Jump to content

Contest Training Journal for markc7 and WendyRC


Recommended Posts

OK, this is going to be part race report, part cautionary tale. Last weekend, my wife Wendy and I ran the Haliburton Forest 100 Miler together. We both finished the race, but at the end Wendy was in very bad shape and had to be checked out at the hospital. We’ve learnt from our mistakes and this won’t happen to us again. If by telling our story I can keep others from making the same errors than I’ll be happy.

 

Our training this summer was sub-par. And by that I mean we were severely under-trained, Wendy especially. I averaged less than 50km per week for August and July, and Wendy ran even fewer kilometers. But we’ve both done 100 milers before and knew what we were getting into. We didn’t have any time goals for this race, we just wanted to enjoy the forest and have fun spending a day together. HF100 is a double out and back course mostly on forest trails, with some dirt roads.

 

We packed our drop bags and left Ottawa on Friday afternoon, arriving at Haliburton just before the pre-race supper. At HF100, everyone at the pre-race banquet introduces himself or herself. We were amazed to see the number of first time 100 milers this year; easily over half of the runners were attempting their first 100. After supper, I realized that I had accidentally packed all of our flashlights in our drop bags, so that night and the next morning we had to get ready in our tent by the light of my cell phone. During the night, a strong thunderstorm passed right over top of us, so neither of us got a full night’s sleep.

 

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/DSCF1215.jpg

 

At six in the morning, after a cup of tea and some toast, we were off and running. We stayed right at the back of the pack, noticing many of the newbies taking off at a pace far faster than they would be able to maintain. The first few kilometers are on forest roads, followed by a beautiful, technical trail section about 6km long. The first 10 miles of the course has five aid stations, but they are much further apart in the later sections. We ate and drank and each station, and I took some pictures with my mini-camera. Things started to get tougher between km 16 and 25, a very hilly and quite rough section of trail, but we were still in good spirits. The following trail was the section that left the biggest impression on Wendy last year; several 100 meters of the trail is made up of overgrown parallel logs, arranged like buried railroad tracks. You need to have your wits about you on this section, as it is very easy to fall and twist something.

 

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/HF007.jpg

 

The last 10km to the turn around was fairly flat and non-technical, so we sped up a bit to build a small cushion. The turnaround at 25 miles had a great selection of food, so we ate quite a bit before heading back at a decent pace. The next 20 or so km passed without incident. With 25 km left in the first lap, Wendy started to complain of an upset stomach. We had been taking salt pills and eating lots of salty foods, but at this point her nausea meant that she didn’t want to eat anything. Also, this section in this direction is the most difficult part of the course, and I think that was affecting us. Still, we kept up a good pace before reaching the turnaround in just under 13 hours. We now had nine hours to reach the 75-mile turnaround.

 

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/HF009.jpg

 

At the 50-mile turnaround, we met up with a runner who was making her second attempt at the 100-mile distance. She wasn’t feeling good, but we encouraged her to run with us for a while. Although she had to drop out 15 km into the second lap, she put in a really good effort and I think it helped Wendy and I to feel better about our own situation. On our own again, we didn’t talk much through the hilly technical sections since we were aware of the cutoff time approaching. I was feeling fine, but Wendy was clearly getting more and more dehydrated and low on calories. It was tough to get her to drink or eat anything, but I insisted that she take lots of small sips from her water bottle to at least get some liquid.

 

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/HF010.jpg

 

 

At the 75-mile turn around Wendy lay down for a short sleep by the fire. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get her moving again. She was still nauseous, was eating only a little bit, and was having trouble keeping pace. At 4 am passed I knew that we would have to run faster than 12-minute kilometers to reach the finish line in time, a pace that would be tough for Wendy to maintain at this time in the race. Nevertheless, we kept moving. Now on our way back to the start/finish area for the last time, we passed a few other runners who would have to drop. We knew that we were in dead last place, and that if we slowed down at all we wouldn’t make it.

 

The last 40km are a bit of a blur. I used every ounce of energy I had to run and to keep Wendy running. With about 10 km to go, I had nothing left to keep motivating her. I was amazed at that point when she started taking over, telling us when to run and when to walk and urging us forward. She dug deep and found something that neither of us knew she had. We emerged from the forest onto the dirt road with 5.5km and just over one hour to spare. It was going to be tight. We raced through the last aid stations, stopping only to drop of gear that was weighing us down. As we approached the finish line we saw volunteers and many of the other finishers waiting to cheer us on. Most hadn’t expected us to make it. We crossed the finish line at 29 hours and 55 minutes, only 5 minutes under the official cut-off time.

 

I felt great at the finish line, but could tell that the last 60km had been really rough on Wendy. I asked some of the volunteers to check her out, and they recognized some signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration. A volunteer who works as a nurse for the local emergency clinic thought that Wendy should be brought in to be checked out. I stayed at the race banquet to pick up our buckles and last place finisher award, the “Lone Wolf” hat, while Wendy was taken to hospital. Her blood work found that her electrolytes were way out of proportion, she was severely dehydrated, and her kidney function was quite low. She ended up spending the night in hospital and was given several bags of IV fluids. The next morning she was stiff and sore but feeling well enough to go home.

 

We both finished the race and got our buckles, but at too great of a risk to Wendy’s health. We’ve learnt some valuable lessons from this race. 1) If we run a 100 miler together again, we need someone else there to crew and/or pace us. 2) Make absolutely certain that we’re trained enough for the distance. 3) Be more obsessive about taking fluids and food at specific intervals, no more intuitive eating. 4) We are both capable of being extremely stubborn, a double-edged sword that can lead to problems if we’re not careful.

 

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/DSCF1218.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/DSCF1217.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 269
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I know its not what you two were expecting but I'm quite impressed with the fact that both of you finished with so little training. Great work and best wished to Wendy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know its not what you two were expecting but I'm quite impressed with the fact that both of you finished with so little training. Great work and best wished to Wendy

 

Thanks potter. It definitely wasn't what we were expecting but we are really happy to have finished. But we're not going to let ourselves get into this position again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to teh gym today for the first time since July. Not that I've been sitting around that whole time, I just haven't worked out with weights since then. I did a pretty modest workout with pullups, rows, deadlifts, DB press, shrugs, and a couple others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a short but hard leg workout this morning. Deadlifts, one-legged quad pres, squats, one-legged hamstring curls, and one-legged calf press.

 

I really want to work on my deadlift over the next couple months. In June I was lifting close to my body weight, but I've lowered the weight since I haven't been working out. I'd like to work towards 300lbs in the next little while. Any suggestions? Techniques that other people have used to gain lots of strength on a lift like this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome photos! Man, you have a great training log on here! Congrats on your transformation in the Shape-Up Challenge as well. I've been telling others that if only I had your physique I'd do much better as a bodybuilder!

 

Keep up the awesome work man!

 

Thanks Robert! I'm getting back in the gym now after a fairly long break, and it feels good. Well, it feels good when I'm working out and then it hurts a bit afterwards.

 

Here are a couple more pics from the 100 mile race:

 

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/HF1002007-2.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/HF1002007-3.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k123/markc7/HF1002007-4.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning I did a chest and triceps workout. I've been sick for most of this week, so I haven't been running or working. Tomorrow I'm running a race that was advertised as a "21.5km half marathon". So I don't know exactly how far I'm actually going to be running. Although I haven't trained specifically for this race, it should be fun and hopefully I'll run a decent time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the race turned out to be a proper half marathon (21.1km). I managed to get a personal best time of 1:47:xx. I'm pretty happy with that, considering that I haven't trained, I ran the 100 miler just four weeks ago, I was feeling sick most of this week, and it was pouring rain and windy during the run this morning. I also came in 19th overall (third in my age group). Now my legs are tired and a bit sore so I'm going to have a nap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone, I'm back. I realize it's been a long time since I've posted, but I have a whole new set of goals and I'm ready to start achieving them. I'm scheduled to workout with my trainer starting next week, and I've planned out my major races for 2008. Here's what's on the menu:

 

30km road race in March

100mile trail race in May

100mile trail race in September

 

Tomorrow I'm going to do my first run since the 100 miler 4 weeks ago. I'm planning to change my diet to healthier selections (I've gotten off track a bit and splurged a few too many times), concentrate on building a strong running base (I was severely under trained for the 100 miler), and work on creating strong muscles to carry me through my races without any injuries.

 

Although I suffered from dehydration in this year's 100 miler, I managed to survive the race without any injuries to my muscles - something that has never happened before. I seem to be prone to leg injuries and I was very pleased to have finished the race without any problems. During my run training I am planning to spend a lot of time and concentration on figuring out a system of drinking and eating that will keep me energized and hydrated for next year’s races. I know this sounds obvious, but even with all of my experience, this still needs some fine tuning. I’ll keep you updated on my findings as I go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, so off to a slow start. I had planned to run on the weekend, but I ended up getting a cold and spent the entire long weekend in bed. So, when I started to feel better I decided to do an easy run on the treadmill at the gym. It's been forever since I last used a treadmill and I guess I forgot how boring it was. I had my music to listen to and the TVs to watch, but still after only about 10 minutes my brain had completely turned off and I started to fatigue. Oh sure, I can run 100 miles in a hilly forest, but 10 minutes on a treadmill nearly killed me. I did manage to get to a whopping 15 minutes before I decided to just walk it off and get changed. Oh, I guess it didn't help that I got a little bit competitive with the guys on each side of me who kept checking out my display and then increasing thier speed. Overall I wasn't happy with the run, but it was certainly an experience:

 

Lessons learned:

 

1) Don't race the people around me when I'm not training for a race (this is base training remember)

 

2) Don't do a tempo run at a high incline as my first training run after a long race.

 

3) Run outdoors, it's much more stimulating.

 

I guess I'm going to have to get out my long sleeve shirt, suck it up, and get outside. There, I said it....well, someone had to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a legs workout this morning. I focused mostly on deadlifts and squats. Not having done much training in July and August really hurt my progress on these two lifts, but I'm happy to report that I'm back to doing sets of both deadlifts and squats over 200 lbs. I've been increasing the weight slowly but surely, and I know I can go much higher yet. It's mostly a mental thing really; my body feels strong enough to lift more but I'm wanting to be extra careful with my form so I don't hurt myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did back and biceps today at the gym. When I these muscles, I like to do several sets of each exercise with slightly different grips or postures in each set. For example, I do bent over barbell row with over and underhand grips at various widths. That way I hit the muscle from every possible angle, and can do more and longer sets than if I was doing the same form for each set. Also, I leave the gym with a great pump this way!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark work your traps some and I think you'll have one of the best physiques around here! That's the only place I see you lacking in at least.

 

Keep up the awesome work! I'll do back and biceps tonight as well.

 

Thanks Zack. I do shrugs as part of my shoulder workout, but probably haven't mentioned them since, honestly, they aren't my favourite exercise. But I do them anyways. Good luck with the back and biceps work tonight!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share




×
×
  • Create New...