Well, it looks like my finishing streak this year needed a humility check. Reminders that my body should be respected. This is my 7th year attempting Kat'cina, the furthest I've made it on this course is 46 miles. Yesterday I made it 30.
Having POTS one thing I've learned is that I can never be unwilling to DNF if it is the right thing to do that day. My body has made marked improvements. I finished Squaw Peak this year, and Desert RATS a week apart from each other.
The heat and grueling conditions at DR were tough on my body. I had an abscessed tooth that started at DR, and ended up with an impetigo infection on my face, not to mention all of the blistering my feet suffered from the heat and sand. I finished officially running in 100-106 temperatures, in barren slick-rock, and I was able to perform and manage POTS the whole time.
Two days after finishing DR , I drove out to Jackson Hole for a family renunion, and flew out to the Postpartum Support International Conference to speak in Plymouth, Michagin, and ignored the tooth as much as possible because I just had to get through my commitments.
Flying exacburates my POTS anyway, but having an infection also makes my symptoms worse. When I got home I was behind on work. The other issue was that my former dentist had recently closed his practice after surrendering his license, so I did not have a dentist anymore, and got through work with Tylenol until the pain became so severe, that it became a weekend emergency.
When I was finally able to get into a dentist I found out the tooth was not only abscessed, but it had spread into my jaw. Thar was fixed a couple of weeks ago, but my energy had been super low, and I've been a little more Potsie the past couple of weeks.
I'm on the mend, and I started the race at midnight because I knew I was more Potsie this week. I was very proactive at managing hydration, heat, and eating, but my body just didn't seem to have and rev yesterday. I struggled climbing Lightening Ridge, I think I still
Did it stronger and better than I have in years past. I started under a Blue Moon this year!
But the climb up to Windy Pass I didn't handle as well as normal. A week before Squaw Peak, In June, I did that hike as a training run, overdressing on purpose, and much faster in preparation for DR.
But yesterday it was just like all the life felt sucked out of me. I think, even though it was nearly 1pm when I reached Windy Pass Aid station, on a good day I could have busted my butt and made the Little Valley cut off, but it just didn't feel right. It wasn't like a normal exhaustion feeling, it was like my body was saying "I'm still on the mend, let me heal".
So I took a deep breath, and found I had cell service, about .25 of a mile before the aid station, and texted my coach my thoughts, that my body was telling me to rest today. I want to be strong, and fully ready for Wasatch 100 in September, my coach is making the effort to come pace me and help me finish Wasatch in September, I want to be able to give that race everything I've got.
I believe I can finish Wasatch this year, I believe I could have pushed it yesterday and probably have warn myself down more, but it would have compromised my recovery for Wasatch.
So my coach agreed with my assessment, and I informed the aid that I would be walking back 5 miles to Big Springs with them.
I took a nap on the mountain, I was very tired from starting at midnight. I felt better, and was amazed coming down with the three radio workers. They each carried 70+ lbs up the mountain, where running the radios and helping runners all day long, and then had to haul it all down on there backs. One of the guys was also carrying a solar panel in his hands and struggling without poles because he had to left his in order to carry the solar panel.
I felt bad for him and ended up trading him. I carried the solar panel so he could have my pulls to help him get those 70+ extra lbs down a steep trail, with a lot of loose rocks.
I have a new respect for those radio guys, and anyone who is willing to work that aid station. Both Kat'cina Mosa and Squaw Peak would not be possible without those people willing to volunteer to run the Windy Pass aid station. Thank you to them and Addict II Athlete who took on that aid station for both Squaw Peak and Kat'cina this year!
As we were hiking down, and I was carrying the guy's Goal0 solar panel, somehow the conversation led to me mentioning that my dad was the founder of Goal0. The other radio guy, lit up and asked me my dads name. I told him it was Robert Workman, and he got excited! He used to work for Provo Craft until shortly after my dad sold the company, and knew all about Tifie and Goal0 and even had gone to lunch with him and my brother Swan, when they were first developing the concept models for Barebonesliving.com
Small world, it was very fun for me to be able to hike down with the guys running the radio, and to see that side. I started to feel better after a nap, and going downhill, and the temperatures getting cooler, and by nightfall, I was thinking, "I Feel fine, why am I not running right now!"
But I still feel like I made the right decision, and the fact that I woke up feeling energized, and my legs feel fresh and ready to run this morning is a good sign. I think my body is on the come back, I didn't even feel dehydrated last night or this morning.
I did a combo of drinking about 2x amounts water to of Normalyte solution. I also took about 3 gels per hour. I needed Zofran to help me get through the nausea of the hill climbing.
I discovered near the top of a Windy that I needed to pull out my bacon jerky, almond, ginger-gummy candy mix I make for my runs, and probably should have been taking ages of those to two gels instead of straight gel per hour.
It was a good chance to test my POTS nutrition theories for running Wasatch. I've been redining my nutrition/ hydration formula for racing this year.
I think I got everything mostly right yesterday. The only thing I think I shpu have changed is adding in the fat and protein every hour in addition to the gels. If I intake fat and protein with gels my heart rate and breathing stay more regulated, especially for hill climbing.
Kat'cina Mosa is the ultimate race to test this on, because the hills and trails of Kat'cina are tougher than Wasatch.
The climb to Francis peak at Wasatch feels like a walk in the park compared to the climbs to Lightening Ridge and Windy Pass at Kat'cina. Perhaps it is because I do this race four weeks before Wasatch and it helps me be in prime condition for the Wasatch climbs, but I really think the trails are more technical as well.
The fact that the day after, I have few Potsie symptoms than the day before I did Kat'cina is a good sign that I'm getting good at understanding my nutrion needs and hydration needs.
This is the basic formula
For every hour of activity, and during each hour
1. Drink 4-8 ounce of Normalyte Solution (depending on the outside temperature and elevation), even in very hot temps the solution is high enough in sodium and potassium that more than 1/2 a litter is too much. I mix the power into two 16oz bottles. So one packet will last me 4-8 hours of activity.
2. I take 2 hammer gels per hour. I hate the texture of gels, I have to wash them with water to not gag on the texture, but the formula hammer uses in their gels seems to work best for my body.
3. Eat 10-15 almonds, a few peices of bacon jerky, and a few peices of ginger gummy candy.
4. Drink water as needed, and I have to drink about 2x the ammout of water to the Normalyte mix to keep it balanced.
5. I have a cooling, headltube clothe, this is essential for keeping more core temp down.
6. I have a prescription for Zofran. Hillclimbing is more difficult with POTS,
In ways that it isn't difficult for other people. I'm more prone to stomach issues than other people when it's hot, steep hills, and I'm exhausted. Zofran allows me to keep eating and it reduces the other POTS symptoms when I can keep up with fluids and nutrition.
7. Trail toes and Injinji socks= no blistering yesterday!
All in all it was a good experience, good training, and I woke up feeling refreshed and confident about Wasatch 100.