the pacing front, I recognized I was going faster than I intended to early on and I cut back. I actively kept track of each loop and tried to keep them within certain time ranges. I felt up to the start of the crash (midway through loop 17) that I could have gone faster but I wanted to hold back until later in the race. I was enjoying the slow easy pace with the planned walking breaks. It was fun, I was even bowing to the walking tree (by the cedar bridge) as well as my walking post (by Mt. Nokomis) to show my appreciation for getting to my walking points.

On the fuel front, I tried some new products and I think they worked. I had plenty of energy through 40 miles and felt great. I ran one of my faster loops during loop 15 without trying to run faster. When I walked I could walk at a decent clip with no extra thoughts that I needed to go faster required. I liked the Perpetuem the most but the other items will provide choices which I think will always be a good idea to have available.

How many calories did I take in?
1. Perpetuem ~ 2 1/2 liter bottles - 540 calories
2. HEED ~ 5 1/2 liter bottles ~ 500 calories
3. EFS - 1 bottle ~400 calories
4. Granola bars - 100 calories

How many did I take in at McNaughton probably closer to 900 calories over 15 1/2 hours. So the 1540 calories taken in over 10 hours is an improvement. Who knows maybe it was too many, but to have energy sure felt good.

The end happened so quickly, that too is an experience to file away and hopefully avoid in the future. I learned what happens when I don't adjust my S-caps for a cooler day and take them at a rate that would be better suited to a hot day. Now, I know if make the same mistake again to drink in water until things get back to normal. I also failed to have available extra warm clothes or a rain jacket. It rained most of the day and I was starting to get cold and even though I wasn't even that uncomfortable, I simply noted that a jacket or long sleeve shirt would have been nice. They may not have helped me avoid my final fate but I will never know as I had left them in the car (which wasn't available) for after the race. As to the hypothermia, from my perspective it came on very quickly as well. I was running ok until loop 17 and then I was walking ok up to the final mile so it hit in well under an hour. It may have been developing for awhile but it didn't seem like I was having issues until that last mile. Looking back though once I stopped after loop 17, I was a bit out of it with my thoughts. How do I know, first, I changed my clothes in the medical tent. There is no way I would have done so if I was thinking clearly, I would have gone into the port-a-pot. I am not a public person, period. Second, I was there for almost 2 hours, drank 5 cups of coffee and 2 cups of warm water and it seemed like no more than a 1/2 hour. And last, I was rationale and coherent (I think) but I was almost too talkative at least for me and I don't remember much from the conversations. Oh well.

So although I didn't make the mileage goal, I did gain knowledge on two things, pacing and fueling. I look forward to taking the lessons learned into Afton and I can think of nothing better than to have energy there and set a 50k PR.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

FANS 12 Hour Race Report

I went into FANs with major reservations about looping around Lake Nokomis all day as I had said I could think of nothing more painful to do. Wayne and Karen said it's a fun event to do and they convinced me it was worth doing and as it turns out I was wrong, they were right and I loved it.

Short report
First 40 miles went absolutely great, I was having a blast and I was on track for 52 miles without any problem, fueling was working, weather was great (I like running in the rain) and then the wheels fell off like I have never experienced before. Last 3 miles were a chore, yes I only did 43 as I was pulled by the medical folks.

Long report
My wife drove me up for the race and we got there fairly early about 6:45 or so. The race starts at 8:00 am. We ended up being able to park on the street right at the start/finish area. I had scrambled a bit getting ready for which my wife commented that I was a bit nonchalant concerning this race. I think that came from my lack of enthusiasm over the race but I do have to admit I did myself no favors in not getting my act together earlier.

The course is a 2.42 mile loop around Lake Nokomis run on an asphalt/concrete bike path with a 1.65 mile out and back loop to start the race.

My pre-race plan was to run these loop times:
Loop 1 - 20:48 (minutes:seconds)
Loop 2 to 5 - 31:12
Loop 6 to 9 - 32:24
Loop 10 to 13 - 33:36
Loop 14 to 17 - 34:48
Loop 18 to 21 - 36:00

Basically, I was allowing for a 30 second/mile fade every 4 loops, if I stuck to my plan I would have hit 50 miles with 20 minutes to spare. I thought it was conservative and very doable but since in my previous 50's I had fueling issues which slowed me after 30 miles I wanted to see this conservative plan work. I also planned to take an S-cap every 1/2 hour just like I did in the previous marathons as that seemed to work great.

I had made my shoe selection the night before, I was again running in my North Face FireRoads. I had worn them at both Lincoln and Fargo and though at times their cushioning (especially on concrete) may have been a bit light they were my best choice. I again was using Les's foot goop of Vaseline and Desitin as that also had worked at the marathons. So with the feet lubed up, shoes on, I was ready.

We found Wayne and Karen and I dropped off my stuff at Karen's shelter. Wayne and I were doing the 12 hour and Karen was doing the 24 hour. My plan was to run the first few loops with Wayne and Karen and depending on the pace, fall back or stay with them. I knew Karen was planning on going out harder than I planned. My primary goal was to maintain fueling and have energy from the 25 to 45 mile point of the race. My secondary goal was to get in at least 50 miles.

Getting myself ready before the start

The three of us, ready to run

Tents line the course near the start/finish
I walked over to see if I needed to check in and I saw Helen doing the check in so I walked up to check, she called me by name. Ok, that was nice even if she got it from my race number and looking it up. She had me go ahead and get on the scale again, I was up 2 lbs from the night before. At FANs you have to be weighed before the race and every 4 hours during the race.

The atmosphere at FANs is real relaxed for a road type event, I really do like that. The course is technically not closed to the public as we run on a bike/pedestrian path the entire time. So occasionally we have to loop around folks just visiting the lake for the day. These signs are pretty much everywhere.

The race folks gave the final instructions and we were off.

Pre-race instructions
The pace seemed fine early on but when I saw the first short loop split it was bit faster than I wanted to go.

Loop 1 - 19:01 (Karen had shown us how to set our Garmin's to track the loop times which worked out well for tracking each loop as you could check your loop mile pace average, I guess this is what happens when you read the instructions).

As we work our way around - Loop 2

After the short loop, my wife left but was planning to return later in the day to run a few loops with me. On the first normal loop (loop 2), the pace was again fairly quick. It wasn't hard, just faster than I thought I should go, as my goal was to have energy later in the race. I told Wayne and Karen, I would do one more loop with them and would then bid them on there way. I told Wayne to go with Karen as I knew he could go faster than me and since Karen was already in a zone and focused I knew it would give him the best chance to hit the miles he was capable of, if he stayed with me, one of two things would happen, I would continue to go too fast or he would go too slow neither of which seemed to make sense.

Loop 2 time - 29:14 (not quite 2 minutes)

So after loop 3 I bid them goodbye.

Loop 3 time - 29:46

As I headed around on my 4th loop a friend of mine from work came running up and said he was going to run the loop with me. We had a nice chat about the race and about what I wanted to do for the day. He had come out to run with friends from his running club, Minnesota RED.

Loop 4 time - 30:31

Loop 5 went fine and I was starting to get into a groove. Wayne and Karen had introduced me to the course and how to run it with some nicely planned walking breaks. They would walk the Cedar bridge, the walk would begin at a large tree that they named the walking tree. After the bridge, they would run until Mt. Nokomis, a15 foot hill where you run in the grass, this would be a much shorter walking break and then maybe walk a bit back around at the start/finish area. My plan was to follow their plan and it was working well, it was about a mile from the start area to the bridge, about 3/4 of mile to Mt. Nokomis and then about 3/4 to the start/finish.

Loop 5 time - 30:52

Loop 6, 7, 8 and 9 came and went. I was doing just fine, it had started raining I think around loop 4 or 5 and it was coming down throughout all of these loops. This led to some early chafing issues which I didn't really need. In hindsight, I should have worn shorts under my running shorts but I hadn't thought about that at all, that may go back to the pre-race planning but in my defense I knew it was going to be in the low 70's so adding extra clothing wasn't really even a thought.

Loop 6 time - 31:14
Loop 7 time - 31:31
Loop 8 time - 32:34
Loop 9 time - 34:19

So some of the changes in my loop times were the result of dealing with the chafing, I was adding Vaseline as much as I could. On loop 9, I stopped and went into the port-a-pot and tried to smear Desitin and Vaseline on the chafed areas. I was so wet, it was hard to get it to stick. It may have been in this loop that I had a good conversation with Les bout S-caps, he told me that S-caps made him sick on days like this. I told him that I needed them as they kept me from getting nausea. He said same for him on hot days but not on a day like today.

I was using two new things during the race as part of my fueling, Hammer Perpetuem and EFS Liquid Shot. I also had plenty of HEED, strawberry flavor that I intended to drink when I wasn't taking in Liquid Shots or Perpetuem. I used the Liquid shot during the 3rd loop and I found it to be a bit sweet and almost gagged on it. It is vanilla flavor and has a good taste (not gu like) but I wasn't too sure about it. I took in about 2/3 of it during that loop, the nice thing about the liquid shots is that you don't necessarily need water. Each bottle has 400 calories so it does add some decent fueling quickly. I also had some Clif shot bloks, sport beans and chocolate #9 available as well. During loops 6 and 7, I ate the Clif Shot bloks. For loops 9 and 10 I took in a 1/2 liter of Perpetuem and it seemed to settle well. I drank my second bottle of it during loops 13 and 14.

The loops were flying by and it was somewhere near loop 10 where I had to admit to myself that this was a lot of fun. My fueling was working, I had energy and I was really enjoying myself. I was fairly well holding to my planned loop time pace and the only time I got off track was when I took time to deal with the chafing. I was starting to walk a bit through the start/finish area but I used that time to eat granola bars from the aid station and to grab extra fluids from my bag.

Loop 10 time - 32:28
Loop 11 time - 33:28
Loop 12 time - 34:20
Loop 13 time - 36:09
Loop 14 time - 35:28
Loop 15 time - 32:27
Loop 16 time - 34:37

As I completed loop 16, I saw that my wife had returned and I told her I was doing great. I was pumped, the fueling seemed to be working, I had energy, everything was working as planned. I went ahead took off from the shelter as she needed a few minutes to get ready, her plan was to run the opposite way and catch up to me. It was as I headed around on this loop that I noticed I was starting to get a bit nauseated, oh great the S-caps weren't working or was it I had taken too many as Les's and my previous conversation kind of resonated in my head.

Oh well. I was about to the walking tree so no worry. I took another S-cap. When I got to the other side of the bridge, Karyn had caught up to me. I told her about the nausea but we were able to do some running but my walking did increase. I told myself you are doing great, just relax a bit and let the nausea past. During this loop I asked her if she could run ahead and get me some Desitin/Vaseline as the chafing was a bigger concern than the nausea. I also asked if she could mix me another bottle of Perpetuem and to grab a ginger chew as I was starting to think my fueling might be getting light so that should be enough to get me all the way around and I hoped the ginger chew would resolve the nausea. I made it around and grabbed my sport beans and took off as she mixed up the Perpetuem. Of course, I didn't tell her that and she thought I was still in the bathroom. Oops.

Loop 17 time - 37:56

I had come through loop 17 (about 40.75 miles) in just a bit over 9 hours so I had almost 3 hours to go a bit over 9 miles. I was able to run a bit but the nausea was getting worse, much worse. I knew I could walk it in and still get to 50 miles and that is what I told myself I would do if needed. As I walked up to the walking tree and made the turn onto the bridge, my back twinged. I had been having back pain on and off since about 4 hours into the race, probably from the concrete and my shoes, at least that was my theory. I was thinking that maybe I should switch shoes at the end of this loop. Karyn caught up to me and handed me the ginger chew, I started chewing it and of course gagged almost immediately. Keep it together, I told myself as I knew I was capable of walking a mile in a little over 16 min/mile pace. I looked at my watch and I had completed mile 42 at the 9 1/2 hour point, so all I had to do was run 8 miles in 2 1/2 hours. I told myself again that I was fine, just relax and keep moving, don't panic. As we came off the bridge, I twisted a bit I think as I was gagging again and the back pain was intense. Ok this was not good. Karyn and I talked about what to do and I said I don't know, we stopped at a bench and I tried to stretch a bit. It didn't help. I knew I was getting cold so again I asked if she could run ahead and get me a dry long sleeve shirt as I was really getting chilled. I continued on but at a really slow pace, I am sure I looked like an old man (even older than I am) as my steps were short. The back pain was constant as was the nausea. I finally made it through the start/finish area.

Loop 18 time - 51:46 (mile 43 took 23:45) , I came through in loop 18 with just a little over 2 hours left in the race (mile 43.17 at the 9:58:06 point in the race per my Garmin).

As I neared Karen's shelter, I saw Karyn had a chair for me. Good, I would sit down, change shirts and maybe shorts, stretch out the back and then get on my way. I made it onto the chair and about then a FANs volunteer came up, he looked at me and said "You do not look good". I said I was fine, just a sore back and a bit cold. He said you need to go to the medical tent and see the doctor. I meandered into the tent. They had me change into dry clothes and immediately wrapped me up in mylar blankets. I am sure that if anyone went by as I changed in a fairly public area (they tried to give me privacy) they would have been amused, I do know it is hard to remove wet clothes as they hold blankets up around you. The Dr was a bit concerned about the swelling more concerned about the shaking I had going on. He wanted to get my core warmed up, so he had me drinking coffee. He asked when I last peed, I said 5 or 6 hours earlier. He asked how much fluid I had taken in and about my S-cap consumption. He took my pulse and blood pressure. Apparently my BP was fairly high. The Dr wasn't that concerned about it as he said the machine he used can read high. The volunteer who was there later told me it was 165/90. The Dr had said it could read 20 or so points higher. My BP is normally 115-120/75-80. Something I will probably recheck on another day. We discussed that maybe today wasn't the day that I should have been taking an S-cap every 1/2 hour, I did slow down my consumption a bit after the conversation with Les but I was still taking one every 30 to 45 minutes. He again commented on the amount of fluid I had taken in and the fact that I had not peed. I think it was during this discussion that he had get back on the scale. My weight was back down. My weight had varied like this during the day, morning weigh in had me 2 lbs heavier from the night before, 2 lbs lighter after 4 hours, back to pre-race weight after 8 hours, 2 lbs lighter when the Dr weighed me. At some point they had my wife go and get the sleeping bag we had in the car, I do know that it was nice getting wrapped up in that and helped me feel a bit warmer.

Can I go back now?
As to my race being disrupted I have to admit that at the time I was bit relieved as I wasn't sure I could go on. They had taken the decision out of my hands so I couldn't do much about it. After about a 1/2 hour and 5 cups of coffee, they said I could let one of the massage folks work on my back but first I had to pee. They also said I had to bring a sample back. I went over to the port-a-pot, peed, and made it back. They had sent Karyn to follow me to make sure I was ok. I then was able to get the massage and it took some of the tension off and my back felt better. I was starting to feel like I could go back, the Dr. said no. Karyn had boiled some water and they wanted me to drink that. As I sipped it, I told him it actually didn't taste bad. I was still shaking as I drank the water, I think that may have influenced his choice a bit. I drank another cup and by then I had been there for over an hour. I was no longer shaking, at least not much. I asked if I could go back they said no. At that time, I knew my day was done. My wife reminded me afterward that technically the Dr diagnosed me with hypothermia and that is main reason he didn't allow me back out.

So 43 miles completed, 40 were great and the fueling had worked, 3 were not good at all but the issues were not fueling related. My issues were too many s-caps and maybe the shoes but who knows if not for the nausea maybe the back would not have caused me issues.

Disappointing, yes, but the lessons learned will be filed away and I guess I can take solace in that it is the first time I have ever been pulled from a race. The nice thing about FANs is, it is not a DNF, I just stopped a couple hours before everyone else and will get credit for my 43 miles.

Some things I didn't mention that I have to mention to make this report complete. I met Karen's daughter Kaitlyn, she did a great job of supporting her mom and helping Wayne and myself out. I also met Vicky and Mike, Vicky had made a CD for Wayne that we listened to on the way down to McNaughton. It has a very interesting selection of songs, one of which is about Up'er girls. Vicky gave both Wayne and I Up'er bars, really good dark chocolate. The one she gave me was the consolation prize (it had less of something, regardless it was real good, thank you Vicky) and Wayne earned the best one. Wayne did a great job, completing 54+ miles, Karen finished out the night but I don't have the details on that, regardless congrats for a great effort.

I also met a few additional runners, I introduced myself to Joel Button who was running with a friend Kevin, we ran together for a little while. Kevin works at Mayo and knows the Dr that was in the medical tent as they used to work together. I got a chance to talk with Jim Wilson a bit more than our brief meeting at Afton. Good conversation, good luck at Big Horn.I also talked with Les a couple more times and we heard how I made my way to the medical tent, suffice to say it gave him a good laugh.

Last, I have to thank all of the volunteers at FANs, it's a very good race, has great support, a special event. My thanks to all of the folks in the medical tent for their assistance. I appreciate it more today than I probably did yesterday. I also need to thank my wife for her great support taking care of me at the medical tent and her help in trying to get me through my issues.

One thing I do know is that I definitely want to do FANs, next year. My wife and at least one of my daughters (maybe my other one as well) have said they want to camp out there all day and provide support. I know we missed out on some fun activities by having to take off last night and a few more this morning. I had hopes of getting up to make it for the breakfast but the 5 cups of coffee seemed to keep me awake until sometime after 2 in the morning and I didn't wake up in time to get there.

Now the only the only question is do I want to do the 12 hour again or try the 24 hour? ;-).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I was feeling a bit down yesterday, probably cuz it was the end of a long weekend and because I think my legs are a bit dead. It may be that it was memorial day, it may be that yet again I watched my beloved Indy 500 from up here in MN. I hope everyone watched it, what a great race and what a phenomenal crash at the end of the race. Congrats to Dario and hats off to the racing community for all of the safety improvements that they have made through the years, it is unbelievable that the driver (Mike Conway) lived through the crash.

Back to my legs, I have a few days before FANS so no need to worry as I have plenty of time for my legs to rejuvenate themselves. Ok it is a concern, all of my recent runs have been on dead legs. So what does all of this have to with the "Why" title?

Easy enough, I was catching up on the blogs I read when I saw a post from Scott Dunlop. It was his third in a series of posts which he has called "Long Run Revelations". All have been great and I have linked them in so I can find them faster in the future as after rereading them, I am ready for FANS. Yes, my legs may still be dead but my mind is now ready.

What's funny about this title is at work my group is participating in a pilot program we call "LifeWorks". We no longer are calling it "Work/Life" balance as the two are intertwined so we are trying something different. Looks pretty similar though. Hopefully it does help me get a slightly better balance.

No I don't embrace death per se but with both my parents dying in their 50's (Dad - heart attack at age 54, Mother - colon cancer at age 58) I do like the message in this post, don't get so caught up in life's routine that you fail to live. My oldest brother this year made it to 59 so I guess it looks good for outliving my parents but one never knows when the plans get changed. So let's enjoy life and as my mom always used to say, "Stop and Smell the Roses".

I like this one a lot too as it captures the feelings I have worked through during my races except it means that the Abyss lies ahead of me. I know I have gone through the Wall during many races and I have wandered into the Pit on my 50 mile runs but know I now that the Abyss is my future. You know what I am totally ok with that and it may be part of the reason I do this.

So let's hope that I can stay out of the Abyss at FANS, regardless I intend to enjoy myself as I know I will appreciate the experience since I can do it as there many others who can't. It's all about perspective and thanks to Scott, mine is now back on track.


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