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I live in the desert at 4,300 feet and regularly run trails up to 10,000 feet — and occasionally up to 14,000. I’ve run the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim twice. So I’m no stranger to the conditions that led to the following incident.
I drove to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to run the Rim Trail out and back to see the sunset — 6.8 miles each way. The temperature was below 80 degrees, which seemed perfect. Maybe that’s why I didn’t prepare or even do the run intelligently. The night before, I had a couple of beers. The day of, I had a pint of ice cream and some potato chips for lunch. Then there was a 30-minute nap.
I began at 5pm. I ran to Hermit’s Rest without drinking any water or eating anything. At Hermit’s Rest, I drank a liter of water and ate an F-Bomb, then started back. That’s when the shit hit the fan. About a mile in, my calves started feeling fatigued. I switched to walking/running/walking/
Now, the post-mortem: I admit that my pre-run diet was shitty. But the run was less than 14 miles at a fairly constant 7,000-foot elevation — no big deal. One thing I’m wondering about is this: I almost always wear compression tights when I run, in part so I don’t have to smear sunblock on my legs. This time, however, I wore non-compression shorts and plastered SPF 100 on my lower legs and the backs of my knees.
Could there be something in the sunblock that was absorbed through my skin?
Was it just lack of water and electrolytes?
Was it a combination of stupid decisions?
Love the show — even if you say I’m an idiot!