Trail Run – Coalton/Community Ditch/Greenbelt/High Plains 07/09/16

There are several trails that I’ve ran on for years that if you connect them together they form a 14 mile loop. Last Saturday I committed to completing the whole loop, something I’ve always wanted to do. I filled my hydration vest with two 12 ounce water bottles, 3 GU’s, 1 bag of jelly belly’s, 1 bag of sharkies, 1 Nuun tab, and some bottle of instant H2O that I got from Boulder Ironman 70.3. I had just ran 12 miles the weekend before and felt great so I didn’t think 14 would be too difficult.


I started at Coalton TH around 8am and ran the loop counter-clockwise. I figured it would take a maximum of 3 hours to finish putting me done around 11am. As I started running, I felt good. Stronger than I’ve been in previous years. I made it up the first hill quicker than I usually do. I kept trying to slow down because I knew I had a long run ahead of me. I drank and took in nutrition along the way and was doing well until around mile 6 where I could feel the heat starting to get to me. I didn’t want to blow through my water but I felt the effects of dehydration coming on. I started to walk for longer periods, trying to cool down and lower my heart rate. I had already taken 2 of my GU’s and was trying to figure out if I had enough food to finish. By this point I was 7-8 miles in and knew it would do no good to turn back. The sun was beating down so hard and I was sweating like crazy. There was not a cloud in the sky and the trails that I was on have no trees. I kept pushing on but started becoming slightly dizzy, not bad enough to be worried but enough that it was taking all of my focus just to keep moving. I walked more and more. I tried to eat the Sharkies that I had received from the sprint triathlon in May. They were disgusting and stuck to my teeth so bad that I couldn’t eat them. I sucked on one hoping it would help. It didn’t. I ate my last GU but still had probably 4-5 miles left. Trudging up the hillside, I remembered the 1 Nuun tab that I had and put it into 6 oz of water. As soon as I started sipping on it I felt better. I was able to start running again with walk breaks. As I crested the ridge along the High Plains trail I knew there wouldn’t be anymore climbing and I just had to focus on getting to the car. I noticed that almost everyone that passed me were on mountain bikes and now looking back it was probably because it was too damn hot to be running! I was still holding on with only a few sips of water left and a couple of jelly beans. My mind was gone, similar to the death march that I feel at the end of a 70.3 race. I could only think of one thing…getting to the car where I had more water and nutrition!


I was so happy to finally reach the end! I started the car right away and turned on the A/C, grabbed my water/ice and mixed in my Recoverite drink, and sat down. Instantly I felt some relief! It took me about 2 hours to not feel so hazy and disconnected from life. De-hydration and heat exhaustion are not fun things. In the end I did complete the 14.2 miles but I would like a rematch in the future.

What went right

  • Completed 14.2 miles
  • Running in tank top with vest, no rubbing, yay

What went wrong

  • Way too hot
  • No shade, no clouds, no breeze
  • Didn’t bring enough water – only 2 12 ounce bottles
  • Didn’t bring enough food – 3 GU’s, jelly beans, 1 Nuun tab, 1 h2o sample
  • Need more sodium
  • 101 degrees when I got back to my car
  • Beer the night before, started out dehydrated

~ by willtriforbeer on July 24, 2016.

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