Sunday, June 28, 2009

Running With the Devil recap


That's the one word to describe the entire experience of yesterday. Running With the Devil isn't your average cup of running. This race is an extreme heat race, purposely set at times of the day when it's the hottest in Las Vegas. It's also at Lake Mead which is usually at a few degrees higher than the city, despite being by the water. You are actually so high up in the rolling mountain hills of the Mojave Desert rather than along a shore with a cool watery breeze.

People were falling over, stumbling, and dizzy. Then there were some like me who were throwing up....

I onyl ran the 5k. I wasn't interested in running much more under conditions I wasn't used to. I knew I didn't have time to seriously heat train. I also wanted to volunteer for a long time that day. So I decided to run the shortest distance, maybe have a PR even if by a few seconds, and then help out far into the ultra-marathon.

The night before the race, I started feeling flush and very thirsty. I was confused because I had been staying hydrated well with 150 ounces a day. I guess I did start slacking in water intake the few days before the race. Big mistake. Then I had something containing dairy that night.... I can't really do dairy, especially not straight milk like what was in my meal. I didn't even think anything about it though. Hindsight....
I slept great and awoke on my own a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

I grab a granola bar, which has been an ok food for me to eat before a race. I stick to PB sandwiches only right before a triathlon, but for a short race something light is generally ok. I feel my stomach turning as I'm driving to Boulder Beach. I'm not familiar with the feeling, and I don't want to be familiar with it. So when I get to the race I grab some water... it doesn't seem satisfying or appetizing. I don't feel right and it's not nerves. I just don't feel.... excited or energetic like I usually do.

The race starts and I'm doing fine. I play leapfrog with a few runners. This one girl took off very fast in the begining and I said to myself 'well that's one girl I won't finish before'. I do a dance of run/walk. I'm not feeling much energy coming... Usually by now I will get that adrenaline going and I find a nice pace. I just couldn't get a good rhythm. I felt very off. And now I start getting stomach cramps. It's really getting hot outside now.

I hit the aid station at 1.5 and I'm doing well! I'm at about 15 minutes. I grab what I think will be cold water. It isn't very cold and I don't even drink the whole cup. I'm a very avid drink-while-running gal. This wasn't going well. I'm still not feeling the adrenaline kick in.

On the way back, I get that bile coming up and it isn't the kind I can just swallow and make go away. It comes up. I end up puking bile 3 times on the course. But I do try to keep my pace. No bending over for a minute and taking my time. I stop, I puke off to the side on the rocks, I move right along. I walked for most of the race unfortunately. Everytime I started to run, the stomach cramps got worse and I felt horribly sick to my stomach. It was also SO hot by now. The desert sun was unrelentless. Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining strongly with how-dare-you-attempt-to-run-in-my-desert rays.

How do you feel when you hit your reserve? I get chills from head to toe and almost jolt forward with speed all of a sudden. Usually I don't hit that until the last mile. Yesterday, I hit it starting around mile 2 and felt it 3 times, except without a jolt of speed. The feeling was actually annoying yesterday because my body body was searching everwhere for some energy and there just wasn't any.

I end up playing a bit of leapfrog with guess who.... fast-take-off girl! She's out of energy, or maybe she feels sick too, and she's walking a whole lot. We round the corner for the runway to the finish and she picks up to running. So do I. I pass her and the next girl, and with puke coming up in my mouth, I cross the finish line. I grab a quick glance at the clock, it's in the 36 minute range... Not horrible, but not what I was hoping for. I lost a lot of time with all the walking. However, I can say that I got the same time in an off and sick race as I did at my first ever 5k. I think that's an accomplishment lol I only did 3 minutes more (so less than 1 minute per mile) than my last PR and I was running under extreme, unusual conditions. I'm not excited I didn't get a PR, but I'm very proud of how I did despite how I was feeling! Even during an 'off' run, I still thank God I'm able to do this.

In another post later today, I will write more on my 8 hour volunteer experience at miles 20 and 30. We're heading to church now and it's my son's 4th birthday today!!


robison52 said...

Congrats on finishing a 5k race under very difficult and hot conditions! It was probably the milk that made you puke three times, undoubtedly you won't make that mistake again. Looking forward to reading your volunteer experience of the race...your report will give me insight on whether to run this race next year.

Michele said...

Awww!! Good Job on finishing the race.

Happy Be-lated B-day to your son!!

Anonymous said...

Great job finishing feeling that sick! I can't even imagine running feeling like that, wait a minute, yes I can, but... just the same good for you!