Pictured here are the #1 and #2 women, Beth W. and e-speed. To the right is Kam Lee, the first place overall, with Vince from Vertical Runner, and Beth. Kam and e-speed are both SERC runners.
Here, I am emerging from the woods approaching the aid station at the halfway point. I was feeling good, keeping an excellent pace, running comfortably. Unfortunately, I was unaware that of the mistakes I had already made, i.e. failing to take my electrolyte capsules and not drinking enough to match my fluid losses.
Regarding the cramps, I've tried to reconstruct all of the pertinent information. If you have some knowledge and experience regarding preventing cramps, I would appreciate your thoughts.
I drank more than average amounts of water for the 48 hours prior to the race. I had about 24 ounces the morning of the race. I was carrying 32 ounces of Gatorade at the start. From that point forward, my recollection is unreliable. I know I had five electrolyte capsules in my pouch at the start. I might have taken the first one at Columbia Road (around 8 miles), another at around 12 miles, and a third at the halfway point. I don't remember how much fluid I took over that time, but I believe it was around 32 ounces over the first 16 miles. On the way back, I felt the first little warning spasms in my calves just prior to the Boston store, about the 18 mile mark. At Boston, I refilled my Fuel Belt, drank a cup of Heed and took an electrolyte capsule, and grabbed five more capsules for the trail. Not long after that, the cramping started in earnest, probably around 20 miles. I continued to drink and tried to take electrolyte capsules every fifteen to twenty minutes, until they were gone. Paul R. met me at Snowville Road (23 miles) and gave me a double dose of Heed. (Thanks Paul!) I topped-off my Fuel Belt, and continued on. The cramps continued unabated. By this time, both calves and thighs (hamstring muscles, not quads) where involved. I was in a pattern of running about 300 yards, getting a cramp, stretching, walking, then running another 300 yards or so. So frustrating because I knew I had many miles to go, and I felt so good otherwise.
Eventually, I made it to the finish. I remember a few of the thoughts I had as I crossed the line.
- "That clock can't possibly be right, can it?!?!"
- "Where's Sue?"
- "Legs, don't cramp up on me now. I need to look good crossing the finish."
- "I can do much better than this. I want to run it again, as soon as possible."