Monday, 27 October 2014

Sovev Emek Saga NOT Finished or the Thought on the Morning After

So one more year came and one more attempt at 166km was made.
Again I came close to finishing 4 laps only. And this time it so accurately followed the last year pattern it was just maddening...
There were some small things that were better or worse... Physically I felt good both years.
I have pictures with smiles at the aid station after 116km done as an illustration.
Now barely 2 days after my legs are not sore or not tight.

I even did not suffer at any point of the race... Yes I did get big blisters on the balls of my feet but the pain was manageable and the feet would have served me for more ~40km, I am sure of it.

Well, a few words about the race itself... Shai manages to get the race better and better with each passing year and while it seems almost impossible the race quality continues to improve.

Although somebody has to complain, right? Thus I add one more thing to wish list (hope Shai listens somewhere...): please, provide hot drinks (tea) at aid stations at night for those who really need it!!!
It just may save our race... Gal'ed and Zorea are too far apart when you are hypothermic, and hot drink every few km could really be a savior.

I loved the race atmosphere, seeing familiar faces, smiles and good morning/evening greetings of passing runners, the staff was helpful and encouraging. The sunrise was gorgeous... the weather was just perfect.

I kept it easy, the only aim was to finish full 5 rounds... I eat well, hydrated well, ran/walked smoothly and felt strong all the time. I finished 3 rounds (100km) 20 min slower than last time but as conservative as I where that was really not surprising and I where really happy with how it went. Yes I were getting tired but that was to be expected: even 100km walk in the park takes some energy.
I did not feel cold, but it was night, so I swapped the light sleeveless shirt to thermal long sleeve craft shirt I use when temps are above 10 degrees. I were still warm when moving, but felt some chill when stopped to drink at aid stations.
Then I started for hot drink at aid stations... but the was none... so I just kept moving.
I got the 4th green band from Zorea to Gal'ed and there was hot tea. That was a blessing!

After a cup of tea I was on my way (116km done), got back bounce (well, kind of) into my step and good mood with it. All was great until it was not... I was getting colder... asked to spare hot drink at next aid station, but they had none.
Just few hundred meters after (a bit more than 120km) I were shivering, I tried to move faster but my muscles where contracting while I shivered and I had really little control over them. That were the longest 2.5 km ever till the next station and I remember not much of it, the only thought I had to get warm soon... Of course there was no hot drinks at next station, but the was a car. I asked for a few min with heat on and immediately got it with worried smiles and wind jacket to warm up. I thought to start going as soon as I get better... but I did not. I did not get better and could not held people from their plans forever... Finally I got the ride to Zorea, thanked my kind hosts and went  to return the chip and GPS again... barely 10 meters off the heated car and I could barely stand shaking from cold.
Measured body temp. was 34 degrees.

I was helped to warm up there with blankets and hot drinks but as soon as I got up (with wool thick jacket on me now) I was shaking again. My race was over just like the last year after 20 hours and the cause was the same: hypothermia. No I am not sorry that I decided to stop at the circumstances... I still am aware and shocked by Jon Tvedt death, so I did not wish to play with fire (cold).

But... of course I am disappointed. What did I do wrong? What should have I done to prevent it? These questions are on my mind now and I have research to do, problem to solve.

I must admit I am not the best person to keep body heat even in my everyday life... I am one of those who always need more clothes to stay warm, are against air conditioners, and ask for hot drinks during summer. I am also have a light form of hypothyroidism... although I seem to pick up the muscle mass from breathing alone...

Still I was warm moving one moment and shivering just a minute later...

Shall I come again? I believe that I shall, so Shai, looking forward to enjoy your hospitality once again.

Thanks to everybody who helped/smiled/cheered me on the route!

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