I mentioned in a blog before the 100km race (Vibram Tarawera Ultra) I did on Saturday that I was getting tested before and after by a doctor friend to see what happened to my body. I had my after bloods, urine and ECG this morning so a couple of days after the event. The Doctor just called saying the lab had called her because they had found an anomaly. The lab was concerned because my CK (creatine kinase) levels were a bit high. On a normal person it should be around 60-220, but mine was recorded this morning at 7,000! The doctor was laughing and told them not to worry and told them what I’d done so the panic wasn’t needed. The labs are carrying on with the tests and I’ll report on a full results soon.
Apparently blood levels of CK rise when muscle or heart cells are injured. Your doctor may test for CK if you have chest pain or other signs and symptoms of a heart attack. The amount of CK in blood also rises when skeletal muscles are damaged (web source)
This last one is probably more likely my cause! I can feel the damage in my muscles!
All done! I finished this beast in 11 hours 22 which I’m reasonably happy with given how the day panned out.
A bit gutted too though cause I could have been an hour faster probably but I got a few bouts of nausea and stomach cramps which meant I had to slow right down to a walk. I’ve never had this before but Madeline said she was a bit sick today do maybe we had the bug the kids had earlier in the week rather than a race food thing.
Glad I pushed through it though cause I came right and carried on. It happened again a couple more times but I could push through it. I was going great in between these an averaging between 5.30 and early 6 min kms. Thanks to my pacer Darren Ashmore, he kept me focused and pushing along managing to catch a few people in the last 15km.
Was stoked to finally finish. Running down the finish chute with Madeleine and my girls! It was a long day but that’s 100km done!
This run is a stunner. Starting jn Rotorua on DOC bush tracks around the lakes of Rotorua and the last 40km on forestry tracks and gravel roads to Karawau.
Well done to everyone that had a go.
I’ll do a full report in a few days. For now I need to try and get out of the bed as I can’t really walk!
So just finished my last run before the big event on Saturday – the 100km Vibram Tarawera Ultra which I’ve had as a goal for a while now so very exciting the time is nearly here. A nice easy 30 minute jog to make sure I remember how to run after a very easy couple of weeks and a chance to have a bit of a three way conference call.
My body, mind and I all dialled into the meeting and I lay down some expectations and went through the plan.
First I lay down the foundation for the run. I’m aiming for between 10 hours and 10 and a half. I would be super stoked to break 10 hours! I base this on my training and the recent run on the 75km Hillary trail in 10 hours 10 minutes. This Hillary trail run was a training run to practice a few things I’d been thing about and I outlined these in the blog I did afterwards (http://runningbeast.tumblr.com/post/17471449769/another-hillary-trail-run-full-report-on-a-new) Although the Hillary Trail is 25km shorter than this Saturdays race, it is more technical, has more climb and steeper/longer climbs. Several people I know say they have done roughly the same time on the Hillary Trail as they have done on the 100km Tarawera event. At the end of the last Hillary I had gas in the tank and was running quite fast and free for the last 5km. I put that down to the tactics I applied during that day and will try and do the same on Saturday – I’ll go into those shortly.
This will be my longest race, and only the second time to run 100km (the first time was the Hillary Double in July last year which is 150km). Other than that I did the 70km Kauri Ultra last year and prior to that I’ve had two goes at the very hilly 50km Motatapu Adventure Race (2010 and 2011). So not a heap of ultra-race experience…hence the conference call .
After laying the foundation - my body and mind asked what the plan was. It’s a simple plan I started..for the first 60-70km the body is in charge. The mind is just along for the ride and needs to keep it’s mouth shut! It’s no secret that it will try and take over at the start and go out too eager – “writing cheques that the body can’t cash!” All too easy for the mind to get caught up in the atmosphere and gun it at the start to stay up front. This happened at the Kauri Ultra and I had to have stern words at the 1 hour to 1 ½ hour mark as the body was red-lining (heart rate was too high). Once I let the lead group around the corner out of sight and settled down, it was much more comfortable. In my last Hillary Trail run I kept a close eye on the heart rate the whole way making sure I stayed under 160 and it seemed to work a treat. Had gas at the end to spare and recovered really well.
Body will also get feed and watered right from the get go! Another thing learnt over the last 6 months and trialled successfully during the Hillary run. Start eating and drinking early to bank it all up for later when I don’t feel like it so much. When I don’t feel like it…still keep shovelling it in.
Now somewhere between 60 and 70km the mind is free to butt in. From all accounts the last 40km is a mind bugger and just quietly when it comes to physical stuff I reckon I’m really mucked up in the head – perfect for this stuff! I have Darren Ashmore joining me as a pacer for this part of the journey and I think this will be just the thing to keep the three of us (mind, body and me) going. Especially the mind – it’s a competitive beast, so a sprightly Darren running with me should spur it into action. The body should be able to just hang on for dear life and churn. I say churn as that seems stronger and more assertive than plod.
I’m not one for mantra’s and stuff but during the Hillary I would regularly say to myself “be aggressive!” – spurring my body not to slip into a plod. It did this, slip into a plod, on the Kauri Ultra at the ¾ mark until the mind caught up with what was happening and gave the body a good beating! The last 6km was very fast - down the hill and 3km along a road I was flying.
So that’s the plan. Steady to start with the body in full control – heart rate maintained at a good level, food and liquid intake high. Darren joins and we go hard – mind leading the way and the body just hanging in there.We finished the conference call with a group hug. All of us happy in how we’ve prepared and itching to get on with it. Bring it on!
As an aside I have a doctor friend (who is far from sporty) and she is fascinated by what I do with these long runs. So she is doing a full set of bloods and an ECG before and after the event to get a stocktake on what happens to the body. Apparently some stuff gets to very high levels and other stuff extremely low? So Friday morning and Monday morning I’m to check in, to get poked and monitored. Ideally the after would be on Sunday but I’m sure there will still be some higher-than -normal stuff floating around in the body on Monday morning. It should be really interesting and I’ll report back with what is found.
For those doing the race – see you there, good luck and enjoy!
For those not – I’ll update you next week.
So another run of the Hillary Trail done and an added bonus of a new fastest known time set. I did 10 hours 10 minutes. Just a half Hillary as one of my non-running friends refers to it now after I did the double! However this run was always planned as a training session for the upcoming 100km Tarawera Ultra.
I wanted to run a decent distance at pace (my pace – hence the solo effort), while also focusing on practising a few things along the way and testing some gear. My goals:
- A fighter not a lover!
- Feed the Machine
- Drink up a storm
Please don’t read just these goals and close the page or you’ll be mistaking me for a drunk, wife-beating crazy man with the munchies!
I had these specific goals I wanted to focus on and managed to tick them all off successfully along the way. I’ll go into these later as they are more for the fellow running geeks or even those starting out to learn from. For non-sporty people a quick roundup of the run….
So it was successful training run. I am stoked with how things went with these goals and the resulting time. A bit gutted I didn’t’ break the 10 hour mark when it was looking like I would - with a time just under 5 hours 30 mins at Piha. But that heat got me and at the end of Te Henga before popping out on the road, I was fried! Luckily after some water in gob and on head, I still had the energy to finish strongly doing the last 5kms in about 25mins – not bad after 70km!
I’m also stoked with how the body feels – nowhere near as sore as after the Kauri Ultra so I can only assume that I’m a bit fitter and the three goals I was monitoring have helped. This bodes well for the 100km Tarawera Ultra race in March. The legs are tired but not really tight and nasty like after previous missions.
If anything the rest of my body is more bruised from the massive tumbles I had in the first half of the day. After a couple of weeks of dry, most of the clay tracks were really hard, but with the rain in the morning they were super slick and greasy so I slipped big time at speed and a couple of times just lay where I feel, doing that body stocktake thing that you do to make sure everything still moves!
No spiel on the Hillary trail in this report – it hasn’t changed! Still a great run, with an amazing challenge for all – no matter what the pace you choose to do it at. After doing the Double last July I didn’t think I’d run it again but it was really quite enjoyable this time (and I’m saying that less than a day after finishing!). Under 10 hours is there for the taking and 9 and a half is there for the speedsters!
Thanks to Gus for being my support crew. He and I ran the first ever Hillary Trail run together just over 2 years ago now and it was great having him there as support. I was worried he’d get bored but he said there wasn’t too much downtime when you move through the trail quickly. Thanks also to Gus for the photos in this report which are from his phone.
A bit demoralising having one of my daughters out sprint me at the end!
Now a report on those goals…
A fighter not a lover!
“Be aggressive” was my mantra during the 10 hours of running. Traditionally I have been attempting these longer runs and the Kauri Ultra race with not a lot under the belt as far as training goes and subsequently have found I settle, a little too easily, into a plod after the initial rush of adrenaline. With a bit of training and some hill sessions under my belt, I wanted to make sure I pushed the whole way – hence the mantra and I found myself saying this a lot, both while jogging up the easier hills or tramping the steeper ones. I’d tell myself to get aggressive and start striding out stronger with arms pumping, making sure I was going a good pace – rather than stoop back into the plod when it got tough.
I reckon I accomplished this goal. My phone GPS thing clocks splits every km and I had some good min/km rates throughout. I averaged a smidge over 8min kms for the day, an average of 7mins 34 per km for the first half and 8mins 34 per km for the second. For the last ½ hour along the roads, I managed just over 5min/kms which I’m stoked with after 70km.
I also wanted to start reasonably hard to recreate the rush in the first hour of a race till everyone settles down, so pushed quite hard. For the first two hours I averaged 6mins 34 per km.
But on the flip side of this “Be Aggressive” mantra was a constant eye on my heart rate monitor. At the Kauri Ultra I got suckered into the lead bunch for too long and my heart rate was red-lining for too long – consequently I paid a bit for this later. So I wanted to remain below 160 for a much as possible and as per the graph I am stoked with how this worked! I am pretty sure this careful monitoring early, helped created the reserves needed for later.
The last point for the “Be Aggressive” goal, was time spent at the support stops. I wanted to breeze through these as it’s wasted time. I did this for the smaller stops - just put food and fluid in the pack and go, so these were a couple of minutes each. Piha blew out to around 10 minutes with a change of shoes and sunblock etc. so still work to do here!
Feed the machine
I wanted to focus on eating right the whole way. In the past I’d start eating something after an hour and then try and eat something every half hour to 45 minutes after that, but would quite often realise I’d missed a feed. This is fine but you pay for it later when you start to run out of energy. So this time I got nutritionally geeky and listed out what I’d eat for each leg making sure it was the right number of calories and mixing it up so I’d be interested in eating it. So my great support man – Gus, had a list of what I wanted lined up to collect at each stop.
I managed to do this throughout the day and probably only missed out on the planned intake in the last hour when it got really hot and I could see the finish. Once again this, what felt like pigging out all day, really paid off as I still had energy to burn at the end. Along Te Henga I struggled a bit energy wise but I think this was heat more than food intake as I’d been eating well till then and had a good fed at my Bethells support stop. But once I hit the road and downed a litre of water plus a bit more over the head, I had energy to burn and raced hard for the last 5km – spurred on by wanting to get as close to 10 hrs as possible, now I knew the under 10hrs wasn’t going to happen.
Another benefit to me was no cramps during the day. I’ve been quite susceptible to cramps in the past and this food (and fluids) regime meant I had nothing more than a couple of “I might cramp soon” twinges from the legs throughout the day. This was fought off with another large sip of the electrolytes.
Drink up a storm
The last major goal was fluids – to keep this going in fast! I’m a cold temperature lover so as soon as it heats up I’m struggling. So the trick I needed to focus on, after the experience of the Kauri Ultra, was drinking the whole time no matter what – this means when it starts to warm up I wouldn’t be in the situation of ‘too little too late’ in the hydration scheme of things. So in the morning for the first 3-4 hours when it was raining I was making sure I was still guzzling down the fluid. I tried and actually managed to keep this up throughout the day – apart from the Te Henga walkway leg where I didn’t have enough so was conserving and probably fell a bit behind.
As well as the intake levels I wanted to try out a mix of liquids. So I had a 1.5 litre bladder of slightly higher than normal concentrated electrolyte (I use Nuun) and a handheld bottle of just water. This was the first time with a hand held bottle and I quite liked it mainly for knowing how much I’d drunken in a leg, because it’s right there in your hand – you can feel and see the water level dropping.
Handheld Bottle - I wanted to try the handheld bottle out and as I above found it really helpful. Once you are used to carrying it you don’t notice its weight. The only downsize was not having that second hand to catch you in the rough stuff – especially on tumbles. But this should be a concern on smoother terrain.
Pack – I wanted to recreate what gear I’d need to carry for Tarawera. There is no compulsory gear for Tarawera, so it’s just water and food which is not something I’m used to. I usually carry a lot extra and carry spare food and everything. So for this run I emptied our all this excess and just took the food I would eat for each stage and the fluids – just for that stage. I could have gone all the way but still carried a first aid kit and a warm top and hat – just cause I don’t thinks its sensible running in the Waitak’s by yourself without these. My pack felt super light and is probably a bit big with so little gear so I need to sort that out.
Shoes – I changed shoes and socks at Piha. Some people do this at the Tarawera event so thought I might as well. Was nice to change in dry shoes and socks – not that its lasts long!
All done in 8 hours 15 I think. Managed to pass 10 people in the last technical roots and massive downhill. Love dat shit! Unfortunately it was only one ultra runner and the rest were 32 course runners.
I started going to get between 8 and 9 hours so pretty happy with that effort for my first race greater than 50km.
Now I need to get beer and keep moving before I seize!!
Fastest on the day by 25 mins was Andrew Turnbull in a very impressive 7 hours 2mins. His first decent length ultra too.
First lady doing the 32km course just went past me. Didn’t recognize her sorry but it wasn’t ruby muir who is was expecting.
Couple of 32km course guys have come past. Chris morrisey was first. Showing off by running up a hill as I trudged. Then 5 mins back was Darren Ashmore.
Could have done with more water on this leg. Starting to cramp !
Lucky I’m coming up to 32 kn to go which is an aid station. And my food bag is there, with pizza! It’s also where the traditional 32km Kauri Run starts. But it doesn’t start for 1 hour so I guess they will come through me. That should help.
20 km done. Gone out too fast much…hmmm.. Average heart rate at 160. I reckon!
A good 15mins ahead of my fastest estimate out of 4 different scenarios.
4 fella’s in front including young mr Andre turnbull and a cheeky 60 year old dude. Jipers!
Let them get away around a corner and sklpped back into my pace.
A 6am start and just under 30 people have just started the first ever Kauri Ultra.
An uneventful trip up from Coromandel with Barbarella, Mal Law and Vicki Woolley. Another stunning trip along the windy gravel road to the top of the coromandel and around to Fletcher’s bay which is the start. We all stayed in a backpackers there and it was lots of serious race faces on. Not much yibba yabba so off the bed at 9pm. Probably asleep at 10.30pm once excitement allowed!
My body was super eager for its punishment to start ….so woke at 3.30pm and couldn’t get back to sleep. Never mind.
So we’re started now. Let the fun begin!!
Car packed and leaving for the Kauri Run Ultra. Running 70km on the trails from the top of Coromandel peninsula to Coromandel City! Excited much?!