25 July 2015
27.7 miles completed
I had high hopes for this event this year, thinking I may have learned some good lessons last year. I really really wanted to run past 29 miles (two more loops), but once again I didn’t make it past 28.
Last year I had stomach issues early in the event which then morphed into bladder issues. This year I felt good for the first four hours and then had bladder issues again! And this time they were actually worse, pain-wise. More about that later.
The Pajama Romp once again took place at Astoria Park—although this time all the garbage cans were overflowing and I only saw two fireflies. Last year they were everywhere. I really really really like this park loop for running. It has some variety underfoot, lots to look at, a few hills, and real bathrooms. The weather cooperated and was quite pleasant. Temps were in the low- to mid-80s and there was a nice breeze. As the sun set we were treated to a real live marriage proposal under the Hellgate Bridge:
New this year was electronic timing. I know our esteemed race director Richie was nervous about it, but it worked like a champ. I’m sure it was a lot less confusing than having a lot of people sitting with paper at the timing table and it meant that we had results sooner afterward. I finished right in the middle of the field: 56 of about 100. And since I ran further than a marathon I did get a fancy schmancy trophy. 🙂
What Went Right
Eating. I ate a late breakfast instead of an early lunch and gave myself about six hours between eating and the start of the race. My stomach felt great the entire six hours.
Fitness. I’m in better shape this year than last, evidenced by the fact that my first few hours were faster than usual. I felt good and strong for a long while.
Hydration. (sort of—see below) I only drank about 12 ounces of very weak Tailwind throughout the entire event. As much as it has been good for my digestive tract, I began to wonder this summer whether it was causing excessive swelling in my hands. I experienced no swelling during this event.
What Went Wrong
I’m blaming the bladder issues on Coca-Cola. That is the only common denominator between last year’s event and this one and also what sets the Pajama Romp apart from every other ultra event and long run I’ve done. In 2014, I used the available flat cola to settle my stomach. In 2015, I used it because it tasted good. I think I drank too much cola—which is acidic—and not enough water, which likely left me dehydrated.
Next year, I will conquer this event!