Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bad Medicine-The Leadville IV

If you are running The Leadville 100 Race, you can now "pre-order" your recovery IV Fluid for a mere 75.00 folks.  An additional bag is 100.00
Here is the link to the web site:

So you have finished your epic 100 mile race.You are tired, and dehydrated. You look forward to that IV fluid that you pre-ordered several weeks ago. Wow, recovery will go so much faster!

But what  happens if you finish the race-congrats-!  Go for your recovery fluid, which you ordered, because you assumed 4 weeks ago you would be a bit dehydrated-and you really are NOT dehydrated?

What  happens if you are the opposite: hyponatremic?  This is a medical condition where the runner has consumed too much water.  The sodium chloride level in the body is now too diluted. This causes the cells to swell with too much water. Although most cells can handle this swelling, brain cells cannot, because the skull bones confine them. Brain swelling causes most of the symptoms of hyponatremia.

This is becoming more of a problem as marathons get more popular. Slower marathon runners, who can take 6 hours or longer to complete a marathon, dutifully drink as instructed at water stations.  An older report from WebMD:

Marathon Runners Drink Too Much

Study: Dangerous Salt Loss Linked to Drinking Too Many Fluids
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News
April 13, 2005 -- One in three marathon runners drinks more fluids than she or he needs, a study of Boston Marathon runners shows.

In the 2002 Boston Marathon, one female runner died because her body lost too much salt, a condition known as hyponatremia. Many of her race mates risked the same fate, find Christopher S.D. Almond, MD, MPH, and colleagues.

Almond's team got blood samples and other data from 488 women and men who ran the 2002 Boston Marathon. They found that 13% of the runners had low sodium levels. And three of the 488 runners analyzed had critically low sodium levels -- putting them at very high risk of headache, confusion, seizures, and death.
Since 15,000 people ran the race, this means that nearly 1,900 of the runners had too-low sodium levels at the end of the race. And some 90 runners, Almond and colleagues estimate, had critically low sodium levels. The main cause of low sodium levels: drinking too many fluids during the race, diluting the body's salt.
"These observations suggest that hyponatremia -- and particularly severe hyponatremia -- may be a greater problem than previously recognized," Almond and colleagues report in the April 14 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

I won't even go into the legality of this. I'm assuming there is a Medical Director of this race.

I have never (and knock on wood) needed medical treatment after a race, but I am "assuming" someone takes responsibility, when, in a race or post-race, a decision is made that someone needs a bag of IV Fluid. I am not a physician, nor a paramedic, so I don't know how that all plays out, who makes the decision of the administration of fluids.  This may be a protocol approved by the Emergency Department at the hospital that the EMT's can use their own judgement in a 'emergency run' situation.

But who is taking responsibility when Susie Finisher shows up at the IV Tent, ready for her IV,  and it's not medically appropriate and/or necessary?

If you are a health care professional, I have a question for you: Could you or would you hook up someone to an IV after a race, just because they requested it?

Update: The web page has now been removed from their website. Glad I grabbed a screen shot of it!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Did not do my 2 mile walk after work tonight, but picked 2 quarts of blackberries instead. Managed to tear up my legs also as  I fought my way through the thickets.

Where is the summer going? It's almost August. This coming weekend, I am going to the Spruce Knob Area of West Virginia. At 4000 feet, I bet it's pretty cool there.

Adam and Kadra finished their speed hike of the Appalachian Trail last week!

Jen Pharr Davis is smoking her way south on the Appalachian Trail with the purpose of breaking the speed record for hiking the AT; not the 'female' record, the "overall record"!!

Me, my summer goals?  I ran a 12.5 hour 50 mile race at Big  Bear, pleased with that.

Trilogy Training starts! Two months to go until that race, my fall "A" Race.  A 50K on Friday, 50 miler Saturday, 1/2 marathon on Sunday. I've learned alot about fueling and nutrition since last fall; lost more weight and became a faster runner; just need to keep the training going well for the Trilogy.

August is going to be "Clean Eating Month" for me. I want to hit 159 lbs before The Ring.

I haven't really worked on the  compass skills .I need to work on this.

I have been working on getting to bed earlier and getting sleep in. Rather than sit and watch crap TV, we've been abandoning the idiot box and hitting the hay instead.

I'm going to stop wearing the extra large shirts when I run and wear something that fits me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot Run

Well we all know it's been hot. So enough said about that.

Friday arrived and I needed to get a run in. At home, on the treadmill, or venture outside in the dire heat warnings?

I decided I needed to keep up my toughness and opted for an outside run. Temp,92 degrees.

I decided to head for Salt Fork, for the hiking trails, where I would be completely under tree cover.

(Note to self: just keep a pair of trail shoes in the vehicle!!)

Off I go. First run since Big Bear. It's hot and humid (OF COURSE) and I take it easy. Knees feel a little wonky (weird) but legs are fine.

The hiking trail spins me back to the main campground road after 1.6 miles and I decide to just run back to my vehicle-around 10 minute miles on the road!

It was amazing how hot my body temp felt after stopping running. I'm glad I just did an easy two miles(I cannot remember the last time I did a training run of 2 miles!) in the heat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rest Day is a Training Day

Just a quick thought here. I was getting ready for work, thinking, okay, another day off training.

Then I reframed that. Because a zero day, a rest day, IS part of the training plan. It is not slacking off, being lazy, being wimpy. This is a day of rest that was planned for post race recovery.

I am slowly learning that recovering well is just as important as hill repeats.

Rest days are training days!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Offical Splits from the Big Bear

2008 6 Loops 1.32 1.41 1.47 1.57 1.56 2.08
2009 6 Loops 1.28 1.39 1.47 1.51 1.53 1.57
2010 7 Loops 1.26 1.35 1.44 1.48 1.51 2.02 2.00
2011 8 Loops 1.18 1.26 1.34 1.37 1.40 1.43 1.44 1.48

Splits from the Big Bear Lake are published, so I wanted to put them out there.
3rd out of 14 females, 11 minutes behind 2nd place.

Really pleased to see the time improvement over the years.

Next year, 9 loops!!

Hot Hot Hot

We're diving into a heat wave here in the MidWest. Highs for the next few days are Monday 90, Tuesday and Wednesday 89, Thursday 95.

You know what? I don't care.

Cuz I'm in recovery mode.

For Monday, I plan on making a WW Zucchini Chocolate Cake after work. That's Monday's workout.

I think I took Tuesday off too.

And I think this would be a good week to enjoy some air conditioned time at the gym, in my recovery week here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Getting Loopy at the Big Bear 12 Hour

This was my fourth year at the Big Bear Lake 12 Hour Race.
Here is my data from the previous years:

I went back to the website and looked at my historical data. It's nice, with the same loop course, you know nothing has changed besides your own performance.

2008 6 Loops 1.32 1.41 1.47 1.57 1.56 2.08
2009 6 Loops 1.28 1.39 1.47 1.51 1.53 1.57
2010 7 Loops 1.26 1.35 1.44 1.48 1.51 2.02 2.00
2011 8 Loops 1.17 1.26 1.33 1.37 1.43 1.41 1.07 for 3.8 miles (Garmin died here)

2011 loops are my unofficial splits from my Garmin, but with this raw data I am very pleased with my results.
I believe my race time was around 12.40 or 12.50 for the full 8 loops, of 52 miles.

This puts me at running my 50 miles at just about 12 hours-a BIG GOAL of mine realized. I now know I CAN finish a 50 mile race in 12 hours.

Loop breakdowns:

Loop One and Two: fairly uneventful. Had to kind of patiently wait through miles 1 and 2 and bound past some folks going too slow and talking too much on the downhill. Ran with Kenny, fellow AS worker from Highlands Sky, who is training for Grindstone. Then Kenny took off and I didn't see him again until Loop 7.

Loop Three-my hamstrings were feeling awful here. Tight tight tight. Maybe I should not have done hill repeats on Wednesday...I felt I was going so slow on this loop, so when I ended the loop and saw it was 1.33, I was pleasantly surprised.

Loop Four-The RATTLESNAKE Loop! It was warming up on this loop. I picked up my music, and was running with my headphones in one ear only. That way, I could hear other runners approaching, and...snakes rattling!!

I was around 3.5 miles,on a nice runnable downhill section through these big prehistoric ferns, when I heard-and saw-these rattling tail on the trail.

I don't know how I went from running downhill to reversing direction and nearly falling on my back, at the same time never taking my eyes off this huge snake moving off the trail.

A lady runner caught up to me and I had to point out the snake to her, so I had a witness! It was amazing. It was fat around the middle, and it was at least three feet long. It moved off the trail, into the ferns, and we beat feet down the trail!

Of course, now I am paranoid and seeing snakes everywhere. The rocks, which I have hopped right through before, I am being careful to keep eyes on the trail.

Loop 5-it's getting warm out. There is plenty of water at both the unmanned AS and the manned AS in the pine trees, so I pour the rest of my water bottle over my head as I approach the AS.

Loop Six-I make the mistake of calling this loop in my head "the place holder loop" because I have to run this loop just to get to Loops Seven and then Victory Loop Eight. This makes the loop seem long.

Loop Seven-I start Loop Seven with Heather, the Race Director, telling me second place female-Sandy Yoccum-is only five minutes in front of me, and there is prize money for second place!
But I encounter Kenny just down the trail, and he decides to run with me. He's hurting a bit, and we chat just to get some miles in down the trail. Kenny tells me to go on around mile 2.5, and I put my music back in my ear and get on down the trail. Dave K, who is volunteering at the Pine Tree AS, tells me Sandy has ten minutes on me, and I kind of relax. I don't think I can catch her, but being second was not my goal for this race. My goal was to complete eight loops, and to run 50 miles in 12 hours.

Loop Eight-I start Victory Loop Eight at 6.05pm. I am trying to keep an eye on Garmin, who is threatening to blink out soon.

There is no one else on this loop. The relay runners must have called it an early evening and stopped. I have the music low, and am enjoying the sights. This is a very enjoyable loop (I've now run this loop 27 times total!!!). Garmin gives up the ghost at 1.07 time, 3.8 miles. But extrapolating my finish time, of 52 miles in around 12 hours, 40 or 50 minutes, I did run 50 miles in around 12 hours!!

I was tired after. I forgot that a 50 (or 52 miler) can hurt. And be tiring. But despite being salt-encrusted, dirty, smelly, sun burnt, it was a great trail run!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Dr. Howard Thurman
Have a great Monday!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Awesome Run Today

It wa just my normal 10K around the block, but it was one of those "all is well in my world" runs.

First I met a new dog.

He is a big bloodhound puppy. I figured out he was a puppy (although his head comes up to my chest) when he enthusiastically tried to chew and pull my water bottle out of my hand! He was doing that puppy wiggle and wriggle, licking my legs, pulling on my hydration vest, jumped up and licked me in the face! I finally got away, after about two minutes. He followed me down the road, until it curved. A very cute dog.

I then ran UP the hill that was my summer goal to do. (Yes, 2nd time this summer). The five dogs that live at the top all came out to greet me, but let me get onto my way.

This route includes the hill that I used for hill repeats the other day. I glanced at my watch, and timed myself for the climb. 4 minutes 10 seconds, faster than my hill repeats. I am guessing this was due to me being warmed up (this was at mile 3 of the run) and I wasn't just climbing up and down the hill.

It was just a gorgeous day out in the country. Very blue skies, green fields, cows hunkering into the shade, the goats just lounging in their barn porch. I finished about two minutes faster than my normal time, so well pleased with the effort.

I am going to do some 'somewhat' of a taper this week, maybe no run longer than 4 miles, in prep for my race this weekend.

I am feeling pretty good about going for 8 Loops at Big Bear Lake 12 Hour.

New Road Route

I checked out the neighborhood via Mapquest yesterday, and then, using gmap pedometer,  I worked out a run around 12 miles long. This was interesting because this would exchange 3 miles of "travelled road" including the State Route, with some back country roads.
Of course, the new roads are the wild card. I didn't know what they would be like, if there would be shade, hills, loose dogs.
I ran my normal route for almost six miles, then turned left onto the side route. It was great! Downhill, in the shade. The roads were between kind of paved, to dirt, to rough gravel. This route is more challenging than my usual 11 miles, in that there are more hills involved, so I like that.
Not too many houses on these roads, and I only heard one barking dog, didn't even see it. I think I have a nice alternative route, at 11.6 miles. And now that I know these roads a bit better, I may branch out even more and make this a longer loop.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hill Repeats

"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.
If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.
On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."
-Mahatma Gandhi

 Hill Repeats

The hill is 0.23 miles long. It has a short steep grade, then is not as steep.
I believe I will try a different hill next week, closer to home. It's longer and steeper, but there is actually car traffic on it.

2.05 4.24
2.12 4.17
2.08 4.27
2.15 4.28
2.11 4.34 (jumped out of the way of the garbage truck lumbering uphill)

The hill road here is dirt/gravel. I skidded a bit on the downhill-didn't want to fall on an actual road!
This was not done with any great "effort".It was 66 degrees and humid when I started, around 73 when I stopped.  But I have a baseline recorded now, for this hill, so I can strive to improve on this.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Training for Big Bear Lake 12 Hour

My next event is a timed event. It is run at Big Bear Lake Campgrounds, outside of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. It is a small, laid back, well organized timed event. Runners start at 7 am, and they can start their last loop before 7 pm. You can run this as a solo runner (me) or as a team with relay runners.

The loop is 6.5 miles long. I have just realized I've actually been training for Big Bear-my loop 'around the block' is 6.4 miles. (I just call it a 10K cuz it's easier..)

I went back to the website and looked at my historical data. It's nice, with the same loop course, you know nothing has changed besides your own performance.

2008 6 Loops 1.32 1.41 1.47 1.57 1.56 2.08
2009 6 Loops 1.28 1.39 1.47 1.51 1.53 1.57
2010 7 Loops 1.26 1.35 1.44 1.48 1.51 2.02 2.00

My average time for my "10K" around the block is about 1.18 or 1.20. So if I could run each loop under 1.30, I could get the 8 loop in. (I just need to start the 8th loop in before 7pm.)

I am planning on little time in the AS. There is only one manned AS, the start/finish. There are two spots with water, gels, and HEED out on the course. I'm planning on parking my cooler at the start finish, with my prepared bottles of malto-dextrin being iced down inside.

Eight loops=6 bottles. I am planning on starting the race with a water bottle, and a gel flask with Hammer Gel  (cuz I have this bulk bottle that has been sitting around here for one year or more.) On Loop Two and on, I will just pick up a fresh bottle of MD, with different flavors for each loop.  Eliminate those minutes stopping at the main AS to graze.
I will probably throw a small drop bag next to my cooler, with a pecan pie, foot care stuff, a pair of socks, visor, music-just all the little things you might want during the race, but never use. Last year I had to book it over to my camp site for an item, which was kind of annoying, so I will make sure I have everything I think I will need close.

The weather is the wild card for a race in mid-July, but I believe I am ready for the heat and humidity since that is all  I have been running in lately!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Time!!

I got out for my 11 mile run (on roads!!) before 9 am. Well, it was 8:50, so it was still early. A pretty good run, uneventful. I glanced down around midway to see I was actually wearing a very old pair of running shoes. They must still have some padding in them, because I thought I was wearing my "current" road shoe. (My shoes are all covered in mud/dirt so I didn't recognize what I was wearing.)

I realized I've run the last seven days straight-yes, I am counting my stupidity adventure as a run, it started out that way-so no wonder my hamstrings are a bit tight. A day off from running tomorrow, since the dog has to go the vet in Columbus, I can take the other two on their hike around the property before work.

I have also gotten the training calendar opened again, pencilling in runs/races I want to do, and the work schedule, and how I can drop these last 10(15) pounds, and find somewhere close to get some vertical climbing training starting!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Safe Run

A safe run today. No drama. Just heat and humidity. Ran the four mile road loop around the block. But since I can't seem to get a run on my days off here until around 10 or 11 am, that's my own fault. At least I'm getting the heat/humidity training in!

Legs still inflamed and irritated. I'm feeling better about getting a groove into running, last week my mileage was at 43 miles.  It may be time to perhaps try and pencil in a training plan/schedule of some sort.

Happy Independence Day!!


Take a look today, you should see my picture next to stupidity:

So you know where this post is going..
I go down to Salt Fork, around 11 am, where the temp is already 81 degrees.  I try out another bridle path, hoping the horses haven't destroyed it, but this is what I encountered in the first mile of trail..

So I decide to go off-piste. Well, it turns out off-piste is much more fun with Slim and Gombu running around the mountains of Virginia, rather than wandering off in the bramble-laden woods of Ohio.

So I decide to follow the creek bed down. But it's short lived, as the creek goes off a precipice.

I crawl back up the creek bank, but then I rejoin the creek again.  It's fun, until I have to jump up on the creek band due to some logs blocking the creek.

I encounter stinging nettles for the first time. I'm going through these green plants, with small little thorny things, and then I realize my legs are freaking STINGING.They are hot and inflamed!   It's really bothering me. I mean, they are freaking on fire! I go up into the woods, to get away from these godawful plants.

I get down to the lake, where I discovered I am actually around the bend-or maybe two-from where my vehicle is parked. So I start up the hill, keeping the lake on my right.

This is where it all starts going south. I run into rows and groves of multi flora rose bushes. Multi-flora rose is an invasive species, a perennial shrub.  It can grown into impenetrable walls. Ask me. I tried to go through them.

My legs back at the vehicle. I would follow a deer trail, which would then go through a thicket. Then I would try to find another way. I was frustrated and irritated. I was lost, yet I wasn't. I was between the lake and the bridle trail. I was trying to get back to the trail, mud or not!! It was truly hideous. I was so irritated at myself, for getting stuck in this mess, for not bringing the compass (if I had the compass I could at least tell if I was wandering in circles). I tried to pretend this was good training for Barkley, good heat training. My legs were getting shredded. I had blood all over my legs.

I finally made it back to my vehicle. The legs are still warm and inflamed. It's lucky I'm still on an antibiotic due to my teeth!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Running on Tired Legs-A Good thing

Today's run was on tired legs.

That's because I ran eighteen miles last night with Rob Powell. Don Baun joined us for the first ten, then Rob and I continued. This was a nice summer's evening at Mohican-hot and humid temperatures, even when dark commenced. We ran the purple loop, some of the mountain bike trail, old school orange, and came back along the river.

This was my longest run since MMT and I had not planned my post recovery food at all! I was getting a little nauseous, mainly because I was hungry, so I did have to stop for a cheeseburger in Millersburg. Then, home, a quick shower, and bed. I slept well!

I got over to Salt Fork State Park around 11 am. Another hot and humid day. I ran on the purple bridle trail, in the reverse direction that I normally take.I was hoping all the mud and ruts were on the lower section of the trails, but that was not so. The bridle trails are in horrible shape for a runner. I was picking my way through thick, sticky mud. The hiking trails are in good shape, but the bridle trail is the big connector.

This may spur me on to explore some of the other parks in the vicinity, or I may just be forced to go off-piste and explore!