July 1st, 2011...11:50pm...the Midnight Madness 50 miler gets under way here in Tulsa, OK. The temperature was going to be a factor this year. No chance of rain. Last couple of days leading up to the race has been in the 100s, and nighttime lows of 80s. It was going to be brutal this time.
The course is pancake flat, with short steep climb at Turkey mtn. from one direction, and long steady uphill from other direction. Course is 10.3 mile loop, with 1,3,5 going one direction, and 2,4 opposite direction. This made it really nice. You were able to see where and how everyone else is doing during the race. I like this format.
Up to raceday, I've done my heat training. I was prepared this time. At start area, I had my pedialyte, salt stick tabs, gatorade, and extra everything to change into. For Turkey mtn aid station, I had the same stash. My gameplan was start out slower than last year, and make up time in last two laps. And since I've been doing my training runs in vibram 5-fingers, I was ready to do 50 miles in the 5-fingers. But I did one thing that they say you should never do on race day...don't try anything new. Welll, I did.
During my training runs, I wore injinji socks with 5-fingers...and have had no problems with blisters or anything. I bought a new pair and didn't receive them until race day. When I went to try them on, they were quite snug. So I thought, if I put on my sock it will be very tight, and before I hit 10 miles I may have some serious issues. So I decided to go without sock and see what happens.
On my first 10 mile, I timed in at 1:35:09. Of course, being fresh, I was feeling very good. Vibram 5-fingers felt good... no issues at 10 miles. But I was going way to fast. I wanted to be at 1:45 or 1:50.
On my second (reversed) lap, I timed in at 1:35:53 (3:11 total). Again.. I was still going too fast. I was suppose to be at 2 hr lap time. But my legs were feeling good, and 5-fingers were working well... no issues. Somewhere around mile 19, I drank from water faucet on the trail...and before I knew it... I swallowed hot water from the faucet. Within minute, my stomach went south. I was beginning to feel sick. Soon as I hit the aid station, I took in some electrolytes and ginger..hoping to settle my stomach.
On my third lap, I decided to take it slower and try to get my stomach back on track. It was not happening. This really threw me off. After I left the aid station, I had forget to re-apply some bodyglide to my feet. At mile 26, my feet were beginning to feel some pain...some hot spots developing on the right foot. Mile 30, I timed in 2:08:17 (5:19 total) for lap 3. It seemed alot slower since I was dealing with stomach and foot issue now. At mile 30, I took off my 5-fingers, re-apply bodyglide, and changed to my racing flats and socks. I ate some food and back on course for lap 4.
Lap 4, I was still not feeling all that great, but I was moving again. Maybe not as fast as I would've like...but no matter. The sun was beginning to rise as I hit mile 45. Up to this point, the humidity hasn't really bothered me. I was hydrating well, taking in electrolytes, and eating good. Actually, it felt cool to me for the nighttime run. And my stomach was slower getting back to normal. I'll know better next time. Lap 4 (mile 40), I timed in at 2:19:40 (7:38 total). Considering the issues I was dealing with, it wasn't bad time.
Now the final lap to finish. I was thinking if I just keep a steady pace, I should be under 10 hrs, if not around 9:15 finish. I was thrilled to start again...the last lap! But everything went south. The sun was beginning to heat things up quickly. I was walking more and more...and less running. My legs were experiencing some cramping. The stomach issue came back again, and hit me hard this time. I was feeling a huge blister on bottom of my right foot now. At Turkey mtn aid station, I tried to get electrolyte and some food back in me. I put ice pack around my neck and some in my hat. I was off for the final 4 miles. I was beginning to run again for next 2 miles. But the last 2 miles... I was doing everything I could to get it done. Everything was zapped out of me. I finally made it to finish line in 10:21:46 (2:42:59 for last lap). I was sooo happy to finish.
|nice finisher medal|
|some skin gone wearing vibram 5-fingers|
|small blister on right foot|
|50 miler finish...right and left foot!|