Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cures for the Colors 100 - The Good and the Bad!

This post is really more for me so I can remember all the stuff that worked and what didn't work so well.   And maybe there is something here that you might find interesting or even possibly valuable.

While I didn't finish the full 100 miles at the "Cures for the Colors 100 mile Run" in Goldsboro, NC, I did have my best 100 mile attempt to date.  70 miles completed and I know I could have gone further without the blister issues.  (See my last blog entry for my boring race report)

One thing did happen at this race!  I proved to myself that I did have some mental toughness as I did continue about for about 23 miles after the blisters got bad.  I knew I was doing additional damage . . . and I knew it wasn't going to just get any better, but I kept going as long as I could.  My best guess is that I was at an Ivan8 or perhaps just a high Ivan7.  If you're not familiar with this scale of suffering intensity, here is a link to Jonathan Savage's Wiki where he talks about his Ivan Scale!  I really wanted to get to at least 75 miles, but that day it really wasn't an option.  70 was plenty!

Today is Tuesday and the blisters are now much, much better.  After multiple 'openings' and soaking in epson salts things seem to be healing well.  I'll try some running probably Wednesday or Thursday I'm guessing.

What went well . . .
  • The Zombie Runner Cool-off Bandana is totally awesome!  If hot weather get to you like it does me, then this is a total MUST HAVE!!
  • Walking the two laps in the afternoon worked out great.  At the time, I was worried if I would be able to start running again when the sun got low.  In some past summer runs I just couldn't get going again.  But this time I didn't find it hard to start back up running again.
  • Running at night is my favorite time to run.  Saturday night there was no moon and one of the roads had few houses and no streetlight!  I so love to turn my light off and just run!  The best for sure!
  • I finally got my pain medicine dosing  right for me!  This has been tricky to say the least.  The medicine I use (Mortin) has a maximum dosage every 4 hours.  So . . . here is what I did this time: when I first started feeling the need for so pain relief (this time around mile 30 or so, I took 1/2 the maximum dose.  Then, 2 hours later I took another 1/2 the maximum dose.  And I kept taking pills every 2 hours as long are you are peeing.  If you aren't peeing . . . don't take any more pills and up your hydration intake.  This worked soooo well for me!  Everyone may do it this way . . . I don't know.  But I did come up with this plan on my own and it sure works!  And yes . . . I did talk with my doctor about this and my general medication risks before!
  • I'm beginning to learn that when I start to feel myself struggling in a long run, it's usually because I need food!  Gels, soup, candy . . . what ever sounds good.  But I need to eat.  I also drank 4 Ensure shakes.  Not really sure if they were what gave me my boost or if it was the chicken noodle soup.  I'm thinking it was the soup!  But it's magic after I eat.  30 minutes and my energy level is back up!
  • The race had a fantastic variety of fluids to choose from and this was REALLY nice!  Sure they had the normal gator aid and water.  But they also had Coke, Mt Dew, Apple juice, grape juice, orange juice and a ton more choices that I'm just not remembering!  I totally LOVE that!  Very nice!
  • Desitin . . . Damn that stuff is GREAT!  I'll just leave it there . . .  Never an issue since I started using this before the race.  And I used to have problems EVERY single race.  I tried everything!  But Desitin totally solves the problem.
  • My Tilley Hat is absolutely perfect on a bright sunny day.  I'm really surprised I see so many ball-cap style hats and so few brimmed hats.  Maybe folks think they look stupid.  Maybe they think the hat won't stay on well.  I don't know.  But these hats  are awesome for running on a sunny day!
  • Sharon Scott told me a tip she had heard . . . take a toothbrush and toothpaste and brush your teeth!  It's amazing how great it feels to have clean teeth and a fresh mouth at 50 miles!
  • My The North Face duffle bag is awesome.  Okay.  It is a little pricey!  But I believe you could set off a stick of dynamite inside it and it would still be functional!  I have the large size and it's huge!  Everything can fit inside! Everything!  And the neat thing is you can carry this monster like a backpack (everything is included).

What didn't go so well . . .
  • The biggest problem was obviously my second set of shoes!  I really believe all shoe companies are just about equal.  The only things that really matter are 1) does the shape and volume of the shoe match YOUR foot, and 2) does the shoe have the features you need (cushioning, support, minimal, etc.).  It's not the brand, it's the shoe!  My problem was I had been buying the same shoe from the same brand for probably 15 years.  And for some reason, they changed the shoe but still called it the same thing!  So I bought them, took them home and ran in them . . . and then started feeling the differences.  I should have just given them away.  Joey Anderson was with me Saturday as I was changing the shoes and we even talked about the fact that I didn't like these shoes anymore! STUPID!  I should have know better!  Why take that risk?
  • The food they had at the race was okay . . . but I just had trouble eating enough of it.  Pizza was good, but I just had trouble getting the hot dogs down. Luckily, I did have chicken noodle soup and Ensure.  But I was out by daylight Sunday morning.  Had I been doing more loops I would have had issues if I couldn't talk someone into going to the store for me!!
  • I needed medical help with my blisters and there was none available.  On my lap where I was searching for a nurse or doctor at an aid station, whenever I ask, the station volunteers want to know if I wanted them to call for help.  That was good.  But I just needed help with my blisters and there was no one there to assist.  Also, if the temps fell much lower there could have been hypothermia issues.
  • The race needed either lap counters or a lap board.  After 8-9 laps I have to struggle to remember correctly.  Luckily, I had the 'Bill Keene Official 'Runners from Hell' Digital Lap Counter!'  Without that I would have been screwed.  What this technical device is is a over-sized ring you move from one finger (digit!) to the next as you complete a lap!  It works!
  • I really would benefit from an experienced crew member to help me remember stuff after 40 miles or so.  Several laps I failed to replenish electrolyte pills and pain pills.  I also forgot my blinker light as it got dark, I forgot to put on a long-sleeve shirt as the sun went down (and got quite chilled), I forgot to take my fleece my last two laps (when I was going to be walking so slow!).  Nothing ended up being a serious problem, but it could have been if the weather had been any cooler (low was 52° that night).
  • My blister treatment plan needs some serious work.  While blisters have only been an issue for me twice in my running life, both times they occurred at the same place . . . the ball of my foot under the callous.
Okay . . . that's about all I can think of right now.  I promise I will try to make my next blog entry a little more fun!


      1. I will not elaborate too much on what you said, but I did not find your hind sight report boring at all. This will give you info to be able to look back on and refresh your memory. To me and experienced crew is so very important. I am so very lucky in that Tammy knows just what I need. I am not a big changer of shoes. Certainly a comfortable shoe is so very important, but I don't change under normal circumstances. In 100's I am prepared to change should I need to, but I have never once changed shoes or socks. Putting Bag Balm all over my feet before I start a long run is just what I need to take care of any blister issues.

      2. Nice recap, Frank! May prove useful incase I ever decide to attempt something this crazy!

        Hey Rick,

        Bag Balm... I had to Wiki that to see what it was! That stuff sounds like a well kept secret! I may have to give it a try.

      3. Amber . . . I believe I have a tin of Bag Balm somewhere. At least I used to!! :-)

      4. Rick - I could shoot myself for changing my shoes and socks when I had no real reason to! I honestly believe I would have finished this 100 without the blister issue! And I KNEW I didn't like the shoes I changed to. What was I thinking???

      5. The brain gets fuzzy. Bag Balm is the ticket!


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      Littleton, North Carolina
      World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.