Friday, June 27, 2008

Dances With Dirt - Devil's Lake CANCELLED

That's sad....I just got an email today saying the dwd-Devil's Lake race that was set for August 9 is cancelled, "...due to the amount of parking and trails used, and the impact to low and wet ground".

What does that mean? "The amount of parking and trails used"??? Does that mean there's not enough parking space for all the runners or there's too much trail to track down or what?

I kept reading the email they sent me and it says, "...flooding demolished roads, trails and messed up the sewage system". That's gross. "...messed up the sewage system"? Yuck. That'd be disgusting to be running for 10 hrs in the hot, humid August sun with poop melting onto your shoes. Haha.

Well nuts...that stinks.

I don't have to find a race during that week but I'd like to, since it's been over a month since my last race and I don't want to wait until August 23rd. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 20, 2008

When to Help the Injured

Okay so I just talked about Claire getting injured during the race and I talked about how the other runners (and fans, for that matter) ignored her as she fell twice and crawled to the finish line.

That got me thinking and brought me to my next point or question:

During a race, when do (or should) you (the runner) stop to help another runner who is injured?

Vote and let me know what you think.

Many of you may think it's an obvious answer: Stop and help the person because helping a person is more important than finishing the race in a good time, or at all. However, it is a much tougher decision for me.

A few times during races I've seen injured people hobbling along with a runner that's helping them, and it's obvious they won't finish the race. At those times I always ask myself what I would do if that runner had fallen right in front of me.

It's such a hard choice because I am a competitive, selfish person (is this confession?).

If the person had fallen right in front of me and they couldn't get back up, and I was the only one around, I would feel obligated to stop and help them. Despite the fact that I would be helping someone who needs me, I would be very disappointed that it caused me to have a slower time in the race (especially if I was feeling strong and going fast).

If the person had fallen around me and there were others around who hadn't stopped, I would assume (more like, hope) that they would be fine and surely someone else would stop for them. That is the truth.

Which brings me to my next point: Whenever someone needs help- whether it be due to a car accident, due to a bully, due to a fight, what have you- the majority of people will let the problem/violence continue because they assume that someone else will take care of the matter and call for help.

One personal example is when I was driving home on the interstate last year and I saw an SUV flipped over in grassy area near the median. As I drove by I saw that people were inside the car still, upside-down. I was so scared for them and so I immediately called 911. However, that's all I did.

No one was around the SUV, no one else had stopped to help them, I don't know how long they were there for- and yet I still didn't stop because I assumed that surely someone else would see they needed help and stop for them.

The whole ride home and afterwards I kept thinking about them and wondering if I should have stopped to help.

This assumption has been referred to as the Genovese Syndrome, or the Bystander Effect. According to the highly reliable source- Wikipedia- solitary individuals will typically intervene if another person is in need of help. However help is less likely to be given if more people are present.

To sum up where "Genovese Syndrome" comes from, Kitty Genovese was sexually assaulted, robbed, and then stabbed to death in front of many of her neighbors in NY in the '60s. People saw what was going on but yet let it happen, not in the least bit attempting to stop the man or to help the woman.

I could go on and on but I must get back to work.

Bottom line is- be careful if you're ever the one in need. Flag down people and yell at people to stop and help you because if there's more than one person around watching you get beat up or robbed, chances are no one will help.

Finishing No Matter What- Good or Bad Idea?

I cannot believe what I saw.

During a HS state cross country meet, Claire Markwardt from OH was about 8 yards from crossing the finish line. As girls are all around her crossing the line, she suddenly falls down. She immediately gets up and her knee starts to wobble and she falls back down. Girls continue to pass her, ignoring her as they almost finish the race. Claire then crawls the remaining 8 yards to the finish line- still being ignored (see Help). Even after she crosses the line, she's crawling away. Finally a guy comes and stands her up- which was probably a bad idea. He then carries her away.

It turns out that she had broken her tibia and fibula (whatever that is) during the race and didn't know it!!! That is disgusting! During the video you can't even see that much with her leg- but just knowing that her leg is breaking right then makes it disgusting! I almost got sick watching it, just thinking about it.

See her fall at 1:39 of the video:

Unfortunately she was supposed to be the maid of honor in her sister's wedding that night and had to miss the wedding.

One article just said that her leg had been sore two weeks before the race so she didn't practice too much beforehand. Now, surely she must have had some other kind of injury beforehand.

If she's only running short distances (3-10 miles, I assume) how did she injure her leg so bad? I know that's a dumb question because people can do anything to hurt themselves. So, I guess I'm just scared. If she broke her leg doing short distances and I'm over here running 60+ miles, when am I going to collapse and break a bone or too? Hmm.

Well anyway, awesome determination Claire! Good for her, I guess.

Good luck recovering.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sluggish Training

I had a wonderful week+ break of not running last week. I was tempted to run a little bit but decided not to push it and I knew my poor toes could use a break.

I ran last Monday for just 1.5 miles and boy did it suck. I felt sluggish and slow the whole time. AND for the first time my Achilles Heel surprisingly hurt a little bit, too.

That's a gross picture. It looks like the tendon is ripping open- yuck.

Well...I may be a little overconfident but I'm not worried about it right now. I think it was like that from the last race and I just needed to walk it out (or something). Dangit. I just read an article that said I shouldn't ignore the pain. Ahh well. What's "Dr. Foot" know anyway?

I probably won't run again until tomorrow and unfortuately it's tempting to take another couple weeks off running. Next race isn't until August.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some of Chris's Kettle Experience

This picture needs to go in a frame!

The Ultimate Cure to Funky Feet

Before I left to Kettle, my lovely mother surprised me with a fun goodie bag for my trip. In that bag was the following:
  • Kleenex
  • Blistex
  • Gum
  • Cleansing Cloths
  • Starbucks Card (!!!)
  • Cashews

And the best, last item was.....FAKE TOENAILS!!! They're PERFECT! I no longer will have to worry about my ugly toenails and I will no longer get dirty looks from other girls who try to casually glance down at them.

What a wonderful idea! I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. My mom's a genius and I think it only cost her $1. All of this time I've been either putting bandaids over my toenails to cover them up or I've been painting the skin where the toenail should be...all to be accepted in society. Well now I have a cure- what a wonderful thing.

I'll happily show them off once I glue them to my stubs.

Blister Mess

I ran 50 miles in May and I think I only had one blister on my big toenail, which made it come off. While running, I didn't even know I had that blister because it didn't bother me at all. So the question is, why did I get so many blisters during this race- which was only apx 13 miles longer.

There are many possible factors:
  • New shoes: Not broken in enough yet or just not the right pair of shoes for me
  • Longer Distance
  • Different Terrain: more rocks, longer hills
  • Running in foot-deep puddles, keeping my feet wet for over an hour

Who knows. My shoes are so muddy and gross still (yes, they're still wrapped up in a plastic bag from the race) that I don't know if I'll use them again for long races. Too much of a risk. Maybe I should resort back to my good ole Nike trail shoes.

Anyway- enjoy the other pictures:

Nasty, Ugly Goblin Feet

These toes are the nastiest yet. I love this picture! Although I was soo tired and out of it when I got home from the race, I knew I had to hurry and take a picture of the first moment my shoes came off.

My feet seriously look like Goblins. Please make sure to zoom in on the picture and savor it.

Pre-race Jitters

Don't ask me what I'm doing.

Sorry Chris- I had to do it because of your's hilarious!


Look at those big babies inside her!!! A boy and a girl.

Heather kindly let me crash at her house and let me be a big bum all day Sunday.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

100km Completed- Kettle Morraine

Race Overview
  • 38/76 registered runners finished 100km
  • 37/133 registered runners finished 100mi
  • Finishing Time: 15:33
  • Unexpectedly ended in the dark
  • Good, challenging race
  • Got lost- ran apx 64.8 miles
  • Feet are nastier, body’s sore
  • The race was very well organized and everyone involved was extremely helpful and kind
  • I would run this race again
  • Race started at 6am and it was already very hot and humid
  • Clothes soaked from sweat
  • Occasional breeze that felt great
  • Around mile 38-50, thunderstorm/lightening, tons of rain, was AWESOME
  • Clothes became heavier, LOTS of chafing
  • Temps became cooler, we were nervous we’d be too cold
  • Rain stopped and we were able to finish in cooler weather, thankfully
  • I heard a lot of runners dropped out of the race, or 100milers stopped at 100km instead due to the weather
  • Out 31.5 miles and back
  • Lots of rocks all over, few roots, some grassy stretches, about 5 1 mile-4 mile stretches with no shade
  • Long, gradual hills- see Elevation
  • Made me realize I need to train on hills more
  • The elevation at Gnawbone seemed higher but easier
  • Only 1-2 miles of technical running
  • I prefer a lot more technical running so that I stay interested during these long runs, but this race wasn’t too bad…better than HUFF
  • As I was running along, I thought, “You’d have to be crazy to get lost” because 99% of the course was on a clear, single path. Whenever there was a fork in the road, the correct route was always marked.
  • However after about 40 miles, I was following Dorn and he noticed that he didn’t see any footprints nearby and didn’t recognize the path. I was certain we were going the right way but after a little while, we came to an intersection where you could go one of four ways, and no clear path was marked.
  • S0 unfortunately we had to backtrack our path and we estimated we were only a mile off path. I don’t know how we missed the marker because as we came to the right point, there was a big orange sign that was pointing to the right turn.
  • It was annoying to be lost, going up and down the hills, and I am ready to run a race where there is no way one could get lost.
  • Boost Protein Drink
  • First bottle-mile 15; Took about 10 minutes to drink; Was thick and gross…but better than Gus
  • Second bottle- mile 30; Took 2 minutes to drink; Tasted better…still a little gross
  • Third bottle- mile 47; Gulped down in 15 seconds; Tasted wonderful, wish I brought more bottles
  • Gus/Beans/Blocks
  • Double Latte Gus are nasty
  • Lemon Lime Sports Beans are gross too
  • Blocks taste great in the beginning, horrible in the end- too thick
Random Food thoughts
  • Despite what I have learned, I barely ate anything for the last 3 hrs of the race
  • After being out there for so long, I got sick of eating those gus and such
  • Finally I made myself eat some sports beans 45 minutes before finishing
  • Had I not been running, I would have loved all of the food at the aid stations: big cookies, gummy bears, fruits, crackers, soups, bread
  • Nothing sounds good while you’re actually running; I’m always scared of how the food will settle
  • My legs were sore for the first 15 miles, which scared me since it was early in the race. They felt like they had the previous week- sore for no reason.
  • I was taking salt regularly and I was drinking and eating a ton and my legs still hurt. I said “Screw it…I’m taking the medicine” and I took ibuprofen. Oh well.
  • I brought a huge bag of S!CAPS and I took a pill every 30 minutes
  • I drank my whole Camelbak (72 oz) four times at mile 23.4 and had only peed once
  • Dorn said electrolytes made you retain water and I was skeptical
  • However, I stopped taking the S!CAPS for the last 2 hrs of the race and I literally peed about 1x every 2 miles
Body Parts
  • After I took medicine and my legs felt better, my feet were the only things that bothered me.
  • I didn’t know I had blisters on my feet until I felt them pop while I was running.
  • I walked the majority of the last 10-15 miles because I was so tired and my feet hurt so badly- especially over the rocks
  • The feet are uglier today and I have cuts from chafing all over my legs and back. Pictures to come.
  • The bugs were awful at the end
  • Since my whole body was sweaty and dirty and since I was going slow (walking or running), tons of mosquitoes and flies were all over me. It was very annoying to brush them off me every 2 seconds.
  • I ran the whole race with Dorn except for the last two miles.
  • A big thanks to him for staying back with me, as he is a faster runner.
  • His walk was as fast as my run, or shuffle.
  • A big thanks to Danny who ran about the last 12 miles with Dorn and I, including the very last two in the dark, despite my complaining. Both guys put up with the Alphabet Game I forced upon them
  • It would have sucked to run the whole 15+ hours by myself, as there were not many runners there to talk to.
Post-race Happenings
  • I felt so gross after I finished and I knew I needed to eat a lot, but nothing sounded good. I ate some soup and then went to my car.
  • I had an hour drive to Heather’s house, where I was staying, and I knew it’d be tough to drive that far since it was around 10:45pm.
  • She and Jim KINDLY offered to meet me halfway and pick me up
  • I fell asleep as I was waiting for them at the gas station
  • Right when we got home, I felt sick, dizzy and as if I was drunk
  • I could barely walk and I fell over their steps when I entered their house
  • I was so hungry but also so tired so I crawled up their stairs and went straight to bed- no shower or anything.
  • It was awful- trying to lie in bed with everything spinning. Every time I moved a blister or cut from chafing would hurt.
  • I honestly felt like I might die that night because I was so depleted of calories…haha.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Who should you believe: random doctors or random co-runners?

Here's an interesting article Mark sent me about athletes' food intake. It basically states that many athletes are gullible and that eating special foods (maybe such as my salt tablets, gus, blocks, etc) are not necessary, but rather good, "normal" foods. It quotes random doctors and their beliefs and also gives little testimonies from elite runners/Ironmaners.

Well...this information doesn't help my ignorant self. If some other long distance runner tells me that I should eat or take something because it'll help my muscles/endurance, etc, I'll most likely do it (unless it costs more than $17).

Check it out if you want and give me your take on it:

Real Thought for Food for Long Workouts.


For a better, more interesting, more informational post about Salt Tablets, see:

A Better, More Interesting, More Informational Post About Salt Tablets.

Calorie Intake

According to my co-runners, you burn apx 100 calories per mile that you run (on flat surface, that is). Sooo on the hills and random roots , I could potentially be burning about 6800 calories or something. Chris says that's only 67 medium potatoes. Nice.

See Medium Potatoe Calorie Content.

A lot of times they (the aid stations during ultras) do have potatoes for you to eat, but I've never tried them. Eating a big potatoe does NOT sound appetizing during a race. It seems like because it's so big and starchy and dry, it would just sit in your stomach the whole time. Maybe I'll try it for a 100 mile race.

All of this to say that I have been eating like CRAP these past 1 1/2 weeks and knowing I'll be burning a crap load of calories on Saturday makes me feel a little bit better. I was eating really healthily (?) the past few months, then all of a sudden (after Lent) I started eating my favorite Wendys vanilla frostys and became addicted again. Once I start eating that junk then I no longer crave vegetables, but rather other junk food like pizza and hamburgers. Ay ay ay. Hopefully after this weekend I'll get back on track.

Pre-race preparations

Well the big day's coming up and I hope I'm prepared. I have confidence that I'll do fine- I'm just worried about the heat. It's been NASTY outside lately. So far it doesn't look like much rain, just some hot sunshine:

81°F 65°F

I haven't run since last Friday and that doesn't bother me. Despite what's recommended, I usually don't run much the week before races. It's been too hot and for some reason my legs have been achy.

I, of course, have not yet prepared my drop bags for the race, I haven't packed for the weekend, I haven't looked at the directions on how to get to my friend's house or to the race, I haven't finished washing my running clothes, and I haven't made meals for Josh for the weekend (which is a priority because he'll just eat leftover mandarin oranges in tupperware in the fridge if I don't prepare something, or he won't eat at all). No- I'm not worried about my procrastination. I work better under pressure. It'll get done.

This Saturday (I believe) is Chris's birthday and also his first attempt to run 100 miles. So when you all are nice and cozy in front of the TV and drinking a beer this Saturday night, and then when you all are ready for bed at 11pm or even at 4am, just remember that good ole Chris will still be truckin in the dark woods- on his way to finishing a long-ars race! Stay awake Chris, you can do it!!!!

We agreed before the 50 mile race and we're agreeing again for this race that we will only stop running if we are other excuses. The pressure's on.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Salt Tablets

Since everyone is telling me I need to make sure I eat enough salt during my long runs and since Chris is sick of me bumming salt off of him, I finally ordered a bottle of S!CAPS. I bought this brand because that's what Chris uses and because I don't know any better in regards to other brands.
I know the S!CAPS website says these tablets include all of this other junk that's good for you. Not like I'm a pro at web design or anything, but that website looks kind of cheaply made and generic. There's too much colorful writing and randomness. It looks like a big, phony advertisement.
SO the question is, is it really worth the money for these tablets and do they really work? Why in the world did I pay $18 for a stupid bottle of salt (about $7 of it was shipping, but still)? Why can't I just take a ziplock bag full of kitchen salt and drink it down while I'm running? That seems a whole lot cheaper. Isn't it all the same?