Friday, January 1, 2010

Freedom Park 24 Hour Race New Years Eve
Complete race report with photos..

I am so excited:
I managed to come in 50th place out of about 100 runners and given i am always near last place that is nothing but super good news. If my right foot which is a pain in the butt all the time had held up just a bit longer I would have been at least in 40th place. Exciting!! Plus the brain was in heaven for most of the race. My weak mind did super super well. Watch out Utah.

Leading up to the Race:
Weeks leading up to the race I spent about 15 hours running around the circle track in Morganton. The splits did not look good and my brain was not happy with the circle concept. My biggest fear was giving up around mile 23 because my brain had failed. The good news is my brain did super well. I did a lot of reading on the mind and ultra-running prior to this race. What I learned helped me gain a better understanding of my brain.

Work leading up to the race was insane. I work on computer networks and systems associated with the mad and crazy banking world. December is the month of money and anyone in the money world can tell you nothing can break down. Second, the weather proved to be near global melt down with more snow and cold then in the last 40 years. This meant only gym time for December with very few running miles. Gym time is great but it does nothing for my feet and that is the point.

Race Overview:
The weather tried super hard to make this a very bad race. However, this race was a blast. I enjoyed the run, the layout and the other runners. Most of the runners loved to talk to you and see what you thought and felt; visa versa. I also enjoyed making that turn around the last corner to see tons of tents, food stands and timing devices all lite up in the night sky. It was fun to run down this row of stuff, stop by pick up some apple juice and head back out for another lap. Good stuff.

I knew from the get go that staying dry and warm was going to be a big challenge and a very important function if planned on staying alive. Freezing weather / rain is a great way to die. Every five miles for the first 40 miles I took off all of my top layers except the thin rain jacket and replaced with a brand new layer of clothing. My sister would take all the wet frozen clothes to her car and dry them over the dash board heater. This drying system worked for some clothing items but not for everything.

The best move i made was buying extra stuff to wear including some cotton shirt that sucked the water off my back faster then any fancy stuff but of course.. once the cotton is wet I had to pull it off and replace with another dry top. I wore about 5 layers and replaced all 5 of the layers except the rain jacked every 5 miles.

Shoes and Feet:
I wore a pair of NB 875 Double E shoes for the first 30 miles. The shoes did a great job with about 100 miles on them before the race. I walked for 3 miles in a new pair of 875 NB shoes. This was a big mistake. I should have just keep the old shoes on if for no other reason then it cost me tons of time changing shoes.

I changed back into the older pair of 875 shoes for the rest of the race. The shoe offers very little support but given my feet are a mess it does a better job then any other shoe I have found on the market.

The left foot was hurting a few days before the race due to all the walking at work. However, the left foot was a champ during the race causing no pain or issues. The right foot also did well up to about mile 47. I was running a slow pace when the right foot twisted outward 100% causing tons of pain. I managed to walk back to my tent and rest for a bit. At the 50 mile mark i stopped running and rested in the car holding the foot in the air. This helped. I managed to get out of the car and move another 3 miles before giving up. If the foot had held up I am sure the numbers would be much higher. It should be noted that at mile 53 i was full of energy but the foot was in deep pain.

Layout and Food:
I set up my old trusty tent. This tent has seen seven 7,000 plus meter peak climbs over the many years. I bought this Noals tent in 1984. Inside the tent was my old Moonstone sleeping bag and some pads. I had a cooler located outside the tent with vitamins and scaps including some gels and other minor items including the famous ibuprofen which i kept to a very limited supply.

Food intake:
  • 3 whole bananas
  • 4 quarts of water mixed with multidextrin
  • 6 Cliff Shot Gels (body got sick of these after a while)
  • 3 GU gels
  • 1/2 of pizza (big mistake it came back up )
  • 16 ibuprofens over a 24 hour period
  • 12 scaps
  • 1 small mixture of coconut water (hate that stuff)
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 5 small cups of chicken broth soup
  • 11 small cups of apple juice
  • 2 small pieces of hamburger which also made me sick
  • 1 grilled cheese sandwich at mile 50

The cliff shot gels and the water mix of Maltodextrin played a super big role in giving me extra energy both with the mind and the body. The pizza and hamburger did nothing but bring me down with the body throwing the pizza right back up within 10 minutes of eating.

The cramp issue was big. I was eating scaps every few miles. The scaps did their thing but only for a few miles. I was very surprised how many scaps i consumed during this race.

  • 5 mile = 44 min My PB = 37
  • 10 mile = 1:20 My PB = 1:10
  • 20 mile= 3:35 My PB = 3:16
  • 50 mile = 11:40 My PB = 9:36 this year. Last race was 12:39 however.

  • Going into the tent and laying down without someone to help get me back out
  • Eating pizza slice cost me 15 to 20 minutes due to throwing up the food
  • Changing shoes at mile 30 cost me 15 minutes
  • Letting my sister leave at mile 40

Outstanding issues:
  • Figure out what is wrong with my right foot for the long term
  • Figure out why my lungs fill up with fluid starting in the 40 mile range

  • Beat my last 50 mile run by 45 minutes (beat it by 47 minutes)
  • Run first 20 miles in less then 3:45 (made this goal)
  • Never get frustrated or angry during the race, feel positive and in control (100% success)
  • Do not injury myself beyond fast repair so i can run another race in March (made this goal)

Recovery and Next Race:
The next race is March 27th on Antelope Island State Park in Utah. This is a 50 mile run and i should do very well with this race. This run is all trail and more to my style of Ultra running.

The recovery so far has been very strong. My best friend Brian dropped by on the 1st to party and have some fun. I drank 2 beers which caused my body to feel strange. However, here we are on January 3rd and I am feeling very strong. My right foot still hurts but is not super big (i can put my shoes back on.. wow!!!!). I figure it will start working 100% in about a week so no long runs for a while.

The legs hurt but after some bike ridding in the gym today I am feeling pretty good.

Race Results and Info on the race:

Closing thoughts:
I had a blast. Period. Sure my body was feeling the miles but the mind did so well that I am super excited about the next race. My biggest concern from the last few races was the brain and how it was dealing with running for long distances. I worked on this weakness with fantastic results. Until next time.


Jeff B. said...

Frank, your brother out in Phoenix ran a race with much better weather. Great job, and I hope your foot feels better. I was able to hit 84.5 miles, but it does not compare to the circumstances that was part of your race. I liked seeing that Dave James was out there again. Did you get to meet him. Incredible guy! Amy Palmiero won our race. If you do not know much about her, google her for a humbling read. She is super nice too!

Frank said...

Congrats on the 84.5 miles. Good job. I lost my right foot around 10 hours.. but my times for this race are pretty good. The weather was a challenge and did add a layer of thinking to the entire event.

Yes, I did meet David James. He is amazing and very smart runner. Like most runners he ran into cold issues. He started out with shorts and a small shirt.. which soon changed into more clothing.. and more.. by mid day he was super cold.. I think the cold did him in because he was winning up to 10pm that night.. but stopped running for a long rest near mid night..

Amy is amazing.. but like everyone who gets out there and tries these things.. is amazing..

stay in touch.. good job..

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you came out of this with a positive outlook. You did exceedingly well, & seems like you learned from the experience. Keep training the mind & body. You've come a long way & done a great job.
Aaron Saft