|Arriving at aid station 2.
Here is my race progress for each 12.5 mile loop (full splits available here):
1 = 2:23
2 = 4:55
3 = 7:37
4 = 10:30 (50 mile split)
5 = 13:44
6 = 16:59
7 = 20:18
8 = 23:56 (100 mile finish)
|Me and Mel on my 5th loop, his 4th. We were hurting.
Even with Andrew on that last loop, it was a struggle to maintain a reasonable pace. I thought I'd have about 15-20 minutes to spare for the sub-24 finish. Obviously, even with increased perceived effort, I slowed down and just squeaked in with that 23:56 finish time.
A few thoughts about...
Stomach flu: I still can't believe that 7 days before the race I had the stomach flu and could barely get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. Less than a week later I ran 100 miles on hilly trails half-way across the country. The human body is an amazing recovery machine.
Shoes: Cushioning is good on ultra long runs. I love minimalist shoes, including completely barefoot running, but I can't run 50 miles without some extra cushioning. Definitely helped to have the Hokas and Torins for this 100 miler. They are both extremely cushioned.
Eating and drinking: If you don't eat, you don't keep moving. If you don't drink, you die. My new sports drink from Tailwind Nutrition worked very well. It tasty good, was easy on the stomach, supplied calories and electrolytes, and was easy to mix at each aid station (brought my own powder and mixed with aid station water). I wish I pushed myself just a little harder to eat more and drink more during the race. I was definitely dehydrated after 50 miles and started to lose energy (more than just being fatigued) after 75 miles.
Medicine: Without Pepcid AC, I would not have been able to keep eating and drinking all day and night. I took 3 Pepcids over 24 hours and my stomach stayed under control. Same goes for Advil--without some painkillers, I would not have been able to run after about 62 miles. Everything ached, but my knees particularly hurt (probably the downhill sections beating them up). I'm always cautious taking any NSAIDS, but one Advil every 4-5 hours seemed reasonable. I didn't start taking any pills until the 50 mile mark.
Electrolytes: I took very few S-caps during the race. Maybe 10 pills over 100 miles. I simply ate salty snacks and drank my sports drink. If it was a hot day, I'd probably need more. In general, I think we worry too much about fluids and electrolytes. Drink when you feel thirsty. Eat what looks appealing, and supplement with electrolytes on occasion as an insurance policy against hyponatremia.
Aid stations: They are godsends, but also time wasters. Move in, move out. You need to maximize time moving forward. When you approach an aid station, think about what you want and need before reaching the first table. Be efficient. Let aid station workers fill your bottle while you eat. Have an organized drop bag and predict what you'll need on each loop. Even an extra 2 minutes adds up over multiple aid station stops.
Lubrication: Relube on a regular basis. If you begin to chafe, take care of the problem immediately. Early intervention will pay major dividends later in the race. Same goes for blisters.
Why I achieved a PR (beyond good weather and a reasonable race course):
|The award for sub-24 finish!
Top 5 (in order of importance)
- Pacers for last 38 miles
- Pepcid AC to calm stomach
- Tailwind Nutrition sports drink
- Hoka Stinson Evos and Altra Torin shoes
- 50-mile night training run
UPDATE: Here is a podcast interview of me discussing my Umstead 100 training, race experience, recovery, and future plans.
This article is translated into Slovak language by Sharka from Everycloudtech
This blog post also translated into Latvian by Nadia Karbowska.