Major Muscle Failure During Event

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Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby davidalynn » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:00 pm

Had my first DNF this weekend at the Bulldog 50k trail run, but I frankly don't know why so I'm asking for opinions.

Started out feeling fantastic, thought this might be one of my best events yet. Had slept well, felt hydrated, ate a good breakfast, no stomach issues at all, everything feeling great from the nutrition side (although perhaps it wasn't). Prior training runs had gone fine, and tougher 50k a month before went very well. Tapered well the prior week.

First few miles were flat, just hit a good tempo pace, let the fast folk get away (like Sara). Next few miles uphill, and having done this one before, didn't even try to run it, just a solid walking pace up the hill. Still feeling great, crested the hill at like 6 miles in a bit over an hour, chatting with a few people at a comfortable heart rate, looking forward to getting back to a tempo pace on the ridge.

About 1 minute into the mild downhill, both quads went almost instantly from feeling great to feeling absolutely horrible, complete soreness. Not really cramping, just sore. Hams and calves and all else no problem. Like imagine you did a big run and then a huge squat workout, how you'd feel the next day. Sore muscles, tender to the touch. All happened in the space of about 30 seconds from great to painful.

The rest of my body felt fine, just the problem with those specific muscles. I tried downing some salt capsules and a bunch of water and electrolytes, hoping I'd recover, but didn't. I probably could have finished, slowly, but decided that I'd rather not push so hard that I knock myself out for a month or two, so took the DNF at mile 15. 48 hours later, still about the same condition, improving slowly.

Full disclosure: I had a bruise on my heel from earlier in the week after stepping on a rock in the garden. Nothing major, couldn't even feel it running though it was sore after this failure. So possible that I had some subconscious change to my form? Still seems like that would have hurt one knee or back or something over time, not something so instant and pervasive. But, grasping at straws.

So, what happened? Anybody experienced something similar? I'm just trying to figure it out so I can avoid it again. what a disappointing end to a day that started out so well.

Any advice welcome...
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Re: Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:50 am

wow, sorry to hear that. I've got no real help... I guess you were recovered well from the previous 50 and your taper was enough? One week seems really short for that. did you do some longer runs in the prior 3 weeks that might you might have still been feeling?
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Re: Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby runrevolt » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:50 am

This is pretty much a non-diagnosis, but whenever I hear of people going from great to terrible almost instantly, it's usually from some sort of effort-induced deficiency, whether that is hydration, sodium or something of the sort. I've not had anything happen to me like that DURING a race, but post-race I've gone from ok to terrible pretty quick and it was usually because I needed to eat or get something in me quickly. I've gone from hanging out laughing after a race to being on my knees about to puke and the only way I got out of that feeling was eating a full meal of pasta and tofu. So...with that in mind...

did you eat sufficiently the days and night before the race?

did you eat enough the morning of the race?

I know if you go into a depletion due to sodium, it's pretty difficult to pull yourself out of. That takes time. You can't really take salt tablets after the fact and expect to recover right away. The damage is done.

Anyways....don't beat yourself up over it too much. It might be a fluke or it might be due to poor fueling. Let's hope it's nothing worse than that.

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Re: Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby xrodolfox » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:58 am

That's gutsy that you pulled out. That's actually an accomplishment in my book.

I also want to know how you ate the day and night before the race... also, what sort of sleep you got the night before the night of the race.

I found that even if I pull an all-nighter, and even if I eat garbage vegan food the day before a morning race, i can do fine for about 2hrs. However, if I don't eat enough, or don't sleep enough the day before the day before the race, then I'm screwed, even if I sleep well the night before a morning race, and eat a really good breakfast.

But I can't tell for sure. That's never happened to me before, but then again I stick to much shorter races (a day of swimming races from 100m, 200m, and 400m, or at most Sprint DIstance Triathlons- none of which are really distance events).
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Re: Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby slodki » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:08 am

i don't know! something similar happened to me at practice tonight. the muscles around my shins feel swollen and tender. it hurts to flex my feet and i have no idea what happened. i can't schedule to go to a doctor until the first of sept. when my medical coverage begins.
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Re: Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby davidalynn » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:05 pm

Thanks for all the toughts. Sorry for the delayed response, I changed my profile on this board and had to wait for account re-activation.

As far as I can tell, nutrition levels were fine and quite normal. Very similar to prior events and training runs. I had perhaps had my larger meal a little earlier in the day since we stopped at Native Foods (tasty vegan place) in LA on the way up, but I went to bed feeling full. For breakfast had my big bowl of oats, my normal pre-race meal. Started the race feeling both full and hydrated, considering I used the bushes near the start line while the race director was giving final instructions. It's possible I was actually slightly dehydrated since it was very dry, but I don't think so. And I was carrying bottles and drinking. If I was dehydrated or low calories or something, I would have expected to bonk later in the event, not go from feeling great to sore muscles (but no bonk) so rapidly and so early.

As for sleep and tapering, sleep was fairly normal. A little light probably due to camping and a busy week before, but nothing crazy and again nothing abnormal compared to other events. I did taper more than usual, which perhaps explains why I was feeling great when I started. I had done only 11 miles running the weekend before, and during the week did 3 lighter walking/hiking days and 2 days completely off. Perhaps too much...?

The other thought I've had is that perhaps the problem could be ibuprofen, after googling around a bit. I had taken IBU the couple days before the event as a preventative for the slight bruise on my heel, just in case. I took none the morning of, but it had been in my system. Some things seem to point to IBU being a strong negative for endurance events.

One other guy I talked to mentioned Trigger Point Syndrome, but I couldn't find much about it, or more specifically, the causes and what I could do to avoid it.

Next event's less than a month away (Noble Canyon 50k), so I'll hope for a better showing!


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Re: Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby ha » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:45 am

Sounds like dehydration from the meds and or changing your running form to accomodate the injury you had.

Feeling hydrated is often different to being hydrated. Racing bikes and cycle touring around the world in crazy hot/cold conditions has taught me that if my urine is not clear EVERYTIME, then Im dehydrated/heading towards dehyration. So I aim for clear urine at least 10 times a day and a few times a night. My recovery,health & fitness is so much better as a result of this habit.

Here are some side effects of Ibuprofen. (I only advise medicine in emergency situations, otherwise we can injure ourselves by thinking the injury has healed when it actually hasnt.)

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects from ibuprofen are rash, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn. NSAIDs reduce the ability of blood to clot and therefore increase bleeding after an injury. Ibuprofen may cause ulceration of the stomach or intestine, and the ulcers may bleed. Sometimes, ulceration can occur without abdominal pain, and black, tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension) due to bleeding may be the only signs of an ulcer. NSAIDs reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and impair function of the kidneys. The impairment is most likely to occur in patients who already have impaired function of the kidney or congestive heart failure, and use of NSAIDs in these patients should be cautious. People who are allergic to other NSAIDs, including aspirin, should not use ibuprofen. Individuals with asthma are more likely to experience allergic reactions to ibuprofen and other NSAIDs. Fluid retention (edema), blood clots, heart attacks, hypertension and heart failure have also been associated with the use of NSAIDs.
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Re: Major Muscle Failure During Event

Postby Herbsman » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:34 pm

Thats the problem with OTC drugs. A lot of people don't realise how unsafe they can be. No doubt comes from this very popular culture of 'take your medicine and GET BACK TO WORK' when the right thing to do is let the body rest and recover
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