Massive Failure

That did not go as planned.  It was a great lesson learned, but it was also painful as hell.  And the lingering effects may be felt well into the weekend.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Let me start from the beginning.

Once upon a time, there was a wee bald-headed man who was training for a 100 mile ultra-marathon.  During this training he tried his best to work around the rest of the family events because he didn’t want to miss anything.  Some times that required him to get up at 3:00 AM for a 20 mile run before a swim meet.  Some times he had to run in the middle of the day.   But this time……….okay, enough with the Grimm fairy tales.

Mason has another swim meet tomorrow morning.  I have a 24 mile run planned for this weekend.  I had 3 options to get my run in.

  1. Start running at 2:00 AM on Saturday……again.
  2. Run after the swim meet but before the LSU game which starts at 6:00 PM.
  3. Start my run Friday afternoon and run into the night.

Let’s see.  I get up at 3:45 every morning, so I would like to sleep until 6:00 once in my life.  Scratch #1.  The cold front is over, so running at 1:00 in the afternoon is asking for problems.  Scratch #2.  Even though I ran 10 miles on Thursday, the Friday run seemed like the best choice at the time.  So that is what I went with.

I set up my plan to make 5 or 6 stops by the house every 4 to 5 miles.  That way I could refill my bottle and eat some food.  My experiment for today was watered down HEED and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Both of those items will be available at Rocky Raccoon, so they were worth a test.

I got my aid station set up in my garage and headed out for loop 1 around 4:00 PM.  This loop was about 4.4 miles and I went a little too fast.  There was a nice breeze, so I didn’t notice the heat too much.  As I rolled up my driveway, I noticed that I didn’t drink too much so I need to change that.  I topped off my bottle with water, ate a quarter of a grilled cheese sandwich and headed back out.

The next loop was uneventful and put me at around 8.6 miles.  I grabbed a new bottle of HEED and half a sandwich and took off again.  It was a little warmer and I was sweating pretty profusely.  As usual.  I did slow down my pace a little because I was in this for the long haul.  I breezed through the 4.4 mile loop again and walked up the driveway after 13.1 miles at 1:59.  Not bad.  A sub 2 hour half marathon on my long run.

I figured out a modified loop where I could do 2 x 5.5 mile loops to get my 24 miles.  I changed shirts because mine was soaked and that helped pep me up.  I added some water to my bottle and ate another half of the grilled cheese.  I also chugged some water from the jug to help wash the sandwich down.  As a preventative measure, I also popped a ginger chew in my mouth to head off any stomach issues.

The sun was setting fast, and my energy was waning faster.  I still did not plan on stopping, so it was just a “Carry on my wayward son” type of thing.  And then around 17 miles, I felt a little twinge that was the precursor of a cramp.  No problem.  Before I head out for my last loop I will pop a S-cap for the electrolytes.  I also planned to eat an Expresso Love Gu to see if the caffeine would jump-start my final 5.5 miles.

At about 18.25 miles and about 30 yards from my driveway, my left hamstring locked up tighter than hell.  I froze, did the usual grab, scream, look around to see if anyone is watching routine and it eventually let up.  I continued down the road 3 feet and it locked up again.  Run over.  Hobble back to house.

As I was limping back home, I figured out that my electrolytes and hydration were off.  I would get up in the morning and go for a 6 mile run to stretch out my legs.  As I was picking up my aid station in the garage, I started to get light-headed.  Well, that’s weird.  I continued to pick up my stuff and strip buck naked out of all the wet clothes.  I did shut the garage door first!

When I got inside, I went straight to the bathroom to put on some shorts and lay on the bathroom floor.  I still was not feeling great.  I lay there a while and things felt a little better.  That is until I tried to get up.

Charley Horse from HELL in my right calf!  No problem.  I have dealt with plenty of them.  I grabbed it, squeezed, stroked it,………wait, what was I talking about?  Oh the Charley horse.  I tried the pointing your foot while compressing the calf to make it ease up and then something happened.  The Charley horse grew another Charley horse!  The frickin’ thing mutated until it looked like some abstract art by Salvador Dali.  Tears were welling up in my eyes from the pain and I started to scream for Christine.

Being macho, I had shut the bathroom door so she wouldn’t see me nearly passed out on the floor.  Now I was screaming at the door and hoping she could hear me on the other side of the house.  She finally did and came running in.  I told her to get me the jar of pickles!  She ran through the house kicking the dog on the way and got back in record time.  I drank half the jar of pickle juice right away.  It worked.  Not.  The Charley horse sprouted another head on the outside of my calf.  Never in my life have I hurt this bad from a cramp.

She immediately started massaging my calf trying to get it(them) to release.  And just as my right leg started to settle down, my left calf joined the party.  A few choice cuss words were screamed and I tried to ride it out.  Christine never stopped massaging my calves.  I drank more pickle juice and eventually after about 10 minutes of excruciating pain, they released.  I was worn out and so was Christine.  She got me some water, a S-cap, some chocolate milk and I ate a pickle.

Finally, we got Mason’s assistance to help me stand up.  I could not put my feet flat on the ground because my calves would not stretch enough.  I made it out the bathroom and quickly decided the bed was my destination.  And here I lay.


I have been here for about 45 minutes eating chips and drinking Gatorade.  Somehow I have to get up and go take a shower.  Bad memories in that bathroom.

So what did I learn?  Definitely not enough hydration or electrolytes.  Evidently the grilled cheese was not salty enough.

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