Just some more post-race notes...
I did what I thought was a great job of hydrating in the days before the race and all the way up to the race start, with mostly water and the occasional powerade zero. I took a Gu just before mile 4 with some water, and I felt the boost a few minutes later. I took another one around mile 7 because I wanted some oomph heading up the hill, but I never felt it. About 2 miles later, I reached for something and realized I couldn't close my hands all the way. I looked down and my fingers were swollen to almost twice their normal size. I freaked out a little, but didn't want to tell Beth because I didn't want to stop (race logic at its finest). I tried to take another Gu around mile 10, but only got a little bit in my mouth before I dropped it because I just couldn't hold onto it.
Looking back through all the video that Jon took, I can see that in the later miles of the race, I'm puffy and swollen everywhere - not just in my fingers, but in my arms and face. In the moment, I had no brainpower to troubleshoot the problem, but as soon as I got home, I asked Dr. Internet about it. The internet (which is obviously always right, just like your Garmin) thinks that it's a problem of not enough salt possibly combined with too much water. When this happens, your body can lose the ability to absorb calories properly, which might be why I didn't feel the boost from the Roctane, and also why I horked a bunch of it up at the finish line - it was just sitting in my stomach. The other internet thinks that it could be over-heating combined with one of these issues. This is the first time I've ever raced in warm weather with only Gu - other races I've used a combo of EFS/Perpetuem/Shot Bloks - and I wonder if maybe I wasn't getting the electrolytes that I needed since I was sweating more than expected. In triathlon racing, I usually take some Tums along the run as well (calcium = electrolytes), which I didn't do on Sunday. But this kind of swelling has never happened to me before. You guys are part of the internet, what do you think?
The intense swelling that went on also caused my feet to poof up - which usually happens a bit on long runs like it happens to everyone. But this time, they were so swollen that it caused about 6 different kinds of blood blisters on my feet. (Avert your eyes).
I felt my feet start to burn a bit in these places around mile 8 or so, but didn't realize how bad it was until I finally got my shoes off after the race. I had the imprint of my socks in my feet for about 30 minutes. I could feel my feet expanding as I sat in the cool morning air, and getting my feet back in my shoes to jump in with the poet was not a happy experience.
Part of it was my fault - we were running a bit late on time in the morning, and I didn't get to do the pre-race body glide session that I like to do. On a regular basis, I don't use body glide, but I like to lube everything up before a race. I did borrow a smidge of Beth's chapstick (she was thrilled) to grease up my inner thighs, but I didn't get the chance to do my feet, my HR strap/boobie area, my hip (where the Gu was pinned), or my underarms, and I have chafing in all of these places, plus my inner thighs anyway.
I certainly don't want to point at any of these factors to "explain" my race on Sunday - I had the race I did because I went out hard and fast and blew up - but none of it has ever happened before. It would be easy to chalk it up to a weird day, but I want to think about it so I can prevent it moving forward.
The other odd thing that happen is shoe-related. In the weeks leading up to the race, I was fairly convinced that my shin problems were stemming from too much running in the Ravenna - the lightest stability shoe in my rotation right now. Based on that, I didn't run in the Ravenna but instead ran mostly in the Asics 1260 and occasionally the Adrenaline. My shin problems continued, but I figured that was because they needed time to heal. On Sunday, I raced in the Ravenna. Not only did I not have any issues during the race, my shin splints have magically disappeared since. I haven't been out running yet - that'll be a fun project for tomorrow or Friday - but all of the ache and point-tenderness I had is completely gone. So maybe the shoe expert was right all along and it's time to trash the Adrenalines. I did find an incredibly cheap pair of the Saucony Guide, so I think I'm going to run in those and the Ravenna for a while and see if my legs can deal with the so-little-stability-it's-almost-neutral shoe. Which is exciting.
So, hit me with your science. What do you think?