This race is my first attempt at the 24 hour distance and the first in my quest to eventually make the US Men's National team for the 24 hour event. The minimum qualifying standard for the USMNT is 140 miles in 24 hours (about 10 minute pace per mile), though in all reality to make the team I would have to run at least 145-150 miles to be in the top of qualifiers.
I started out the race super easy and actually was afraid that I was spending too much energy trying to slow myself down instead of just going at a comfortable pace. My hip flexors were tight early on but loosened up after a few hours. I would say it was probably 5-6 hours in until I started settling in and feeling comfortable. For the first 12 hours or so I was dead on for nutrition and was feeling solid. I think overall I was just over 200 calories per hour for the 24 hours (see below photo). However, I didn't really eat much the last 3-4 hours because my stomach was upset so I really fell behind then, but I don't think it affected me too much as I was just happy to be daylight and getting close to the finish.
At about 40 miles or so my left foot was really hurting and I knew I had a couple of big blisters that needed attention. I tried changing shoes briefly but took them off and decided to do a little foot surgery. Once I pulled off the pinky toe nail and popped a big one there I was feeling a lot better after a mile or two and a sock change. From there on I kept just ticking miles off at about 10-12 pace.
After 12 hours I started doing 15-20 second walk breaks on the back half of the course where it was pretty windy to keep the HR down. After I hit 100 miles (in 18 hours 3 minutes) I began doing two of the 15-20 second walk breaks per mile. After 105 I was hitting a pretty low spot so I decided to power walk a bit and did a couple of miles at like 15 min pace but then on the third mile power walking both hip flexors basically locked up and I was having trouble even picking my legs up. I was able to shuffle through that lap 107 and get to the massage therapist at the finish line and she stretched me out a bit but it didn't seem to help any. At this point, I was laying on the massage therapist table crying unable to lift my legs up and thought my race was over. I shuffled my way back to the tent/car that was about another 1/3 mile along the course and figured maybe I could sit in the car a bit and warm up and try to loosen my legs up to keep going. I think it was the only shot I had at being able to keep going. I cranked the heat up a bit and took about a 45 minute nap. Once I woke up in the car I could tell my legs felt a little bit better but then I actually started to throw up. I think this was because I wasn't eating as much I thought if I doubled up on the tailwind per bottle (2 scoops instead of 1) I could drink more calories and eat less. I really didn't want to get back out there. My buddy Carl (who was an absolute bad ass crew mamma jamma) convinced me to get out and at least finish that lap up since I was partially through and then if that felt okay I could maybe get to 110 and call it a day from there. After I hopped back onto the course for about 1/4 mile my legs actually started feeling really good. The first couple of miles back were 12-13 pace but after that I was cruising back at around 10 min pace and feeling really good. I drank some more tailwind and had one bar for a few calories but that wasn't settling well. From there I didn't eat much else. Then for the last hour I decided to do a quick wardrobe change and run in my Zoom Multisport team speedo! Everyone on the course thought it was hilarious and it gave me a big mental boost.
I think even conservatively on the course for those 2 hours would have gotten me another 10 miles, and from there I figure with a little more experience and training I could tack on another 10-15 in the 24 hours and get me up in the 140s and hopefully over 145 to have a decent shot at the team. It's going to be tough, but I think it's doable. Now I just have to figure out schedule for the rest of the year and try to pick 1-2 more to get on the calendar and get ready to roll. This week I went out for a run on Wednesday about 5 miles. The legs felt sore but not terrible. Did 40 mile bike ride Saturday with a couple of mile run off the bike which felt pretty good as well. Sunday I went out with a local buddy Adam for a trip around Wompatauk State Park which was tougher than anticipated, but honestly the legs feel great. Kind of scary how good the legs have felt this week. My feet have felt the worst with the blisters and issues. I don't know what, but I have to figure out something better to do with my feet! Until next time.