Selected RR100 Details and Notes

On February 15, 2008, in Uncategorized, by Meghan

Here are some selected details and notes about my Rocky Raccoon 100 experience. I will have one more “details and notes” blog entry tomorrow. After that, I will stop talking about RR100!

On the race organization:

I cannot emphasize how well-organized, efficient, and runner-friendly Rocky Raccoon was! Run this race for these reasons!

I will admit to a certain level of concern regarding the sheer volume of runners scheduled to be involved in the events. At last glance before the race, more than 270 people were scheduled for the 100 mile event and more than 170 people were signed up for the 50 mile event. All of these people were to be simultaneously running on the same trails, using the same aid stations, and all in a looping/repeating fashion! However, from my perspective, all elements of the race were nearly flawless.

I was especially impressed at how fast I could move through the start/finish area and each aid station. There was one gentleman at the “Dam Road” aid station who filled my water bottle at least 4 times during the race. I don’t know who he was, but I officially nominate him as the fastest and most attentive bottle filler I have ever encountered. Seriously, I was in and out of that aid station in about 10 seconds each visit! To that gentleman: thank you so much!

I only experienced a bit of crowding on the second out-and-back section of each loop, to and from the “Far Side” aid station. This narrow double-track trail had long strings of runners heading out to “Far Side” on one side of the trail and in from “Far Side” on the other side of the trail. Since every 100 mile runner ran this section 5 times and every 50 mile runner ran this section 3 times, there were a lot of runners proceeding at a wide variety of speeds throughout the day and night. Navigating one’s way through all these runners was sometimes a bit challenging, and this section became my least favorite section of the trail as a result. However, this didn’t detract from my racing experience as a whole, not a bit!

Again, as I said above, run this race!

On what I drank:

I received a few comments on my last entry regarding what I drank on the course. I don’t have perfect recollection of what I drank, but I’ll share an estimate.

Loop 1, 20 miles, 3:10-ish running time, weather was cool:
-about 35 ounces of nuun
-about 5 ounces of water

Loop 2, 20 miles, 3:31-ish running time, weather was warming and a bit humid:
-about 35 ounces of nuun
-about 20 ounces of water
-about 3 ounces of Heed
(One of the aid stations accidentally filled my bottle with Heed instead of water. My stomach has a negative history with Heed, so I drank just a few sips to get through the miles to the next aid station. Once arriving at the next aid station, I drank 2 cups of water to make up for the Heed issue while my bottle was being filled.)

Loop 3, 20 miles, 3:47-ish running time, the warmest and most humid part of the day:
-about 50 ounces nuun
-about 20 ounces water

Loop 4 until my DNF, 13 miles, about 2-2:30 running time, weather was cooling and less humid again:
-about 35 ounces nuun
(This includes what I was drinking while sitting in the aid station and out on the trail, feeling pretty ill.)

On my symptoms/sickness:

Though I didn’t realize what was happening at the time (I mentioned in my last blog entry that, in those moments, I thought I was in caloric deficit.), I now feel pretty confident that I was suffering from your average, ordinary isotonic dehydration. I’ll share what I recall from that time, and I welcome further discussion!

My main symptoms, which developed at about mile 71, were dizziness and blurred vision. At first they weren’t severe, but I had to slow down to see and run through the obstacles on the trail. By mile 73, an extremely short time later, when I sat down at the aid station, the symptoms had worsened and I knew I had a problem. However, as I sat and consumed calories, the symptoms abated.

Because I felt good, we proceeded down the trail. As we proceeded, my dizziness and blurred vision immediately returned, such that I couldn’t see well enough to run anymore. Again, sitting down about a 1/2 mile down the trail improved the symptoms, but this time only temporarily. Then, the dizziness and blurred vision returned and worsened, even as I was unmoving. Also, I began shivering. I dressed in all the warm clothes my sweetie and I had, but I shivered uncontrollably. During the walk back to the aid station, I was so dizzy and my vision was so blurred that I couldn’t walk unsupported.

I should also note that, once I arrived to the aid station, the aid station personnel noted that my skin responded with slow capillary refill upon pinching, that my skin was pale, and that my eyes were a bit sunken. During the whole RR100 event, including when I became ill, I never felt nauseated and I always consumed calories with ease. The calories were absorbed well as I never had a bloated or sloshy belly. I always felt thirsty and liquids tasted good, but I never felt overtly thirsty. I was drinking chicken soup at the aid station for rehydration (Yes, I’m a vegetarian, but you take what you can get when the going gets bad.), and, wow, did it ever taste great! I also really appreciated the ice-filled Sprite they were giving me.

And, finally, I estimate that I consumed about 65 ounces of fluid after I stopped exercising, but before I peed again. This liquid weighed roughly 4.2 pounds. I weigh almost exactly 120 pounds. So, 4.2 pounds represents about 3.5% of my body weight. From a clinical standpoint, a fluid loss of less than 5% of body weight is classified as only mild dehydration!


7 Responses to “Selected RR100 Details and Notes”

  1. mary says:

    Meghan – Nice reflections on your race. Your recommedations for the race are very good. It seems like you did a good job trying to stay hydrated. I still wonder if an equal amount of water and electrolyte drink might have made a difference. Glad you were able to refuel quickly after the race. Hope your recovery is going well and you are able to do other things to enjoy being outside.

  2. Backofpack says:

    I am amazed at how much you can remember and analyze. I tend to forget what I’ve eaten and how much I drink over a 50k!

    The pinching skin and sunken eyes tell the tale though. Pretty good confirmation.

  3. mtnrunR says:

    bummer meghan. from the looks of it you were spot on with the fluid intake. good effort in the race you speedy devil.

  4. AUdrey says:

    I’m just so confused b/c it certainly sounds like you were on track with all of your nutrition. I guess 73 is just a long ways to go 🙂 Hmm….well, the experiment continued. I hope you’re back training soon!

  5. olga says:

    NUUN has 360mg of NaCl. You need 400 and up of it in hot weather (no more than 800, if you’re a big person and sweat a lot). 35oz, I assume, was 4.5 x 8oz bottles, thus 4.5 tablets, thus 1600 mg Na. In 3 hrs, before the heat came in. Loop 2 is about same. Loop 3 is upped to 50oz NUUN – 8 tablets, 2900mg in under 4hrs. Plus chicken soup. Plus, didn’t you say, Endurolyte? Plus some foods (may be pretzels, chips?). I am leaning towards dehydration with OK electrolyte balance, what at the end means the sodium was increased in ratio to water.
    Suggestion: 1 bottle of water with NUUN tablet (1) per hour OR 1 Succeed! tablet instead, but not together. Another bottle with either straight water (and take gu/solid food) or liquid calories (no electrolytes in it).
    Man, good food for thoughts! Thanks!

  6. Rochelle says:

    What a great “recap” of it all. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to run that far, reading this and all the comments scares me!! Wow… I am so inspired!

  7. KendraBo says:

    Hmmm, it’s kind of like trying to triangulate your position with only one point of reference. Hopefully with the next two tries you will be perfect. Maybe the humidity also played a little bit of a factor. I’m sure you’re right that dehydration was the main culprit, though. Glad you’re resting and recovering, m’dear!

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