Sunday, December 2, 2012

Creemore 100 Mile Fun Run- DNF

 After a string of successful races I didn't fare so well at the Creemore 100 miler this weekend covering 86.4K before packing it in 13 hours after the start and 73.6K short of my 100 mile goal.

 I wasn't planning on another 100 miler this year but a couple of months ago the Creemore race was announced and I saw it as a great opportunity to find out what its like to go long in the cold.   The day didn't disappoint and I learned a ton about what to and what not to do running long in the winter. 

 When I got to Creemore it was -7C, overcast and a light breeze.   There was just enough snow on the ground to turn the world white but that was about it. I was pretty sure I had the clothing and shoes and all the trappings required to run forever.   I started the day with my Mizuno Tights,  Mizuno  Mid Weight Thermal  with another Mizuno mid weight top,  compression running cap, gloves and my Saucony Exodus Gortex Shoes with Injinji Wool Toe Socks.     Heading out I made a last minute edition and threw on my Sugoi Shell.      

 We started at 08:00 am doing a 1.6K Spur before heading out on the 10.6K loop.   It was less then 10 minutes in before the Shell and Hat came off shaking off the starting chill and getting a bit of a sweat on.    Everything thing was working great on the first lap ,  put the Shell on when I climbed the escarpment where  we were exposed to an Icy Wind then it came off when I was on the Trail.   I seemed to regulate the temps pretty good and felt fairly comfortable completing loop in 1hr29min.   I was aiming for 90 minute loops and was  happy with the time but I forgot about the extra 1.6K spur at the start.   2nd and 3rd loop were about the same as loop one.  I was eating and taking an S Cap ( more on this at the end ) as well as grabbing a bottle of water or a can of Coke heading out every-time and gelling at the half way mark.   I figured I had the nutrition , hydration and electrolytes figured out.  Half way through the 4th loop I started to slow a bit but was becoming increasing;y chilled and just not feeling comfortable.   I am not sure what happened but for the next 2.5 laps I couldn't tell if I was too hot or too cold and finishing my 6th loop I was soaking wet through my Shell and really really uncomfortable all the time.   It was around 4:30pm at the end of the 6th loop I decided to grab some dry clothes and change in a warm place.    Anne and Grant had arrived and while I was getting dressed they were getting food for me.      I only stopped for about 10 minutes and heading out I grabbed my Saugeen Tri Club Sugoi Firewall jacket.   At first I was chilled ,  5 minutes later I was oh so very comfy then 5 minutes later I started to sweat so the Firewall quickly came off!   Now I had the same Mizuno Mid Weight  Thermal top but a heaver Mizuno top over top.    I was now very comfortable with this combo and felt like I could run forever.  Grant was out with me and it really helped to take my mind off what I was doing.   When I felt like I was going to overheat I slowed to a walk until I was comfortable.  I more or less remained dry and comfortable through the entire loop and was quite optimistic that I would be able to keep going.  Anne headed out with me on the 8th loop.  I was doing more walking and when I was running things were getting to be quite uncomfortable   It was on this loop that I lost my mental...things were actually going pretty good and I was still doing a reasonable pace but I was really not enjoying being out there any longer.  I decided to try to get something back by stopping ,  getting warmed up and getting a bunch of food into me again and that is more or less what we did.   I talked to Anne and Grant about not going back out but they did a great job and convinced me to do one more.  After all I was 13 hour into a 100 miler with a mere 73.6K remaining .. all down hill from here.   Whilst I was warming and eating Kinga came in after dropping after 8 loops then Stefan came in and also decided to drop.   These 2 are amazing Ultra/100 milers so listening to them wasn't helping me to want to head back out.  I had my shoes off and my feet were really aching similar to having run a road Marathon. To my pleasant surprise the feet were 100% dry and no blisters...not bad after 73.6K.     The majority of the loop was on roads and the remaining trail was frozen solid making for a very hard running surface.   The Exodus are not the most cushion shoe ,  very tough but they are not really made for running on a road!  So in spite of the foot pain ,  not having my mental and once again I headed back out.  The racers were out numbered 3-1 by volunteers and Pierre had a fellow that was just dying to get out there and pace.   The fellow was new to the whole Ultra Scene and was really keen and excited to head out.  Normally I would be right into showing the fellow the ropes and talk the talk but it just wasn't into it ... I was trying to be polite but I wasn't up to the chat!   Heading back out for my 9th loop I was instantly frozen.  I knew I wasn't going to be fast so I grabbed my Parka.   The new guy ,  Anne and Grant were all heading out with me ... a pacing party I would say but when we went to run my legs wouldn't go ..... it was so weird ,  all I could do is lift my leg with my hip and swing it forward ,  there was no forward movement!   Standing there in the Parka more or less frozen I called it a race...I was done!  

 So I  learned a ton ... 

#1 Doing 100 Mile Races in the Winter .... not for me.   I think I will stick to 50K or shorter events when it white and frozen

#2 I have never been all that keen or running outside after the snow comes but now the idea of a 2-3 hour LSD is OK by me.  

#3 The whole thing about stopping next to a fire ... all true!   Can you say bonk!!!!

#4 The probability of success is inversely proportional to the number of Crew/Pacers that are helping you out.  Grant looked like a lost puppy when I told him I wouldn't be going back out.  Anne said when would have been there even if I wasn't running. 


 Whilst unpacking today I realized that I had made a fatal planning error that I am  sure had a bearing on my day.    I have been using S!Caps as my Electrolyte replacement.   Sometimes you just find a product that really makes a difference and it something that you just can't do without and that's S!Caps.  In the past I used Eload Zone Caps .... OK but not the same as the S!Caps.   Packing for the race I grabbed the Eload instead of the S!caps so I wasn't getting the necessary Electrolytes.  There were other things at play but I really suspect that the deficiency played a role in some of the muscle issues I was having.   

 So all and all chalk up another great running adventure.  I had a great time and now have a different prospective when it comes to taking it outside in the Winter.  

4 comments:

dirty girl said...

Hey Ron! I wondered what happened to you. I dropped at loop 10. For me it was moreso an issue of insufficient training overall this year.

On my last loop by myself (pre-pacer) I had some wicked heating/cooling issues going on. I ran that road portion, got pretty hot and then a wicked freezing wind went right through me climbing the hill. I felt like death! I did recover from that but know what you mean about challenges to regulate your temp yesterday. And the trails - went from frozen to mudfest!!!!! Yuck!

Were part of your issues due to losing your hat? Or did someone lend you another one?

Thanks for the tip about the eload vs s-caps too as I, oddly, had a LOT of quad soreness which I did find a bit odd, esp. considering I've added strength training to my repetoire this year. And I had a weird salt craving right from the get-go. I know I cut way back on my minerals this race, thinking they would be trivial in this weather. Perhaps this was a big mistake????

Myself, I would do another winter ultra. Except for that one loop where I went hot/cold (& I noticed I got a bit foggy-brained after that too), I was pretty decently dressed the entire nearly 110k.

Cheerio!

Diane

Ultra Monk said...

Thanks for the report Ron. Come to Texas if you want to run ultra long in December. But, I feel your pain and I know the feeling of mental failure.

Dale Draaistra said...

Great job out there Ron,the fact that you still had a giant grin on your face through all of this is an inspiration to everyone!

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