There aren't many 100mile races nearby, and with Sulphur Springs only a little over 3 hours away, even though you have to drive through Toronto, it made sense to give it a go. As much as I was a last minute entry, I had thought about doing this race for a while since the disappointment of Rock and Ice in March. My training had gone quite well, with some good mileage. I didn't have any exceptionally long runs leading up to this, but I felt like the strong day in, day out mileage would get me through just fine. One of the reasons I didn't want to commit to the race earlier is that we organized the 5 Peaks race last weekend, and that always leaves me feeling wiped for a while afterwards.
All was good in the days leading up to the race and I was feeling confident going into the race. My plan was to keep it under control in the early miles, then go from there. I had looked at the lap times of runners from previous years and felt like I had a good idea of what sort of pace I could and should run at.
I felt great for the first 40km and was running relaxed and in control (holding back), however I started having some stomach issues just after 40km and could not keep any food or liquid down. It came on pretty quickly and rather forcefully. I thought it was an electrolyte problem so started increasing my e-caps, but could not keep them down either. I ran from 40-60km with lots of puking, and basically no water, gels, bloks or anything able to stay down. Got to 60km and tried to get some gravol down, but up it came too. Finally decided to pack it in at 61km.
I think the heat was a big issue as I used the exact same fueling plan as I did for Haliburton last year and it worked very well then. We haven't really had many warm days yet this year, so I think it will take a few good hot long runs to get acclimatized to it. A little frustrated, but still ended up being a good day of training and realized that I need to do a little more homework on myself to get this stomach thing under control.
It's always tough looking at the race results after and wondering what could have been if I hadn't had problems. As I said, I felt like I was holding back and running a very comfortable pace, so that was not an issue. I just feel as though I'm not ready to run a long race in the heat yet.
The really good thing is that the 61km's that I did run is great training and puts me in a good place to work towards my next race. My legs feel pretty good today too and after a few easy days will ramp my training back up pretty quickly.
Sara has had a lingering hip injury since before Rock and Ice that was giving her problems early on the rolling course at Sulphur, so wisely decided to pack it in early and try to get things sorted out once and for all.
So, the score for the day was...
Sulphur Springs = 2
Spaffgomery's = 0
We are both ok with this though. Getting the flu and not being able to finish Rock and Ice was very difficult to deal with. Having to drop early at Sulphur due to stomach/electrolyte issues is a little easier to deal with and was still good training and a good learning experience.
It was great seeing many familiar faces out on the course and I'm hoping that local runners Heather, Edd and Martin are able to finish their 100mile races.
It was also exciting seeing the 50mile racers finish as Adam Hill ran a great race and came within a minute of the course record. Keith Iskiw of Kingston ran a very solid race to finish second to Adam. Great job guys!