Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Freedom Park 24 Hour Run- Ouch!

74 miles in 17:50 with a busted foot at the Freedom Park 24 Hour Run. Disappointed with the results, as I was dead set on 100 miles, but given the situation, there was nothing I could've done.

Round & around a 1 mile paved loop all day & all night in Morganton, NC. I was so prepared. So confident. Never felt like that for anything over a 50K. Just knew I was going to get in 100 miles and figured I'd get it in well before 24 hours. "100 miles or 24 hours- which ever comes first," I kept thinking. No way I was quitting before one of those occurred but I really though 100 wouldn't be a problem. Training's been so good.

Had some stomach issues for the first 15 miles, but ran well when I wasn't in the bathroom. 10 miles in 1:35. 20 miles in 3:15. Marathon in 4:17. 30 miles in 5:07. 50 miles in 9:57, which I think it was my fastest 50. Then I slowed and took some extra breaks. 60 in 12:35.
Knee was hurting me a lot from 30 on. Legs hurt all over, but managable. Around 60, I had done math & figured I could do 12:00/mile and still have over an hour of rest time & still get in 100. Easy.
Then everything came to a screeching halt. At 68, I was running along and something in my heel just popped. One step I was fine- no heel pain all day- the next step, I was yelling. Didn't twist it or anything. Couldn't run a step after that. Finished walking that lap and stayed off it for 30 minutes. After that I could run with a good deal of pain for a lap, then with less pain for a lap. I stopped to text Jennifer I was OK. When I started back up, again, I couldn't run a step. Walked to what I thought was 75 miles, but turned out to be 74 and called it a night at 1:50 AM.
I'm good with my decision. I didn't have much choice. COULD NOT run. Once I'm done running, I'm done. I'm wasn't interested in walking for 6 hours. I ran with a podiatrist, Bill Johncock for a couple of laps here & there throughout the day. He caught up to me after I got hurt & thought it might be a microtear in a tendon in my heel.
Today, it's much worse. Can barely walk. Has me worried. I'm signed up for Frosty 50K next weekend, but doesn't look like that'll happen. You never know. I have much more general soreness that usual too. Last year, I was mad at the asphalt. This year, I fooled myself into thinking, "Oh this isn't so bad." Better attitude but didn't make the legs feel any better. I wore some pink (yes) Zensah calf sleeves I just got because my calves have been sore a lot lately. I can't say for sure that they helped but I think they did. Swelling is less than expected and pain in calves during the run was less than expected.

Weather was as good as you can expect for this time of year. I think it was forecasted to be a little warmer, but it got up to 48-50 & never dropped to freezing. Much better than last year (or the year before, but I wasn't there then). I say I like the cold but for a race that long... It wasn't COLD, but I was just a little chilly at times. Teeth were chattering when I had to walk late. Nothing at all to complain about.
Great race organization! Many thanks to David, Rhonda & the BMRC volunteers. Lots of frills for an ultra yet the personal connection of a small race. Met some interesting folks. Had a good time, I just wish it had ended up differently. It's been since 2006 that I've had a serious injury (yeah, OK, cracked rib, surgery... but I mean one bad enough to keep me from running with no end in sight). I hate not knowing. Could be fine Monday. Could hurt for a month. Frustrating.

Scary moment of the night was around 8 PM, a guy I had run a little with early on had to get hauled off in an ambulance with what they thought was hypothermia but ended up being kidney failure. He came back for the ringing in of the New Year, having just been released from the hospital! I talked with him a little and he said it was the worst pain he's ever felt. Sounded like it hit him suddenly. Scary to think what can happen.

Most amazing moment of the day was Jerry Johncock, an 82 year old setting the 50K American record for the 80-84 age group- 5:55 I think- under 6 hours, I know. Broke the old record by over an hour!

I have now run five 24 hour races and only finished two of them! I am always reminded how mentally tough it is to keep going. The I've had:
90 miles & a finish on a hot day.
70 miles & a long day of cold rain & asphalt that ended in 17 hours.
67 miles & a long hot day with many heat issues & hallucination that ended in 17 hours.
92 miles & a finish on a very hot day.
74 miles that had to end at 17 hours because of injury.
What is it about 17 hours?? Of my 3 DNFs, I had no choice this time. Last time in the heat, I also think I made the best decision possible. Last year at Freedom Park, was the only one I maybe should have kept going but I was in a lot of pain and frankly not having much fun. I don't regret my decision in any of them.

So yeah, Salem Lake a week from today. Could be a PR... I feel like I'm in shape to go under 4:41, my best time, but I also could be unable to run at all this week. We'll just see. Honestly, if it's worse than today, I don't see how I won't be on crutches.

I recently got these Recover Gear tights. They have pockets for ice/heat packs. Can ice both quads, hamstrings & calves at once without having to get in an ice bath. I like 'em. Can't figure out... I think the company changed it's name to 110%.


santos said...

Coach get better!

Anonymous said...

Those tights look intriguing. I've never seen them before. I would use them more than an ice bath. Does it come with ice packs?

Anonymous said...

it is. i am not disappointed. i'd never be.

Rick said...

Rick, hope you feel better and are able to get back to running soon.

My wife and I (her name is also Jennifer) put on some runs here in NJ, We do everything from 100M trail runs to 48 timed events. Check them out and come try one out. The 3 Days at the Fair 24 Hour event is May 14 and seems to fit into your calendar.


Bergman said...

Coach, you one baaaad motha-
Shut yo mouth.
I'm talkin' bout Coach.
Oh, well we can dig it.

No but Coach, you da man!! I live for your tales of hallucination, broken bones, heat stroke, hypothermia, et cetera. Keep it coming!

h said...

I noticed the pink Zensah sleeves you were wearing! I was the purple haired lady wearing the orange calf sleeves. This was my FIRST 24 hour ultra attempt; it wasn't perfect for me, but it was quite an experience. yeah, I think I just *might* do that again. :) Hope you feel better soon and get back to your racing! --heather

Coach Spencer said...

Heather- Purple hair, orange calf sleeves? No, I don't think I remember you. Just kidding. :) You looked like you stuck to your plan and made good forward progress.

Rick- I looked at your race schedule. Looks like some good stuff, but I also coach high school Cross Country & Track so I have 15 or so other weekends that don't work for me due to meets. I'd like to make it up there sometime though.

Coach Spencer said...

Bergman- Ha! I like the Shaft reference!

Santos- Thanks. It's feeling a lot better. My school's athletic trainer said tendon damage isn't going to get a lot better with 3 days of rest but a stress fracture would. Eeek! For some reason I hadn't thought of bone damage, only soft tissue. I think I'm on the quick path to recovery though.

WHS Track Parent said...

Coach Spencer I had know idea you ran this much. Reading your blog makes MY legs hurt. It's simply amazing. So sorry your foot didn't let you do all you wanted to do but you will come back stronger next time. Thank-you for all you do with the team.