Monday, June 3, 2024

Race Report: 2024 FANS 24-Hour Race

On June 1-2, I ran the FANS 24-Hour Race.  I’ve done this race several times before.  It’s a fixed-time race where you run or walk as far as you can in 24 hours.  Whoever runs the farthest wins.

While I’ve run several other races this year, my training has been focused on FANS for the past several months.  I’ve been gradually building my mileage for more than a year, and I recently started doing training runs of 30+ miles.

The course was a 1.82 mile loop around Normandale Lake in Bloomington, MN.  There were two aid stations.  The main aid station, which was near the bandshell, had the timing/lap counting tent and the main food tent.  On the opposite side of the lake, there was a secondary aid station with water, Gatorade, and a limited amount of food.

On the west side of the lake, there was an area where we could set up tents to store our gear.  The weather can change during a 24-hour race, so it’s nice to have a place where you can change into different clothes, if necessary.  It’s also nice to have a place where your crew can get out of the sun (or take shelter from the rain).  I didn’t have a crew, but I was sharing a tent with my sister, Betty, and her husband, John.  John was doing the race as a walker.  Betty, as usual, was volunteering as a lap counter.

The tent area was across the street from a large parking lot, making it easy to bring our gear from the car to the tent area.

There was also a medical tent set up in the middle of the tent area.  This made it easy for us to check in before the race.  In the past, everyone needed to weigh in before the race, and there were also mandatory weigh-ins every four hours.  This year, the weigh-ins were optional.

There were two methods of lap counting.  The primary method was chip timing.  We each wore a chip on an ankle strap, and there was a timing mat that we crossed each time we finished a lap.  As a backup method, there were also volunteers at the finish line who counted our laps manually.

The last time I did the 24-hour race was two years ago.  At the time, I was barely in good enough shape run a 4-hour marathon.  I signed up just a few weeks before the race.  I had not done any specific training for the race.  I went into it with only the marathon training I had been doing.  Despite my lack of training, I managed to run 101.3 miles and win the over 60 age group.

This year, I’m in much better shape, so I expected to be able to run farther.  How much farther was a good question.  My all-time PR for a 24-hour race is 124.81 miles.  I did that when I was 46 years old.  I’m 63 now.  Back then, my average training pace was about eight minutes per mile, and I could run a marathon in 3:07.  Today, my average training pace is about ten minutes per mile, and I can run a marathon in 3:39.  Do the math.  It just didn’t seem realistic that I could run as far now as I did then.

Those two past results framed my expectations.  It seemed like I should be able to do more than 101.3 miles, but not as much as my PR of 124.81.  I expected I most likely could do somewhere between 110 and 120 miles.

One of the first running books I ever bought was the New Competitive Runner’s Handbook.  The authors of this book advocate setting three goals for every race.  The first goal is called the achievable goal.  This is something you know you can do.  My achievable goal for this race was to run at least 100 miles.  I assumed if I did that, I would also win my age group.  There aren’t a lot of 60-year-old men who can run 100 miles in 24-hours.

The next goal is called the challenging goal.  That’s a goal that’s realistic, but would take a good race.  My challenging goal was to run at least 180 kilometers (111.87 miles).  That’s one of the qualifying standards for a race in Greece called the Spartathlon.  I was hoping to qualify in this race.

The third goal is called the ultimate goal.  This is a goal that may or may not be realistic.  It’s something you can stretch for if you’re having a really good day.  My ultimate goal was to win the race.  I wasn’t going to aim for that from the beginning, but it’s something I would keep in mind if things were going really well.

It’s worth noting that I’ve never won a 24-hour race.  I tried to win this race a few times when I was in my 40s.  I could never put it all together for the entire 24 hours.  I always had a bad patch or made mistakes.  On top of that, there was always at least one runner who was out of my league.  The best I ever did was a second-place finish in 2007.

I wouldn’t normally set that as one of my goals, but when I looked at who was signed up, I didn’t see any elite ultrarunners from out of state.  One of the local women was a former winner who I expected to beat all of the men this year.  She was capable of high 120s, but it seemed like this might be the rare year when something in the range of 110-120 might be enough to win the men’s race.

We had the option of picking up our race packets on Friday, or waiting until Saturday morning.  I opted to pick up my race packet on Friday.  The single digit bib numbers were given to runners with the most lifetime FANS miles.  My bib number was 5.  I’ve never had a lower number for a race of any distance.

The race packet also included a T-shirt, a pair of socks, two packets of maple syrup, a list of all the participants, and a medal.  In a fixed-time race, there’s no such thing as not finishing, provided you run at least one lap.  To keep things simple, they give us the medal at packet pickup.

I got up early on Saturday, so I could get to the lake by 6:00.  That’s the earliest that we could start setting up tents.  Betty and John met me there.  We’ve set up our tent in the same spot the last two years, and we wanted to get there before anyone else set up, so we could get our usual campsite.

It rained for most of the night.  By the time we arrived at the lake, the rain had stopped.  The grass was wet, but it wasn’t raining while we set up.  That was a huge relief.  Once the tent was up, we had a dry place to store our gear.  After setting up our tent and unloading the rest of our gear, we had time to relax until it was time to check in and collect our timing chips.

Weighing in was optional, but I chose to do a pre-race weigh-in, so I could track my weight changes during the race.  I’ve found the periodic weigh-ins to be helpful, so I know if I’m drinking the right amount to stay fully hydrated.

As it got closer to the start, I walked over to the main aid station to meet my lap counter.  Because I had a low bib number my lap counter was the shift leader.  He was someone I knew from previous years.

The race started at 8:00 AM on Saturday.  Our starting line for the first lap was in a different place from where we would finish each lap.  Instead of doing a full 1.82-mile lap, our first lap was only 1.68 miles.  The purpose of making the first lap a different distance was to have the 100-mile mark be right at the end of our 55th lap.

My first lap was the only one that didn’t include a walking break.  I just ran the whole way.  There were about 20 runners who went out at a faster pace on that lap.  I didn’t try to keep up with them, but I still felt like I was starting faster than I usually do.  It’s possible I had too much pent-up energy.  I hadn’t done any running since Wednesday.

As I started my second lap, I slowed to a pace that felt much more relaxed.  I also started taking walking breaks.  Early in the race, I took one walking break per lap.  I ran until I reached aid station #2 (the one on the far side of the lake).  After pausing for a few seconds to get something to drink, I would begin walking.  I walked roughly 600 meters, which took me through a long flat section and to the top of a small hill.  Then I resumed running.

The distance I was walking wasn’t much more than a fifth of the loop.  That’s an ambitious ratio of running to walking.  My plan was to have a faster overall pace in the morning hours, to give myself room to slow down as it warmed up.  I fully expected to start taking longer walking breaks in the afternoon.

I was expecting a warm day.  The temperature was 60 when we started running, but it was forecast to get up to 79 in the late afternoon.  I’m not sure if it actually got that hot.

Early in the race, I felt like I was on cruise control.  My overall pace was easy enough that I didn’t feel like I was working too hard.  In fact, I was going at an ambitious pace.  One of the insidious things about a 24-hour race is that a pace that’s way too fast will still feel easy for several hours.  It catches up with you later.

On one of my laps, I caught up with John.  I was walking faster than he was, and I asked him if he could pick up his pace, so he could walk together.  John was only able to keep up with me for a few minutes.  John walks at a brisk pace, so that should’ve been a clue that I was walking too fast.

In the months leading up to the race, I did several long training runs that ranged from 31.5 to 36.4 miles.  In those training runs, I paced myself just like I planned to pace myself in the race.  When I took walking breaks, I walked at a somewhat brisk pace, but I was always careful not to walk too fast.  On race day, that discipline went out the window.  I was putting too much energy into my walking.

In the past, I’ve often set a target pace and varied the length of my walking breaks to stay on that pace.  This time, I was trying something different.  I was going more by feel.  I was planning to keep my effort uniform and let my pace vary according to the conditions.  I expected it to get hot in the afternoon and then cool down at night.  My hope was if I throttled back my pace enough during the day, I would have the energy to make a big push during the night, after it cooled down.

While I was walking with John, he observed that I was averaging less than 20 minutes per lap, and he questioned whether I was going too fast.  I was going faster than the pace of my training runs, but I wasn’t too concerned.  I still expected to slow down in the afternoon.

I started out drinking a cup of Gatorade at each aid station.  Sometimes, I would also have a small bite of solid food, such as a cookie.  My expectation is that I would need to increase my fluid intake in the afternoon.

I brought a cooler with several bottled of Gatorade.  If drinking at the two aid stations wasn’t enough, I could also take a drink of Gatorade each time I went by our tent.

At noon, I did my first weigh-in.  My weight was up a pound and a half.  Apparently, just drinking Gatorade at the two aid stations was too much.  It’s worth noting that we had cloud cover and a nice breeze off the lake.  The morning hours were cool and comfortable.

Ordinarily, the increase in weight would be a signal to cut back on fluid intake, but I was anticipating warmer temperatures in the afternoon.  I kept drinking at both aid stations, but I never started drinking Gatorade at the tent.

There were signs in different places around the course to let us know when we reached certain milestones, like a marathon, 50K, 50 miles, or 100K.  During my 15th lap, I passed the marathon mark.  I got there in 4:32.  That’s faster than I expected.  I knew I’d get there in less than five hours, but I should’ve realized my average pace so far was too fast.  I was averaging about 10:30 per mile.

Shortly after noon, the sun came out.  I didn’t feel hot yet, but I assumed I would as the afternoon progressed.  I expected to lengthen my walking breaks to about 800 meters, but I was waiting until I started to feel hot.

I felt a certain reluctance to add that extra 200 meters of walking, because about two thirds of it was a nice gentle downhill section.  It was easy to run that section, so it seemed wasteful to make it part of my walking break.  A different way to increase my walking would be to start walking all the hills.  I planned to do that during the night, but I wanted to hold that in reserve for psychological reasons.  Instead, I kept running more than three quarters of the loop.  That eventually wore me down.

I had a cooling bandana that I had soaked in water.  At 1 PM, I put it around my neck.  The bandana had been packed in my cooler, which was full of ice.  Wearing that kept me feeling cool for the next few laps.

Three laps after the marathon mark, I reached the 50K sign.  I got there in 5:25.  I never gave any thought to what my 50K split should be.  If I had, I would’ve realized I was still going too fast.

I was in my 20th lap when I started to feel some soreness in my lower back.  I felt that during my walking break.  My longest training run had been 20 laps on this same course, but I never felt similar discomfort then.  That’s when I finally realized that I was walking at a pace that was too aggressive.

My bandana eventually got dry, so I started putting ice cubes in my hat.  The first time I did that was after my 21st lap.  The ice cubes would melt on the top of my head, which kept me cool.  As they melted, the ice water would run down my neck and get soaked up by the bandana.  That kept it cold and wet.

The ice would eventually melt, but it took about two laps.  I began adding new ice cubes after each odd-numbered lap.

The measures I was taking to cool myself were so effective that I never felt hot.  It’s perhaps for that reason that I never felt the need to start taking longer walking breaks.  All afternoon, I kept walking just 600 meters out of each 1.82-mile loop.

Because I wasn’t drinking as much Gatorade as I thought I would, I was concerned about taking in enough calories.  Roughly every other lap, I had something to eat.  My go-to food was a PBJ, but they didn’t always have them at the aid station.  One of the sponsors was Subway, so they sometimes had sub sandwiches cut into small pieces.  Another sponsor was Parkway Pizza.  A couple times during the race, pizza was delivered.

At 3:30, I saw that there was pizza at the aid station.  I wasn’t expecting it that early in the day.  They usually do the first delivery closer to dinner time.  The pizzas were cut into squares, but the squares were still large for an aid station snack.  I picked up a piece of cheese pizza and some Gatorade to wash it down.  I could only eat it so fast, so I had to walk for a few minutes.

I weighed in again at 4 PM.  My weight was up another pound and a half, for a total of three pounds.  Some of the weight gain may have been my wet bandana, and the weight of my wet clothes.  Still, I couldn’t ignore this any longer.  I cut back to only drinking at one of the aid stations.  To compensate for getting fewer calories from Gatorade, I made a point of eating something at the other aid station.  Sometimes it was just a small slice of a candy bar, but I always ate something.

Whenever someone reached 50 miles, 100K or 100 miles, the lap counters would ring a cowbell.  During my 28th lap, I reached the 50-mile mark.  I got there in 9:10.  Betty was my lap counter for the 2 PM to 8 PM shift.  When I finished that lap, Betty rang the cowbell for me.  You’d be surprised how important little things like that can be when you’re running for this many hours.

I had a small supply of Gu packets that I had brought from home, but I also had the two maple syrup packets from my race packet.  As I started my next lap, I stopped briefly at the tent to have one of the maple syrup packets.  It was a treat to celebrate getting to 50 miles, but it was also a source of extra calories.

I was due to add ice cubes to my hat on that lap, but I got distracted and forgot.  I waited until the next lap instead.  That would end up being the last time I added ice.  I no longer felt like I was in any danger of getting hot.

In the late afternoon and evening, I gradually slowed down.  It wasn’t a conscious decision.  I was running by feel.  I always ran at a pace that felt comfortable.  The pace that felt comfortable now was slower than the pace that felt comfortable earlier.  My walking also wasn’t as fast.  As I started to get fatigued, my running and walking gaits both got less efficient.  The same effort translated into a slower pace.

As I got more and more fatigued, I found myself needing to focus on intermediate milestones.  The next milestone I could think of was 30 laps, just because it was a round number.  Then I looked forward to 31 laps.  To reach my goal of 180K, I needed to run 61 laps, plus an extra mile.  At 31 laps, I was halfway there.

The next intermediate milestone was 100K, which wouldn’t come until my 35th lap.  I got there in 11:44.  At the end of that lap, the lap counters rang the cowbell again.  When I got back to my tent, I celebrated with another maple syrup packet.

By 8 PM, I had run 63.1 miles.  My all-time PR is 124.8, so I was on pace to break it.  I knew that wasn’t actually going to happen.  I had already slowed down substantially since the morning hours, and that was only going to get worse.

It was time for my next weigh-in.  My weight was back to where it started.  It was going to be much cooler during the night, and I have a history of overhydrating during the night.  I occasionally drank at both aid station, but on most laps, I continued only drinking at one.

The course had a few flat sections, but the rest of the course was rolling.  There weren’t any hills that were long or steep, but there were lots of small undulations.  At some point, these small hills started to get tiring.  I started walking all the hills.  I was still walking the same 600-meter segment as before, so I was now doing roughly twice as much walking.  Never having to run uphill made it easier to continue running.  Having the long walking break starting at aid station 2 gave me a needed rest break.  If I had started doing this eight hours earlier, it would’ve been a different race.  Instead, I was already struggling.

The next time I got to my tent, I stopped to put on my headlamp.  I didn’t need it yet, but the sun would set before I finished another lap.  I also removed my hat, bandana, and sunglasses.

For the next lap, there was still enough light to see clearly.  It was cooling off, though.  I stopped at the tent again to put on a pair of gloves.

By now, the sun was setting, but there was still enough light to see.  Halfway through my next lap, it finally got dark enough that I needed to turn on my headlamp.

My original plan called for going easy during the afternoon hours, so I could make a big push during the night.  I usually feel sluggish between midnight and 4 AM.  To combat that, I brought a selection of Gu packets.  All of the flavors I brought had caffeine.  My plan was to eat one per hour, starting at 10 PM.

At this point, my race plan had already gone south.  I wasn’t going to have the energy to make a big push during the night.  Instead, I was already in survival mode.  I questioned the value of taking that much caffeine.  Each Gu packet had either 35 or 40 mg., and I brought six of them.

I took a Gu packet at 9:30 that had 40 mg. of caffeine.  At the time, I thought I would take another at midnight.  After that, I wasn’t sure.

Already, every lap was a struggle.  On top of that, the nighttime hours are always difficult.  I was almost to the point where I could get to 100 miles just by walking the rest of the way, but I didn’t want to give up on 180K.  That had been my primary goal.  Getting there, however, was going to mean 11 more hours of dragging myself through painful, difficult laps.

I started to question why that goal was even important to me.  Running 180K in a 24-hour race is a qualifying standard for the Spartathlon, which is a hilly 150-mile race with a 36-hour time limit.   Qualifying was only important if I was going to try to get into that race, and I was starting to question that.  Nothing about my race experience at FANS this year led me to believe I could finish that race, and I wasn’t going to travel overseas to a race if I wasn’t confident that I could finish.  Still, I clung to that goal as long as it was within reach.

For more that forty years, I’ve been logging my daily mileage.  In an overnight race, I pay attention to where I am at midnight, so I know how many miles I ran on Saturday and how many I ran on Sunday.  At some point, I realized I could probably complete two more laps before midnight, but I needed to pick up the pace a little.  For two laps, I walked the hills, but I didn’t walk the flat section after aid station 2.

By midnight I had already logged 80.25 miles.  At the pace of my most recent lap, I might be able to get to 180K, but it was close.  That lap had less walking.  I only walked the hills.  I couldn’t keep that up for the rest of the race.  I also didn’t need to stop for anything during that lap.  Most laps would include bathroom stops or other small delays.  Realistically, I couldn’t sustain a pace that would get me to 180K.  I might get close, but I wouldn’t quite get there.

I couldn’t get to 180K, but I could get to 100 miles easily.  I could walk casually for the rest of the race.  Instead, I continued to walk all the hills and I went back to power walking the same segment I had been walking since the beginning of the race.  I would get to 100 miles and then get in as many additional miles as I could.

At my midnight weigh-in, my weight was still the same.  I continued to only drink at one of the aid stations.  Often, the Gatorade cups were so full that I didn’t feel I could drink that much.  I looked for ways to get a little bit of liquid, without drinking too much at once.  After one of my laps, I had a cup of cream of potato soup.

I had originally planned to take another caffeinated gel at midnight, but I changed my mind.  I had been making frequent bathroom stops.  Was the caffeine to blame?  I don’t usually take caffeine during a race, and this was why.

For most of the race, I didn’t know where I stood in the overall standings.  The woman who I expected to win was way out in front.  For the first half of the race, she was on pace for a course record.  I didn’t know, however, if any of the men were ahead of me.  I learned from John that I was leading the men’s race at 8 PM, but I had no idea if I had lost the lead since then.

As I was nearing the end of my 48th lap, I saw a runner go by who had already passed me at least once.  As it turns out, he had passed me several times.  I finish my lap just after he finished his.  I asked the lap counters.  He had already run 52 laps.

Now that I knew for sure that I wasn’t a contender to win the men’s race, I had no incentive to push too hard.  For the rest of the race, I only ran the downhill sections.  I walked everything else.

I still needed seven more laps to get to 100 miles.  Anything over six laps seemed like a long way.  When I only needed six laps, it seemed more manageable.  I had done several training runs on this course, and I usually ran six laps.

There was one more intermediate goal before 100 miles.  There was a sign marking 150K.  I would reach that early in my 52nd lap.  I got there in 19:22.  After that, I just needed to finish that lap and three more to get to 100 miles.

On my next lap, I saw the moon over the lake.  It rose about an hour earlier.  Now it was a reddish crescent.  It was just high enough in the sky to be visible above the trees.

I was surprised to be able to see clouds.  Astronomical twilight wasn’t until 4:00, but I was noticing clouds an hour before that.  I didn’t think there was enough moonlight to illuminate the clouds.  The only other explanation I could think of was urban light pollution.

Late in the race, I was peeing excessively.  Sometimes, I could make it a lap and a half before stopping.  Sometimes I could only make it a lap.  On one lap, I had to stop twice.  I didn’t wait until 4:00 AM to do my last weigh-in.   I weighed in a little early.

I assumed I must be overhydrating.  Why else was I peeing so often?  I fully expected my weight to be up.  It wasn’t.  It was down a pound.

By now, I was hardly drinking at all.  Sometimes, I would go two consecutive laps without drinking.  The weight loss made sense.  What I couldn’t understand was why I was peeing so often.  It had been several hours since I had that caffeinated gel, but 40 mg. is a large dose.  Was that still affecting me?

Each lap was now an ordeal.  I got through my 53rd lap and my 54th, but I was doing less and less running.  By now, I wasn’t even running all the downhill sections.  My running wasn’t much faster than my walking, but it allowed me to briefly use different muscles.  That was really my only motivation to run at all.  It wasn’t much faster than my walking pace, and it felt jarring when I ran down a hill.

I just needed one more lap to get to 100 miles.  The temperature had been dropping all night, and I was no longer moving fast enough to stay warm.  For most of the night, I felt cold, but I could put up with it.  Now, I wanted to put on a jacket.

John typically walks for a couple hours and then takes a rest break.  Before starting again, he’ll change into a dry pair of shoes and socks.  That’s his way of coping with hot weather without getting blisters.  As I reached the tent, I didn’t know if John was out on a lap or if he was trying to take a nap.  I didn’t want to risk waking him, so I waited another lap before going into the tent to get my jacket.

I just needed one more lap to get to 100 miles.  I figured I could cope with being cold for one more lap.  After I reached 100 miles, I would stop to put on a jacket.  I would still have time to do a few more laps, but I planned to stop running and just do casual walking instead of power walking.  As it turns out, waiting to put on a jacket was a mistake.

I planned to power walk most of the lap.  Already, I was only running the downhill sections.  On this lap, I only ran the two downhill sections that were steep enough to be uncomfortable for walking.  That was another mistake.  I wasn’t going fast enough to keep warm.

My recollection is a little fuzzy, but I think I was doing OK as far as aid station 2.  I usually slowed down while crossing the footbridge over Nine Mile Creek.  After the bridge, I tried to speed up, but I couldn’t.  There was no power in my power walk.  At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening.  In retrospect, I think I was too cold for too long, and the blood vessels in my legs started to constrict.  That’s a problem I have.  After that, my legs just wouldn’t work right.  There wasn’t enough blood getting to my muscles.  There’s a medication I take that helps with this condition.  I normally take it with dinner, but I didn’t have any pills with me during the race.  Add that to the mistakes I made.

I managed to walk the rest of that lap, but it was slow and difficult.  I knew when I finished this lap, I would be done for the day.  I finished the lap in 21:13:24, giving me exactly 100 miles.

I turned in my timing chip and slowly walked back to our tent.  I still had more than two and a half hours, but I couldn’t go on.  I needed to change into warm clothes so I could recover.

I put on a warm pair of wind pants, and I changed into dry shoes and socks.  I was going to put on my Tyvek jacket, but then I remembered that I had a warmer jacket in the tent.  It was a rainproof jacket that I had brought in case we had to set up in the rain.

John had a cold, so he wasn’t inclined to push himself too hard.  His goal was to walk his age in miles.  About 20 minutes after I finished my last lap, John finished the lap that brought him to his goal.  Then he also turned in his timing chip.

Because we both finished early, we had lots of time to take down our tent and bring everything back to the car.  That’s a luxury we don’t usually have.  I couldn’t move very fast, so I needed the extra time.

Even with the warm clothes I was wearing, my hands started to get numb.  I was wearing gloves, but underneath them my fingers were probably turning white.  After bringing a few things to the car, I got in and started the engine so I could turn the heat on.  I put my hands in front of the heat vents until my hands warmed up again.

We were all packet up an hour before the race finished.  Betty brought John back to their hotel, so John could take a nap.  I walked back to the finish area and waited for the post-race breakfast and awards ceremony.

They started the ceremony by recognizing the sponsors and volunteers.  Then a few of the FANS students spoke.  The first awards were for the RRCA state championships.  My 100 miles was enough to win the championship for men over 60.  It’s the second time in three years that I’ve won this award.  I didn’t reach my more ambitious goals, but at least I reached my attainable goal.

When they did the overall awards, I discovered that I could’ve placed second among the men if I just did one more lap.  If I had changed into warmer clothes, I'm sure I could’ve done that.  As it was, I was in no shape to continue, even for one more lap.

Anyone who runs or walks at least 100 miles gets a sweatshirt.  The sleeve says, “100 Miles in 24 Hours.”  This was the eighth time I ran or walked at least 100 miles at FANS, so I have several of these shirts.

After the race, I was unusually sleepy.  That may be because I had so much time to wind down after I stopped running.  I had trouble staying awake during the awards ceremony.

When I got home, Deb helped me unload a few things from the car.  I needed to take a bath, but I struggled to keep from falling asleep in the tub.  After that, I tried to take a nap, but I couldn’t get to sleep.  It wasn’t until later in the day that I could think clearly.

All day Sunday, I was making trips to the bathroom, even though I wasn’t drinking that much.  When I woke up on Monday, I weighed myself.  I was four pounds lighter than I was on Saturday morning.  I probably metabolized a pound of fat during the race, but the rest of the weight loss was water.  I felt dehydrated.

It’s been more than a day since I finished the race, so I’ve had time to think about what went wrong.  For starters, the next time I do a race like this, I need to go back to having a target pace and sticking to it.  Going by feel doesn’t work.  It’s too easy to go too fast and not realize it until it’s too late.

I’m also going to go back to avoiding caffeine during overnight races.  I’m pretty sure it was that one large dose of caffeine that was causing me to pee so often.  That made it hard to know if I was hydrating properly.  This is why you shouldn’t try something new on race day.

Immediately after the race, I was feeling pessimistic about doing other long ultras.  Feeling like a train wreck for half the race can make you question why you would want to do this again.  I probably will do other long ultras, but next time I need a better plan.

Race statistics:
Distance:  100 miles
Official Time:  24 hours
Actual Time on Course:  21:13:24
Average Pace:  12:44 per mile
Lifetime Marathons/Ultras:  514
Minnesota Marathons/Ultras:  96
Lifetime 100s:  15
Lifetime FANS Miles:  1279

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