Dr Betty's 24hr race

April 28, 2010 by Terra Plana

Hi Again Terra Plana,
I completed my first 24 hour race in tiptop condition April 18. I had been planning this event for nearly two years. All of the planning, which included readying my mind, running all training runs in Vivo and Evo Barefoot Running shoes, tuning my ChiRunning skills, strengthening every system in my body with the help of my Kaiser Permanente medical team and getting a "go for it" from the medical team, including an endocrinologist, cardiologist, podiatrist, an ophthalmologist, a GP and a nutritionist.
Dr Betty's 24hr race

Photograph: Terri Gregory
Since this was to be my first run beyond the 13.5 hours that it took for me to complete JFK 50, I planned this race as a training run-with NO focus on pace-but to identify areas in need of special training emphasis as I continue my preparatory journey towards next year's 100 mile race. My thinking is that if I take care of building a solid foundation on endurance (over 22 years of long distance running--65 marathons, one 50K and one 50mile race) across all mental and physical systems, long distance speed could be built on this solid foundation-without injury.
I came in 41st of 123 runners. Not because I was faster since I planned to run between 60 and 70 miles and ended up with 54.5 miles, but because I took the time to engage in preventive measures this first time out, which made me the smarter runner.
Dr Betty's 24hr race

The facts:
I wore the only pair of Evos that I own sock-less, for all 24 hours. Even though the course was loose stones on packed dirt with some roots and embedded rocks, I had no foot problems whatsoever-no soreness, no blisters, no bruising, no pain during or after the race. Actually because of my shoes, I relaxed into landing oh so gently which allowed the loose rocks to perform a foot massage upon each landing. It is hard even for me to believe but my feet were not even tired. All around me runners were at various stages of "tending" to their sore blisters and often bleeding feet. By the nighttime hours, many could no longer run but were doing a foot-dragging walk. Many were astounded that I was sock-less, in minimal shoes and with no issues. As you might guess, I filled them full of my "wonderful Evo and ChiRunning" running experiences.
Photograph: Terri Gregory

Photograph: Terri Gregory
My ChiRunning skills were very important to my success in weathering the potential storm of completing a 24 hour run. My hard working abdominal muscles-the ones that hold my pelvis level and hold my forward lean were the only muscles in my entire body that got really tired-but they never gave out. I could actually feel them working throughout the race. In preparation, I did floor work every morning for over a year to strengthen those hard working core muscles.
The run:
I periodically dedicated time at the end of almost every lap to stretch my muscles and ice my legs and feet as a preventive measure.
I learned that I can stay awake and pretty alert from 11:30 Friday night to midnight Monday morning.
I learned that I can handle endurance-moving forward in high energy mode for all 24 hours without a napping or even a sitting break.
Photograph: Terri Gregory

Photograph: Terri Gregory
I learned that the low glycemic, high quality vegetable-based fats, carbohydrates and protein food patty that I concocted and began eating months ago to ready my digestive track to handle this heavy food during running (chick-peas/lentils/brown rice/flaxseed/onions/garlic/asparagus/ tomatoes/olive oil/curry patty) that I took in every three hours along with the high glycemic foods such as gels, Lara Bars, and energy drinks that I took in between times, worked extremely well. I had no digestion/stomach problems and I never ran out of glycogen.
I learned when and how much electrolyte supplements (sodium and potassium) to use.
Except for brief pauses for eating and potty stops, I ran without stopping for more than 13 hours until sunset when I changed into heavier clothing for nighttime running.
I walked the more technical rooty sections of the trail during the overnight hours which slowed my pace but prevented a spill.
I learned that it is more beneficial for me to focus on time rather than pace during these endurance events.
And as usual I took no pain medication.
I now know where I stand relative to the work ahead because I gained valuable information that will help prepare me to meet the 100 mile 30 hour time limit of my chosen 100 mile race. And I have about 11 months between now and the gun to prepare. I will focus on holding on to my endurance and strength as I work to increase my speed and on becoming more adept at trail running during the overnight hours.
I've already planned the next 24 hour "training" run July 30, 2010, outside of Boston.
Take Care,
Photograph: Terri Gregory

Photograph: Terri Gregory

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