This past Saturday I did another longish run of 55 miles in prep for Javalina. It’s a pretty flat run, only about 2K of elevation over the whole run, the biggest climb is about 300 feet that I do at miles 20 and 30, then a very gradual 3 ½ mile climb starting at about mile 36. It was a warm day also, perfect prep for AZ with the temp being about 90 when I started. With the warmer weather I started off a little slow, keeping the pace around 8:50 which is ok for a training run, not blazingly fast but adequate nonetheless. Having to run the kids to sports in the morning from baseball to soccer, and then lunch and then back to moms the run started much later in the day than I wanted, but sometimes I have to get the miles in whenever I can.
So anyway, on to the run. Just chilled our for the first 6 miles to where I can fill the camelback at mile 6. I knew I needed to drink a bunch because I didn’t really top my body off before I started, but no worries right? Right? Wrong. From mile 6 to 21 there is no water and this was probably the warmest of the day besides. I did drink my whole camelback, and everything was feeling good as I constantly had to slow myself down to a reasonable pace. But I didn’t go to the bathroom once so I knew that wasn’t a good sign. Stop at friends house, fill the camelback and continue again. Legs are not feeling the best at this point, but hoping once I get water in my body I’m hoping I recover and legs come back. Ding! Wrong answer. 10 miles later and my brain is foggy, not thinking too straight. Legs feel like shit. Not good. Decide to hang out at friends for about 45 minutes and just suck down insane amounts of water, granted I’ll pee ½ of out but some of it should be absorbed in my salt depleted body.
I start running again and feel pretty decent. It’s about 2 miles and a 300 foot down hill to the trail. I get back to the trail just as dark arrives. I’m running easy 8:00 pace and my legs are coming back, sort of…I see this girl on her bike and she asks me where to get water. I talk to her for a minute and tell her where a store is. I continue running and maybe a mile later she passes me from behind and her blinking tail light disappears in the distance. I am now pretty much in the middle of the woods and it is pitch black, maybe 915 at night. I run about another 1.5 miles and I come up on a bike rider laying face down in a good size pool of blood with legs still entangled in the bike. The same girl I talked to about water was standing maybe 10 feet away on the phone. The dude on the ground was a mess. Smashed face. Broken arm or collarbone at the least. Not a pretty sight. 10 minutes before and I would have came across this by myself. And when doing 50+ mile runs I never run with my phone as I don’t want to give myself an out if the run isn’t going well. As it was it completely freaked me out to be in the middle of nowhere and come across a prone bloody corpse. I stayed for about a ½ hour until the paramedics arrived and then I was off again to finish the remaining 3 hours of running.
The run ended up sucking, 50 miles in about 8 hours, and then 5 more where I just walk/ran/waddled my scrawny ass home. I wasn’t in the mood to push it as I know it’s hard to recover from being dehydrated and I didn’t want to ruin myself for a longer time than 55 miles normally takes out of me. Still, it was a great learning experience. Having to bring myself back to life after dehydration, still being able to run 7:00 miles 40 miles into a run, managing myself at the end when spent, power walking a couple 14 minutes miles, no stomach issues, etc. I’m really looking forward to Javalina and having a good run, and 100 miles doesn’t seem so daunting anymore after all the training miles I’ve been doing.