This will be a strictly factual blog entry. It will not contain humor, clever word usage, or insightful allegory. It will provide an account of my training progress for the Heartland 50 race coming up this October, and nothing more.
Things are going well. I am running comfortably and basically sticking to the plan. The only real change is that I'm going to do more of my long runs on the Don Tyson. Running close to home allows me to get the most miles in in the available time, plus I can stash water and supplies without having to worry about them. It more closely simulates periodic aid stations. I run mostly in grass and the hills roll more than I will experience in Kansas. I've really been enjoying the Don Tyson.
I've made all but one of Rush Running's Wednesday speed sessions and they are a blast! The U of A Agriculture Department Farm where they take place is covered with a maze of gravel roads and grass paths so I've been running a few hours extra every night. I can't get enough of it!
I had a wild hair last Sunday and ran 27 miles. I was also experimenting with eating to the clock. I bought every flavor of GU and Roctane and sampled one every 40 minutes. I also tried Roctane Energy Drink in one of my two bottles every time I filled them. It felt great while I was running, but I definitely noticed a pang in my stomach about five minutes after taking Roctane, I think because it has twice the caffeine of regular GU but it has a bunch of other stuff in it, too. The Roctane Energy Drink tasted great but was too sweet, even for my copper stomach. Still, I needed to complete the experiment so I drank it, lots of it, along with my plain water. That turned out to be a mistake.
I took over Donald duty right after I got back from the run so Mama could sleep (she had to work that night) so I didn't get to eat a proper meal. All I had that night was a few sandwiches. I went to bed feeling like crap and woke feeling even worse. By noon, I was so nauseated and had such a terrible headache that I left work early. I was baffled at first but eventually decided that I must have overhydrated during my run and become slightly hyponatremic. I had consumed nearly 30 ounces more water than I would have drinking to thirst as I usually do yet I dropped to the same weight, 162 pounds, that I always drop to after a long run. The two pounds of water just left me as if I had not drunk them at all, carrying precious electrolytes with it. The fix was to go with the Duchess to drop Donald at therapy and then go to Sbarro at the mall. I had a stromboli with a side of meatballs and marinara. Then we went home, cooked an extra salty batch of schmooey, and ate about two pounds of it. I started feeling like a human being after that but still had headaches the next two days. I actually skipped speedwork on Wednesday because of a headache.
Dehydration sucks but it's relatively easy to fix as long as it's not too severe. After my experience last week, I'd much rather by dehydrated than overhydrated and hyponatremic. I'm glad I just got a mild touch of it so I know what it feels like and can take corrective action before my kidneys start shutting down. Fuckers sometimes die from hyponatremia!
I did much better today. After sampling the GU flavors, I settled on the "Mandarin Orange" and "Just Plain" flavors. I also switched to GU Electrolyte Brew instead of the Roctane energy drink and did much better with it. It has less caffeine, less other agressively marketed chemical crap, and 100 calories instead of 240. It tastes better too! At lap 10, the half-marathon point, I still felt so great that I began to entertain the idea of running another marathon distance to honor my friend Mike Rush who was several hours* into the Leadville 100 at that time. The idea left me completely at lap 13 when I took a brief walk break. The second I stopped running, I could feel that my legs had not recovered nearly as well as I thought they had from last week's debacle. I never got them going again. I toughed it out for 15 laps, 20 miles, and called it quits. My plan says to "Run hard enough to be tired and sore, but not injured." Better to do a good 20 miles than a really shitty 27 miles.
*If you're interested, Mike is making Leadville his bitch. It's just past midnight Colorado time and he left the Half Pipe Aid Station, mile 70.9, about half an hour ago.
[08/20/12 update: Mike dropped at mile 80 with a bad stomach. His stomach acted up at mile 20 and never quit, leading to dehydration and difficulty keeping warm. An inspiring effort, nonetheless. Mike Rush is a competitor. He will be back!]