Now I Know Why it’s Called the Death Race.


On Saturday’s run Heather accused me of losing the face cloth we had packed to clean off mud. To set the record straight I would like to say that I didn’t lose the face cloth during Saturday’s failed trail run I just left it in an inconvenient spot. Namely on the ground, in the car park, at the trailhead. Where I am pleased to report it still was when we hit the trails again Sunday, admittedly it was a little bit dirtier than when we last saw it, so mental note the trunk of the car serves as better storage than the ground. As I type this it is happily twirling around in the washing machine, hopefully also washing away Heather’s memory.

Anyway that was just a little aside. Now it may seem odd that I have made no entries after our first ultra, that is because running and I had something of a falling out.

The race itself went well, being knee-deep in mud and grinding out the 50km was great fun. Obviously there was fatigue both physical and mental, but nothing we couldn’t handle. I did seem to be having hydration issues, I was drinking plenty but couldn’t pee, even though it felt like I needed to, best I could manage was a brown dribble. Worried that I could be seriously dehydrated I plowed through more water, so much that my belly was sloshing with water and resembling a camels hump but I still couldn’t manage more than a light sprinkle. Knowing that serious kidney damage can be a side effect of poor hydration for ultra runners (get me I’m an ultra runner). Not longer after the race though peeing returned to normal.

On the Monday following the race we headed out for a quick 16 km in the beautiful sunshine mixing it up between trails and some of Toronto’s cool neighborhoods. As we were running we passed a lot of inviting patios, the call of the sun downer was too great, so we decided head straight back out after our showers and grab a pint or two (yes we still drink).

This plan came to a crashing halt. Took a quick pee and it was a disturbing shade of well errrm blood. I am sure much to Heather’s delight, I called her into the bathroom in a slightly shrill panicked voice to check out my piss. To her credit she was incredibly calm, sending me to shower while she got on the phone to TeleHealth Ontario. As I got out of the shower she was just getting through to speak to someone, obviously they wanted to talk to me but honestly I had to force myself, I was freaked out and didn’t want to find out there was something seriously wrong especially if it had been self-inflicted. Frank was a registered nurse and did a fantastic job of calming me down and getting the information he needed, the only time he faltered was when he heard I had run a 50km run two days earlier and had just got back from a 16km run, I think at this point he was thinking I may need psychiatric help. After 10 minutes or so of chatting to Frank he said that I could wait until the next to get to the doctors as importantly I was in no pain at all and had no fever. Needless to say the patio was off the agenda that night.

The following morning after a fitful nights sleep I went to visit the doctor. Oddly he looked at me funny when I told him about my running exploits, any one would think it was abnormal to spend your whole weekend running. After some poking and prodding and giving a few samples he didn’t seem too concerned, the no pain or fever thing seemed to be a big positive. He told me to lay off exercise until I went back to see him to get the results on Friday. Even with his reassurances I couldn’t help spend the next couple of days in a worried funk, which I am sure was fun for Heather and my coworkers. I was also bitter that Heather was able to run and go to the gym.

Friday morning and after an agonizingly long wait to get into to see the doctor, he called up my results, my urine was apparently better than normal in fact it was not just good it was perfect (wonder if I can get a certificate for that). So what the bloody hell was wrong with me, pardon the pun? As far as the doctor was concerned it could have been a number of harmless things, but most likely a tiny kidney stone, which apparently can be passed painlessly.

As you can probably guess from the aside at the beginning of this story I was given the all clear to run!!!!

2 comments on “Now I Know Why it’s Called the Death Race.

  1. Mom says:

    Not sure how to respond to this…glad you are all clear to run and that you have perfect pee!

  2. mum & Gaz says:

    Glad that you can get back to the training bet you were nowty all week ! see that you keep the “all clear” thankfully for us, as well as you that you have H taking control of the medical situation !
    Gaz says may be good idea to keep clean spare designer underwear ready for all eventualities!

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