What does your body feel like after an ultra?

This was something that I was very curious about. What would my body feel like?

When I came across the finish line, I honestly thought "Wow. I could do more!" and by more I mean like ... not another step but like I actually didn't feel horrible. The weather was really nice, so I think that helps. We started at 7:30 so by the time that I finished all 36 miles it was around 12:30-1ish so the sun was out a little more at that point but not bad at all. The point of that meaning that I didn't get that dehydrated.

Hydration

I really didn't make efforts to get in a certain amount but just tried to drink along the way as much as I could. When I say as much as I could, I mean... not enough. I'm SO SO bad about this kind of stuff. Typically I feel terrible when I guzzle down a bunch of water so I try to take smaller drinks along the way. I've got to figure out a better system in the leading months coming up to the ironman. I think one thing I'm going to switch to is not just water but drinks with something more sustainable in them. If you have your favorite sports drink, then please comment and let me know what you use and why you love it. 

Nutrition

Again, I didn't do well. I woke up and had 1 cup of oatmeal then a cliff bar before the start. My stomach was honestly hurting, and I wasn't nervous so not like that kind of hurting. So, I took 2 gus in the first 10 miles and then a peanut butter sandwich and that was it. Yikes. That's a total of approximately 850 calories, and I could have burned as much as 4000 from what I calculated. That put me in a deficit of 3150 calories. When I finished, I wasn't hungry... at all. I never am. Different people are affected differently but I think many feel this way. The hunger doesn't hit until later. I forced down part of a banana and felt sick. They had barbeque, hushpuppies, etc and the smell of the barbeque made me want to vom. I got 2 hushpuppies and 2 cookies. I ate one hushpuppy and thought "NOPE!" 

Aches and Pains

After Grandfather Mountain Marathon, I got this weird sensation where all the toxins started going into my legs and my legs have never hurt so bad. I expected that to happen at the end of this, and yes my legs were aching, but not like that. I was hobbling around and it hurts to walk but not like THAT intense. Tanner carried me for a bit. 

I determined when I got in the car that I had in fact injured the top of my foot. I sat on the ground and Tanner took off my socks (which was the moment of the glorious foot picture) and it just really hurt differently than the rest of my body. At mile 10, I thought I had hurt my ankle but that went away during the race. On the way home, I was scared to move my foot much. Turns out, that was a total false alarm. My foot is totally fine and didn't hurt like that by the time we made the 3 hour drive home. 

We had chips in the car (along with those cookies) and different bars. I kept trying. I would take bites hoping my appetite and hunger and lack of nausea would be there and it just wasn't. I knew it would hit me eventually. 

We were home at around 3:30-4 and Tanner asked me what I wanted to do. My cousin was having an alumni soccer game at the school we are young life leaders at, and I wanted to go see her play. She was SO good at soccer in high school. I wanted to go to dinner before we didn't have time, so I literally came home, showered, changed and was out the door again for her game. I could walk normal (of course it did hurt a little though). 

Right before we left a deep (DEEP) hunger hit and I had 1 cup of oatmeal with 2 cookies because I knew we would be having a huge dinner later. After the game, I had a falafel wrap with fries. It was a huge wrap with tons of fries but it was like typical after an event, my belly was just still empty with that deep hunger. I came home and ate waffles before bed like I always do (even though we had just left the restaurant like 30 min prior). 

This is where the hunger gets REAL. I have never experienced anything like this. My body went into hypermetabolic state overnight. As you can see from the food I posted above, that was CLEARLY not enough and I knew that but I knew myself well enough that the hunger would come, and BOY DID IT on day 2! I have no idea what my calories were (although I kinda wish that I did know the epicness of it) but there is no hunger like an ultra hunger. Ultra-the gift that keeps on giving! LOL! 

At 4:30am, I woke up so hungry that I came downstairs and had a big bowl of cookies & cream ice cream and went back to sleep. I woke up and had Cinnamon Rolls with Tanner and then we went to church. I wrote on my hand "So hungry" during church to show Tanner as I thought my body was literally eating itself. That communion bread never tasted so good. HAHAH! The pot luck dinner we had with church was PERFECT timing! I just KEPT on eating. You know those moments when you burp and you're like "YES MORE ROOM!" hahaha! That was dinner. I'm going to give you a play by play of my food but just know ... if you do an ultra... you will feel as if there is no way you could possibly still be hungry and then your stomach growls. It's pretty freakin awesome. LOL! 

As far as pain, I of course woke up sore. The biggest soreness for me was my hips and joints. They just felt tight so I really did some good stretching and yoga on Sunday. I do actually what Tanner calls "intuitive yoga" and I do it for about 20 minutes just slowly feeling the places that my body feels tight and doing poses that stretch those areas. It felt really great. 

FATIGUE AND SLEEPINESS

Yall, this part was something that I didn't expect. On Saturday night, when we went to the game for my cousin, my vision was a little blurry and I thought "My electrolytes are off. I know I haven't eaten enough but I feel sick so this will go away tomorrow."

I woke up and the vision thing was still there. I realized what it was though. It was seriously that my eyes were SO heavy and I was SO sleepy that I could barely keep them open so it was almost like they were watering from wanting to close. I had too much to do to be honest with these week ahead so I did not get to sleep on Sunday afternoon like I wanted to and take a nap. I just had to fight it, and I've never felt such sleepiness. 

We went to the potluck dinner and my grandmothers house (my entire family goes every Sunday night) and I acted normal but I DID NOT feel normal. I was so incredibly tired that I can't even explain it. Obviously, it didn't help that from the moment I got home I did stuff until Sunday night so I know that's a huge factor. We got home on Sunday night at 9pm and I slept HARD until 6am when I had to get up for work for client check ins. 

Yesterday (Monday), the hunger was still there. I woke up STARVING after that epic day of eating and I just kept on eating. Yes, there are definitely ways to keep up with how much I need but I'd rather just eat in abundance and not add one more thing to the list of things to think about. Upon waking up this morning, I feel back to baseline hunger... I think...but probably not. 

My soreness is gone as of this morning, and my coach wants me to do a 60 minute run today super duper duper slow just to work out soreness and see how I feel. If you guys will remember, the last epic adventures of 2016 is the ironman and so the training for that will rev up next week for that. Part of me is like HOLY CRAP RUNNING ALREADY, but I know that my coach knows best and that's why I hired him is to be the boss and so I trust that he takes care of me. 

Post ultra was a fun thing to experience as well, and I imagine post ironman will be the same. I don't feel this way post marathon really. I'm of course hungrier than normal but it's not that DEEP emotion that I felt in my soul with the ultra. haha! 

Reminder form the top of the post: What's yalls favorite sports drink and why please?

Oh, and just while you're at it, do you ever plan on doing an ultra? Have you done one? What are your favorite races?

 

 

 

 

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