Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 11:00:40 -0400
From: "Cable, Andy"
Subject: 6-day Race Report
I got caught up in the first day excitement and did too much fast mileage without paying attention to my feet. Days 2, 3, and 4 involve much hobbling and limping while impatiently waiting for my feet to
recover. Day 5 was a relaxing, restful day. Day 6 was much more successful.b Having not used much energy in the prior few days, I was able to knock off a decent 50 miles in the final day.
Things that amused me
Late one night, I catch up to a runner. He is going much slower than usual. He explains that he just bonked his head. He sat down in the porto-john, immediately fell asleep, and woke as his head bumped into the door in front of him.
Early Saturday morning, a few of us saw some people doing some sort of poses and stretches. One of the runners said "I wonder what those guys are doing." I quickly replied, they are watching us thinking, "I wonder what THOSE guys are doing."
On the last day, I had a lot of fun lapping John Geesler. We would exchange remarks each time I went by him. At one point I passed him as he was sitting in his dugout area. He said "It doesn’t count if I’m sitting down."
Food and Drink
I would usually have a large breakfast, a small lunch, and a large dinner. For me, breakfast was usually scrambled eggs, some vegetarian sausage, pancakes, and syrup. Toward the end of the week I put
scrambled eggs in a coffee cup, poured syrup over it, grabbed a spoon, and proceeded on my way.
Supper was quite nice. One night we had Shepherds pie; another night there was quiche. On the final night, the cook took the night off and we had pizza.
For lunch, and throughout the day, I did the ‘grab-and-go’. When I needed something heavy, I made half a peanut butter sandwich. Sometimes I would grab some dates or cookies or potato chips. Mostly I would grab a piece of banana.
For fluid replacement, there was a row of coolers on a counter on the outside of the kitchen. These included water, Coke, Ginger Ale, and an electrolyte replacement drink (I don’t recall the name). Inside the kitchen, there was coffee and hot water for tea or hot chocolate.
In the afternoon of the 5th day, I soaked my feet in Epson salt while eating Chocolate Ice Cream.
At around 9AM Monday morning, I did my 62nd mile with Gary Cross as he did his 56th mile. That is very uninteresting, other than I was wearing bib #62 and Gary was wearing bib #56.
Late Tuesday morning, I completed my 100th mile as Dave Luljak completed his 350th. In my defense, Dave had a 4 day head start 🙂
On Friday evening, I completed my 200th mile with Asprihanal Aalto. When I was half way around the loop, I saw him gaining on me. I switched to a run (about 12:00 pace) as he caught up to me. We talked for several minutes. At this time, he was the only uninjured contender in the 6-day race. However, he had his sights set on 500 miles, and was concerned about staying up all night. I asked him if he ever drank coffee, and he hadn’t. I suggested he try a cup of coffee that night, (as expected, he had a cup, and about 15 minutes later was alert.)
What I did wrong
– I went too fast on day 1, trying to socialize with the other racers. I should have waited a day for the others to slow down.
– I did not fix small problems before they become big problems.
– I did not rest and heal. Although it accumulated miles, limping on may have delayed my healing.
– Don’t project the present into the future. Whatever is happening now (good or bad) probably won’t last.
What I did right
– We got some rain on Tuesday night. As soon as I heard thunder at 8:30pm I went to get my feet fixed. Then I slept for 7 hours with my feet elevated and exposed to the air. This helped heal some of my blisters.
– When I was not planning to sleep, but was too tired, I got into my car and slept in the passenger seat with my feet elevated on the dashboard.
– Minimal sleep. I was awake for 123 hours and asleep for 21 hours. I suspect my low activity allowed me to get by without much sleep. I believe I would require more sleep if I was moving faster.
– I had read some multiday race reports in preparation for this race. It took a few days of fighting for me to ‘learn’ what I had already been ‘taught’ in these reports. Now I will repeat the lesson for your
benefit. The key to multiday events: You must Surrender.
After all was said and done, my odometer read 235 miles. Most others had more mileage. Some had less. I feel my results are far under my potential. Hopefully, I will get another chance at a multiday race.
I have been getting about 9 hours of sleep per night. Even so, I can doze off on the couch after work. I don’t have much muscle soreness or joint/ligament issues. The bottoms of my feet are still sore, but they are almost better. I have been sanding my calluses with 100-grit sandpaper. Twice this week I rubbed olive oil into my feet before going to bed.