Friday, January 4, 2013

Recovery from 24-hour race

It's been terrible.

Normally, I have almost no recovery need from my various races.   Maybe a day or two of soreness, but not much more than that.

For four days I've been battling the effects of the run.  Although I put in a full day at work, I want to sleep forever.   Finally went to see the doc today; he looked at blood and urine and thought "perhaps" dehydration.

I went out for an 8-mile run on Saturday, or five days after the 24-hour.   Not much running going on.  It is my opinion that my Hokas, which did great work making my feet think they were running on pillows, took a toll on my shins and knees, as there was no correction for overpronation.  Hoka:  Make a motion control shoe!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

24 hour race -- 102.88 miles; 3rd place

I completed the Across-the-Years 24-hour race on December 31, 2012, in Phoenix, tying for fourth place overall (when the other 24-hour races completed on January 1, 2012) out of 143 runners with distance of 102.88 miles, or 98 laps around the Dodgers' spring training facility.  I ran this with ultrarunner Dave, who has completed 51 100 races, and nephew Kevin, who's just getting into it.   Dave's race report is here.

I'm looking good in the photo, taken five minutes after crossing the finish line. But, I haven't had my post-race barf yet.


The looped runs have a timer at the start of the loop, so the best that one can do is to make as many loops as possible within the time allotted.  Every four hours the loop direction changes to shift pressure from the runners' legs, from counter-clockwise to clockwise and vise versa.

There were 48 hour and 72 races going on, with very serious runners to casual runners.  On my final 98th lap, I came in with a group of 24-hour runners who had completed 20 laps.   They had come and gone through the day.
Looking good, early in the race.


Brother Dave, keeping me motivated.  He'd try to lap me, I'd try to avoid it.  In the end, it helped my time and speed tremendously.  I recall him lapping me three or four times.   I lapped him once when he was suffering leg pain.
 Nephew Kevin.  Always a serious guy.  Doesn't like jokes.   He got his 100 mile buckle, after telling me frequently he couldn't go on.
 Later in the day, first day.
 One of the night scenes.  The trails, for the most part, were well-lit.
Dawn approaching second day in tent city.  Our tent is somewhere in there.   As a 24-hour runner, I had no occasion to use it until the race was over.

Each day's race started at 9:00 a.m.  When I started, there had already been one full day underway.   Twenty-four hours later I was done.

I did my best to keep a marathon pace for the first 26 miles.  As with any marathon, my muscles were screaming in pain and I wondered how it would be possible for complete 100 miles if I was suffering at 26 miles, but from 26 to 40 miles I dialed back the pace and slipped into an easy run up to about 85 miles.   Then, as my  back started to complain, it was run-walk run for the final 15 miles, but I am proud to say that there wasn't a single lap where I didn't run part of it, and for 82 of them, almost 100% of each lap.

The first 12 hours were a real gas, as I was only the third or fourth slowest runner on the course, with brother Dave one of the faster runners on the course.  (You can tell with the lapping going on.)  At about 6:00 p.m. as the temps dropped into the 30s, the number of runners significantly diminished.  By 2:00 a..m. there were stretches in which it seemed I was the only one there.   About 3:30 a.m. runners are starting to drift back on the course; there are RVs and tents around the area, as well as a hotel close by.  By 6:00 a.m. the course has filled up again with runners.

I ran without a break.   Perhaps my longest lap was when I sat down in a chair near our tent area to change my shoes before taking off. Otherwise it was run-by grazing at the feed trough with five or six short potty breaks. There was one real bathroom on the entire course. Otherwise, porta-potties. It was great to use the real bathroom when temps were below freezing near the start of the second day.

My feet were getting footsore until, at lap 30 or so, I changed from my Nikes to my Hokas, which made all the difference in the world.   I'm suffering today a little from shin splits, a consequence of running in Hokas, but at least I can walk around today. Who-boy, what a difference a shoe change can make.

I spent my run hours listening to ball games and an audio book.

It was a lot of fun running with super-experienced ultrarunner Dave and his son Kevin.   We sort of supported each other over the many hours.   Those two did 48-hour races; Kevin stopped at 101 miles and Davy completed about 130 or so.  I think that his personal record for this course is over 180 miles for the 48 hour race.

As a post-script here, it has been difficult to return to work as I have come down with a major sinus infection. Seems these efforts reduce the immune system. I can put in a full work day but still need 12 hours of snooze, four days later.