Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The two most common questions I get about running 100 miles (25 days to go!)

When someone hears that I'm running a hundred mile race, there are two questions asked of me more than any other, once I've clarified that yes, it's 100 miles all at once, and no, I'm perfectly sane, medically, anyway.

First, do you sleep? The answer to that question is simple: no. Of course, there are folks huddled under blankets, fast asleep after being pulled by the medical team for some sort of health issue, but that was unplanned and remains rare among the entire field of runners.

Second, and my personal favorite: do you go to the bathroom?

Even the winner of the Western States 100 is out there for about 16 hours, and the majority of us spend the better part of a day or more on the trails. As you might imagine, it takes a lot of fluids and food to fuel a 100 mile finish. So...yes, yes, we do. In fact, if you're not releasing fluids, it's a definite sign that you're dehydrated.

And then there's that other issue. Believe it or not, it's a common enough issue that there's some trail etiquette for it.

Here's what the race handbook for the Voyageurs 50 Mile Trail Run, my WS100 qualifier, says about the subject:

Relieving yourself - O.k., this is gross, but it should be mentioned. Solid
human waste should be buried (find a stout stick and dig a quick hole with it)
well off the trail and away from water. Liquid waste should not be deposited on
the trail itself or near water. You should be at least 100 feet from any water
source when relieving yourself. A non-entrant in the race should not see you
relieve yourself.

Seems pretty simple, right? It is, and it's nothing uncommon for distance runners. In fact, most of my running friends can find the humor in it all.

Come June 25th, I'll be lining up with my Gatorade, water, energy gels, and yes, a little baggie of toilet paper, just in case.

1 comment:

  1. My questions...
    1) WHY would anyone want to do this (yes, it is cool you are though)
    2) What/how often will you eat
    3) Any good luck charm or superstitious traditons?
    4) shouldn't you be able to win and finish it in 14 hours and 4 minutes?