Enoree Passage 40 (25 for me) and a few words that begin with "D"
I had a tough time at last weekend’s Enoree Passage 40, which turned into a 25 miler for me. Ugh.
I think the big problem was of my own making, but caused by the weather. My big mistake was not carrying two handheld water bottles or wearing my hydration pack. And I really should know better. I am however also blaming my lack of heat acclimation too. With 5 miles between aidstations, I know it will take more than hour, and I do know that I need 30-40oz fluid per hour when it is hot and humid. So why did I just carry a 20oz bottle? Dumb eh?
So, back to the race itself. It was ran on gorgeous trails, a 20 mile out and back, some moderate climbing, and some moderately technical trails, but mainly flat and mainly runnable. It is also the location of one of my best ultras ever – last year I had a very good solid race, finishing in about 8:20. I am of course (in my ever so humble [dumb] opinion) in better shape than this time last year – with PR’s for 50k, 50 mile and marathon in the last few months, I figured I should be able to PR for 40 miles too. Wrong!
Miles 0-10 went well, at 10 miles I was a hair over two hours – nicely on target for my PR. From 10-15, even though I lost a little time – the heat started slowing me down, I was still on target. 15-20 was where it all started to go wrong. Just a couple of miles out from the 15 mile aidstation, I was nearly out of fluid, I rationed my last couple of ounces to make it to the 20 mile aidstation, but by now, I guess the damage was virtually done. A mile out from the 20 mile turnaround, I actually found an empty Gatorade bottle that had been left by a fisherman, and thought that I could perhaps use that to supplement my handheld for the rest of the race. Arriving at the turnaround, I slammed as much fluid as I could handle in an effort to quickly rehydrate, and then headed back out on the course. Over the next 5 miles, I really started to suffer – muscle cramps, fatigue, and it became really easy to talk myself into stopping at 25 and getting a ride back to the start, which is what I did.
In recent months, dehydration has pretty much done me in on three races, Hinson, Javelina and now Enoree. Something I am learning is that once it hits you, it is very difficult to recover from. Perhaps if I had sat around for a couple of hours, I may have got back my mojo as I rehydrated, but once you reach that point, mentally it becomes difficult to talk myself into continuing.
For a variety of reasons (sickness/injury/taper/recovery etc) over the last few weeks, I have not done enough shorter runs, which is really how I get my conditioning and keep in shape – it was these types of runs that have helped me get all of those PR’s. I think [too much]. But anyway, over the next few weeks or so, I plan on “going back to basics” with my training.
Anyway – Enoree is a wonderful race, Terri Hayes' races are truly terriffic, and I look forward to redemption on the course next year.