The Ghost Rail Ultra gave me an opportunity to see just how fast I could run an ultra. I went for the 22 hour finish pace of 13 minute miles for the 100 and kept that pace easily up until the end of the fourth loop where I gave my feet a break and walked a bit. My splits for the 15 mile out and backs were:
Start time 9 am
Loop 1- 11:40 left for loop 2 at noon
Loop 2- 2:49 left for loop 3 at 3:00
Loop 3- 6:12 left for loop 4 at 6:40
Loop 4- 10:15
60 mile complete in 13:15...with 15 miles basically walking : )
My plan was to walk/run for miles 60 to 90 to give my feet a break and also because it was really dark and the rocks and roots were covered by the leaves. The last 15 miles I would push for a finish time of 7 am.
I would end at 105 miles. I was on pace for a 22 hour but would have been fine with any finish under 24 hours : )
Turns out that I did not expect the 36 degree overnight temperatures in southern NH and I did not bring pants and did not wear my hat nor gloves nor warm undershirt when I went out for the fourth loop. By the time I finished 60 miles at 10:15 my core was frozen. I was not shaking which is a BAD sign…when you shake it warms your body up. I took off all my clothes and wrapped myself in a blanket and blasted the heat. I was going to take ten minutes to warm up my body but silly me I fell asleep for two hours. Now I should have gone back out there. I still could have blasted out a midnight to nine am 40 mile run…9 hours is doable. Instead my body revolted and said no f’in way....even with the body weight up from 107 to 110 (sometimes after wings 112) I still can't handle the cold. my immune system is compromised and I have low red blood cell count (Anemia, low hemoglobin, low hematocrit). This causes the following things to happen: I fatigued easily and feel weak and at times when I am very cold or my body is taxed I become short of breath. I can experience headaches(but I do rarely) and chest pain which was one thing that happened at DR...I suffered what I thought was a mini heart attack on the ride off the mtn. My skin becomes very pale...add to this hypothermia which is a problem I face often on overnight runs or anything that involves prolonged wet conditions. The thing abut the red blood cells is they carry the oxygen and nutrients throughout my body. Less red blood cells means less oxygen and nutrients make it to the cells to provide energy..in terms of a long endurance event this can become a serous problem. After WS100 they did test on me in the medical tent and the doctor came over with my results and said "What the hell are you doing out there? You just ran 70 miles? You should not be able to make it 10 miles.." He had given me a complete blood count. A (CBC) is a blood test used to check your blood count specifically the the RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit are tests to see if you have low red blood count. Normal Adult females should fall in the following ranges:
RBC 4.2 - 5.4 M/ul
Hemoglobin (HgB) 12 - 16 g/dL
Hematocrit (Hct) 37 - 47%
My results are so wildly off (but not appropriate to put on my blog) let's just say it is amazing I can do what I do. Changing my diet from vegetarian for 20 something years to a full blown carnivore was an absolute must, as was training less and taking longer rest times..basically just being smart. Now I was NOT smart when I went back out without my hat and gloves and warm clothes....I just tend not to think of anything but that exact present moment in time when I am competing. I need a support person on hand and they need to know what I tend to do and they need to be strong enough to force me to take clothes or basically just dress me and shove food down my throat as I also tend to have my digestive system shut down after 50 miles and I forget at time to eat and or drink..and for the first 50 miles I tend to crave fat and chocolate (that is why I subsisted for 50 miles on peanut butter balls with chocolate bits).
When I ran with Kev he always has extra clothes in his pack I can borrow, but in terms of Dave pacing me he had never supported or paced someone in this long of a run so was unsure of what his focus should be. He said he thought I would be cold but never spoke up as we headed back out. He will come to Tire Guys with me so he can pace at Stonecat and he said he will wear a pack with an extra long sleeve shirt, hat and gloves just in case.
In terms of DR2012 Dave has offered to support me and basically stay with me for most of the race carrying food and water..Grace's husband and Hobie's brother did that and it seemed to be a big help..if the weather is kind I won't need it but if it is cold and rainy I will....a huge problem at DR2011 was I had no dry or warm clothes after the overnight and no food for a long period of time and at one point when we came out of the river I after a long cold night I had no food and no water!!! DR was so different than an ultra I think my support was just unsure what they needed to do...add in freezing cold rain and they were cold and tired as well. Well lessons learned will be taken into next year's DR....but more importantly lessons will be used to finish the McNaughton 500...I really really really want to finish : ) and I think a diet of peanut butter balls and and hot pants and tank tops is not going to equal success : )