Post-ultra recovery: resting or... pushing? - After running ultras for 10 years and having logged 42,000 miles since I moved to the US, I wish I had the assurance of elite runner and coach David Roche ...
Friday, July 13, 2007
QUICKSILVER 50 MILE TRAIL ULTRAMARATHON
I did this race about a month ago. I didn't get in the training I really wanted, but was coming off some nice races. But, of course, 4 days before the race I was on business travel and was hit with the worst head cold. I ended up spending the Wednesday before the race in bed for 20 hours. I tried a 5k jog Friday, but felt horrible. So against better judgement, I started the race Saturday. I never felt good the entire race. It was hot, hilly and hard. I went out a bit fast, probably staying with the 50km runners. I had dressed too warm and was pealing off layers before the 10km mark. The head cold was still with me - I felt tired and was not getting the O2 I wanted. After awhile my friend Chihping came up behind me and we ran together for awhile. But after awhile he left me and I ran by myself.
Before mile 20 I started throwing up. I began to wonder if starting a hot hilly 50 mile trail run while sick and pushing through the heat and hills while throwing up was really all that smart:)
I struggled on and by the time I came to the 50km point, I asked the finish line crew if I stopped would that be a 50km finish, or a DNF for the 50 mile. I was told it would be a DNF...so off I went (knock on wood I have never DNF'd a run). After awhile, this runner comes behind me and cracks a joke. We start joking back and forth - his name was Mario. I started running with him and we had a good conversation that was taking my mind off my pain/illness. About 2 miles later some guy comes behind us yelling "Move aside you youngsters and let this old man through." Both Mario and I laughed and started talking to the runner. His name was Lon Monroe (he was a runner in the movie Run For The Soul stating, as he was cooling off in the river during the Western States, that it was "better than sex...well at this moment anyway". The three of us ran together. While we each helped each other, there was no doubt I benefited the most from these two super nice runners.
I had wanted to go sub-9 hours, but finished in 10:07. Middle of the pack, but considering I almost switched to the 50km option 1/2 way through the race, I was happy to have completed the whole 50 miles. That also qualified me for the lottery for the 2008 Western States 100.
Quicksilver course profile: