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Importance of Hydration and Other Personal Experiences

From: StevanPierce
Sent on: Monday, August 13, 2012 5:29 PM

My girlfriend went with me to Colorado Bend to watch me run part of the Captain Karl's series of night races.  At the last minute, she decided to run the 10k and being the gentleman that I am, I let her use my Camelbak.  I reasoned that the aid stations were close enough together that I could make it and not be too dehydrated.

Made the first aid station with no major issues, thirsty but nothing serious.  Made the second aid station with no issues.  After the second aid station around miles 7-8, my contact in the left eye decided to go back into the eye and would not come back out no matter how much I tried.

The unfortunate thing is that seeing at dark is hard to do due to the 2D aspect.  Seeing at dark with one contact left me without any depth perception whatsoever.  I had to run with others and use their lights with mine to make out some of the terrain.

Several miles and four falls later, I decided to walk it in.  After the last fall, I reasoned that the next one might "kill" me considering the amount of scrapes and cuts I had suffered already.

My issues with dehydration did not appear as parched lips or being extremely thirsty.  It appeared in the form of dry eyes, or in this case did not appear. ;-)

Here are lessons I have learned at this race as well as others:

  1. Take a second type of hydration pack/source.  Even if you think don't need it, when you don't have it the chances are high you will need it, at least in my case. Had I asked, I am sure that others would have loaned me something to carry water in.
  2. Take a second light source and verify each one works.  You cannot run at night if you cannot see.
  3. A second pair of shoes. I usually test drive shoes on training runs and evaluate if they work for me.  However, I have been out on courses where a second set of shoes came in handy.  Your feet get tired, hotspots appear, or you get wet...running wet for a long time results in nasty blisters.  A different type of shoe is sometimes necessary for different terrain since trail shoes differ as much as trails.
  4. Cut toe nails almost down to the quick.  Cutting them down short may help prevent losing them during or after a race.  I said may as you run long enough and toenail loses are a sure thing.
  5. Multiple pairs of socks.  Dirt gets in the shoes and trapped in the sock.  Dirt becomes the equivalent to using sandpaper which results in nasty sores.

If you have any sage advice I welcome hearing it.  I figure that the sum of experiences is a lot better than learning the hard way like I have.


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