Ultra Runners

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Freaking Out (Read 448 times)

    Well, I ran my very first ultramarathon yesterday. It's a trail run called Pemberton 50K located in Fountain Hills, AZ (Phoenix area). I'm signed up for the Old Pueblo 50 mile trail run on March 1st and I'm freaking out about my training. I just don't think I've been training enough. Here's a short version of my race summary from yesterday. Boy, this race was tough for me. The first loop of 15.5 miles was great! Until I biffed it big time at mile 8.5. My knee looks like someone took a cheese grater to it. Blood ran down my leg into my sock and my right shoe now has red polka dots on it! I kept running though. No other choice really. I wasn't going to drop out. The second loop is where it got tough. The temperatures started to climb and my pace really started to slow. By mile 22 I was struggling. My stomach was cramping with no bathrooms in site and I was getting my all too familiar heartburn and nausea. By mile 24.5, I was having trouble breathing. I don't know if it was from my asthma or from the panicked thought that this was only the halfway point of a 50 miler. I started freaking out about the race that I'm signed up for on March 1st. Clint (in my running club) caught up to just after this point and it's a good thing. He kept me going and pulled me the rest of the way home. We walked/jogged the rest of the 6 miles to the finish. I did it! But, I was a wreck for the rest of the day. I think I went into this race slightly dehydrated and it sure showed. After cleaning up my leg, I took a 3 hour nap. I woke up for 1.5 hours and had some mac n cheese and 3 cookies and a glass of milk then went back to bed at 7:30 pm. I slept until 5:30 am for a total of 13 hours of sleep after the race. My husband Clint asked me if I felt a sense of accomplishment the way I did when I qualified for the Boston Marathon. I said no, but that's probably because I felt so danged crappy. I feel more accomplished today as I write this because I got through it. But the 50 miler is now up for debate... I'm wondering if I just went out too fast. I'm thinking there needs to be a lot more walking or slower running for these ultramarathons. I just ran the way I always run but then ended up crashing so bad. I know there are always other races I can do. I'm having a hard time deciding if I need to HTFU and run the 50 or if it would be just plain stupid to do it on the training (or lack of) I've had. I would love advice from you guys. MTA: I'll add my splits to my training log once my garmin unfreezes.


    Into the wild

      Let me be among the first to offer my congratulations on your first ultra!!! Give it some time and you'll appreciate what you have done Big grin I'm not experienced enough to comment but suggest if you were worried about you hydration and your starting/event speed then you may have made som errors there. I look forward to seeing your splits and finish time when you 'thaw' your Garmin. Again...well done you on your first ultra.

      Shut up and run


      Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

        Definitely be sure to be well hydrated before the 50 miler, and start eating early and often. Don't be shy about going off to the side of the trailer if you aren't near any portable johns; you'll be better off. Congratulations on the finish! Whether you needed to go out slower or not, I think that your assessment about going out a little slower for the 50 miler is probably a good idea.

        Run to Win
        24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



          Thanks for the congrats Johnny! My legs feel surprisingly good today (except for my road rash). Big grin They are a bit tired but that's it so that's a good sign, right? My garmin unfroze and I posted my mile splits on my training log. Here are my first and second half splits though. 1st half was approximately - 2:31:09 2nd half was approximately - 3:17:59 Blaine, I agree I probably should have eaten more and been better hydrated. I carpooled to the race with 5 other friends who all have more experience with ultras than I do. I think the pressure of finishing close to them got to me. I need to remember to run my own race and not worry about trying to "keep up with the Joneses". As for going off the trail, boy, I'm totally shy about that. Maybe it's the girl in me, but I can't figure out the logistics of how to do it gracefully and neatly. Is this too gross of a topic for this forum? Blush I have one more weekend opportunity for training before the race. I'll see how next weekend goes... Thanks for the feedback and congrats! Smile
          sherpagirl


          Sherpagirl

            Congrats ... You will get prouder of your achievement as the pain goes away. At least that’s what happens to me. Each major race I get a little memento, a hat, shirt, mug whatever and each time I use them I feel a little proud of myself. You know if this was easy everyone would do it. Sounds like you are recovering OK. When I ran my 50 I ran a 30 3 weeks before and then a 50 mile weekend 10 days before my race. That might work out perfect for you. I split the 50 mile weekend into 3 days 10,15,25. The 25 was 10 days before my race. When I did my first ultra (50 M) someone gave me the advice to pack little 'kits' for each lap. I changed out the kit each lap. I 'kit' consisted of Advil, Imodium, Tums, tp, salt tabs and a wet wipe. Each lap I used something from my little 'kit'. I use a camelback so I put my hammer drink in my camelback. It was my 'job' to finish the contents for each lap. Its hard but you need to make sure you eat and liquid calories are much easier for to digest.
            If you're bored ask why you're boring


            Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

              Warning: If this topic is too gross for this forum, then I apologize. You probably aught to skip the thread. If you don't know the topic, but might be grossed out, then feel free to read the quote and then stop. I don't think it's actually too gross of a topic, though, since it's a pretty natural process.
              As for going off the trail, boy, I'm totally shy about that. Maybe it's the girl in me, but I can't figure out the logistics of how to do it gracefully and neatly. Is this too gross of a topic for this forum? Blush
              Well, I admit that it's a lot easier for me, since I have outdoor plumbing. But look at it this way - if Paula Radcliffe can do it, why can't you? You probably won't even have cameras on you. A little TP in your pack can really be a boon - so can plastic sandwich bags for the TP when you are done. (No littering!) I've found that for bowel movements, finding a slim tree to hold on to and balance from makes it easier. It allows you to move your behind that much further away from your shoes to prevent accidents. I'm sorry I can't offer any advice for emptying your bladder cleanly and discreetly - I don't have any experience from the female perspective. In either case, make sure that your "aim" is pointing towards the downhill slope. Sending something that can drain or roll down hill and onto you is less than fun.

              Run to Win
              24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                When I ran my 50 I ran a 30 3 weeks before and then a 50 mile weekend 10 days before my race. That might work out perfect for you. I split the 50 mile weekend into 3 days 10,15,25. The 25 was 10 days before my race.
                Wow, that's good to know that this worked for you. Thanks! I can probably manage this. I have a hilly marathon planned for next Sunday plus plan on running long on Sat and another day this week.
                When I did my first ultra (50 M) someone gave me the advice to pack little 'kits' for each lap. I changed out the kit each lap. I 'kit' consisted of Advil, Imodium, Tums, tp, salt tabs and a wet wipe. Each lap I used something from my little 'kit'. I use a camelback so I put my hammer drink in my camelback. It was my 'job' to finish the contents for each lap. Its hard but you need to make sure you eat and liquid calories are much easier for to digest.
                These are great ideas. I'll try these out on my next trail run. I usually have a mini baggie with pepcid, tylenol and salt tabs. I'll have to add the wet wipes and tp though. I've been training with my camelback but I like running without it so I'll just have to figure out where to stuff my kits.
                  A little TP in your pack can really be a boon - so can plastic sandwich bags for the TP when you are done. (No littering!) I've found that for bowel movements, finding a slim tree to hold on to and balance from makes it easier. It allows you to move your behind that much further away from your shoes to prevent accidents.
                  Yep, this issue hits it on the nose. Ok, this is my dilemma. There are no trees in Arizona...only cacti. Undecided A fellow running buddy said she had to duck off the trail multiple times last year because of "cramping". Funny I find it easier to ask complete strangers for advice on this issue than to ask her directly. Big grin So, I guess I just have to prep with tp, plastic bags and try not to hit my shoes if this problem arises. Oy, here's hoping I have no problems in that department on race day.
                  I'm sorry I can't offer any advice for emptying your bladder cleanly and discreetly - I don't have any experience from the female perspective. In either case, make sure that your "aim" is pointing towards the downhill slope. Sending something that can drain or roll down hill and onto you is less than fun.
                  As for numero uno...I've gotten pretty good at aiming despite my disadvantaged plumbing. However, I do occasionally wish I was a guy when I have to go potty! Smile MTA: Removed the Warning note. I figure if folks have read to this point, they were cool with the subject matter. Wink


                  Ultrachick

                    Hi Rroush, congrats on your first ultra! Too bad it was so rough. It looks like you may have gone out too fast to start. Was the course hilly at all? Speed hike the hills to help save some energy for later. I would say walk but remember the clock is still ticking-no casual stroll through the park so to speak. The bathroom part you just have to get over. I've been lucky so far in the 4 50Ks and 3 50M I've done so far I haven't had tummy issues. I say go for the 50M. Use the hilly marathon to practice speed hiking the hills and use it as a training run just to keep your miles up for the 50. Set some time goals but don't try to take off 10 minutes from your marathon PR (bonus if you do! Big grin) Hope this helps and look at the 50K as a tough dress rehearsal for an awesome 50M. Kelly
                    If you never go fast, you'll never go fast.
                      Warning: In either case, make sure that your "aim" is pointing towards the downhill slope. Sending something that can drain or roll down hill and onto you is less than fun.
                      Actually, for women, it's less risky if you are facing uphill since, in the squatting position, the stream is already about even with our heels and we get to keep our shoes dry. If you are facing downhill, it's very likely it will run onto your shoes. Also, the risk of falling over when facing downhill is a lot higher and, with your shorts around your knees, has a much higher humiliation factor.
                      Have you got a flag?


                      You'll ruin your knees!

                        Awesome job on the first ultra! Every one is a course in something...hydration, fueling, pacing, blister prevention/treatment, drop bag logistics, bodily functions...etc. I am always amazed at how quickly recovery comes after a trail ultra. As for the distance, don't sweat the fact that you are only n miles into a n plus y mile run! How you feel at that moment may or may not have anything to do with how you feel in 10 miles! If you are feeling low, that is a sign that your body needs for you to change something. If you are mentally unfocused, likely you need calories! Anyway...whatever you decide, just try and force yourself to focus only on the next goal (not the finish line). All you need to do is to concentrate on reaching the next aid station, fuel, hydrate, take care of any pressing issues and then do it all over again. You will be amazed how effective this tactic is. Oh as for bodily functions, here is some info...http://www.ultrunr.com/women.html#Ann navigate to the links under "Woman & Urinating on the Run". Good luck! Lynn

                        ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)


                        Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                          Actually, for women, it's less risky if you are facing uphill since, in the squatting position, the stream is already about even with our heels and we get to keep our shoes dry. If you are facing downhill, it's very likely it will run onto your shoes. Also, the risk of falling over when facing downhill is a lot higher and, with your shorts around your knees, has a much higher humiliation factor.
                          I'll remember that next time a woman asks me about it - for the streaming part, I get to stand which makes it easier. The rolling bit still applies, though; works the same way no matter your gender.

                          Run to Win
                          24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)




                          who knows...

                            Congratulations rroush! At my last 50K I noticed that several men (not sure about the women) just peed on the run. (It's easy to spot, look for those who look like they've been splashing in the water on a trail run where there were no water crossings/hazards Smile ) Of course, this race was in the dead of August so it might have been a form of self-cooling!
                            "There is no I in εγω." --Unknown author, source of possible, but in no way certain, Greek origin
                            sherpagirl


                            Sherpagirl

                              I would think for a woman it would be tough without dropping trow. If your going to do that you might as well step off of the trail. I can't imagine running with my pants around my knees. I would end up face first in the dirt. I guess if you were REALLY competitive you could pull a Lisa Novak and wear Depends. Embarrassed
                              If you're bored ask why you're boring
                                Lynn, that ultrunr website is awesome! I've been reading all the pages and getting lots of insights. Thanks for sending it to me. If you have any other ultra website links, I'd love to read those too! Sorry to ask again, but did you say you used Zantac? I think I'll try that instead of Pepcid and see if that works better. Someone posted on that other site that they start taking it 2x per day 2 days before their races and this helps head off nausea/heartburn. I'm running the Lost Dutchman Marathon this Sunday so that'll be a good test. To all...I ran a 14 miler with my ultra friend today and finally got up the guts to talk about the bathroom issue with her. She said she ran the OP50 last year and there was a gal who didn't even move to the side of the trail. She just pulled her shorts to the side, lifted one leg and went standing up!!! The amazing part is that she didn't even get anything on her! Now, for you guys in the group, pee'ing standing up is a given. But for us gals...well, let's just say I was very impressed! Big grin My friend also said you just have to get over the whole bathroom deal. You use wipes and tp and bring baggies. If those things are not available, use rocks! Shocked That must be a "we live in the desert and have no leaves available" thing. I'm still hoping that part will not be an issue but if it is, clearly, I will probably be the one most disturbed by it. Kelly, yep the course was a roller coaster type course with uphills and downhills. I'm going to take it easy on my marathon this weekend (which also has a lot of ups and downs) and just try to enjoy it and practice eating/drinking more. I'll let everyone know how all this turns out. My 50 miler is on March 1st.
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