So I've definitely been getting lots of theories thrown my way regarding my stomach. Thank you all for taking the time to do this; I REALLY appreciate your help. I'll list as many as I can remember, then address as many as I can.
Starting too fast
pH imbalance with my system
I'm not set-out to run 100s
Run "faster" 100s so I'm not out there as long
Pushing the envelope too hard / redlining
Not fit enough
Heat: yeah, it was hot, but I seriously really never felt over-heated. During the last few weeks leading up to the race, the temps around central Oregon were averaging in the 90s and I was running in the afternoon as much as possible. I was hot at 50, but I took my time there too get my stuff together and cool off. As I was leaving the a.s., Mark Gilligan (2nd last year in a smokin' 19:38) handed me the best present ever - an ice cold bottle of water! I intentionally slowed down the next 11 miles so I wouldn't over-heat. Once in the Red House loop, temps cooled, so Nikki and I started pushing just a bit again. It felt good.
Altitude: definitely a possibility. During my 4-day WS training camp weekend, I ran at altitude every day (between 7,000-9,000'). I ran up Black Butte, 6,200', a few times in the weeks leading up to the race. But on race day, I felt good most of the day, but could feel the lack of oxygen. I tried to remedy that by walking whenever my heartrate got too high. I don't wear a h.r. monitor, but after 21 years of running, I know what my threshold is and when I need to back off. So even if it was flat, if my h.r. was too high, I walked until it mellowed out.
Starting too fast: I'm going to say a big no on this one. Why? Well, I was hungry, eating, and my stomach was digesting food all day. If I had been running too fast, I definitely wouldn't have been hungry, I wouldn't have eaten, and if I had eaten, I would have been vomiting food, not bile and acid.
pH imbalance with my system: hm, interesting. Never thought about that. It never even occured to me...until Kami threw it out there. She's pretty sure there's some kind of chemical imbalance going on, since this happens to me way too often. She suggested I contact some kind of medical person who knows about this stuff and have some tests done. Maybe my pH levels are too high, thus, the reason I puke bile and stomach acid, not food. In the mean time, she suggested I take Wheat Grass to help keep my stomach more basic. I mentioned this to Chris, and he said he does it, so it might not hurt. I know Hart does it, too. So, I ventured to Wild Oats last night and purchased Amazing Grass. I've taken 5 servings already and I gotta say, its bark (smell) is definitely worse than its bite (taste). I'm going to stick with it for a while to see what happens. And, I'm going to contact someone who may know a bit more and can run some tests on me (tests probably mean needles, which I absolutely HATE, but I hate more not knowing what's up).
I'm not set-out to run 100s: possibly. Even though I was sure of that at 3 a.m. on Sunday, and have been right after all of my 100s (both finishes and 4 dnf's), the further I get from each race, the less I'm convinced of it.
Run "faster" 100s so I'm not out there as long: I may give this a try. Rocky, Vermont, Javelina, Lean Horse, Heartland, all possibilities. I'm not too stoked about the 8 laps at Umstead.
Pushing the envelope too hard / redlining: I never was redlining. Like I noted earlier, whenever I was reaching my threshold, I would stop running and walk until my h.r. dropped to a reasonable level. I've been running long enough to know when I'm redlining. I wasn't redlining at TRT.
Not fit enough: definitely not. If you followed my blog leading up to this, you read that I trained very hard for this. I went through stages of beating up my body, then resting to let it recover and get stronger. Only two days after the race, my body felt like it had only run a moderate 50k. I think the stiffest I got was from the drive home on Sunday. My legs weren't/aren't trashed at all.
Electrolyte imbalance: that probably has something to do with it. Except the first hour when it was cool, I drank a bottle of nuun, a bottle of water, and took and s-cap every hour. Without fail. Still, my shirt was definitely crusty when I changed at 76. And if you can't tell, my legs were swollen. But I look happy and chipper; and even better, I FELT happy and chipper. (I stole this picture from Matt's write-up.)
Anyway, that' s all I have for now on theories.
Yesterday, Sascha and I decided to head up in the mountains for a 14 mile hug. Huh, you say? Well, a hug is a combination of Hike/rUn/joG. Pretty cool, eh! I made that up myself. Being at Chambers Lake, right at the base of the Middle Sisters, was pretty awesome. Then today I decided to make it 2-for-2 in hitting the wilderness on consecutive days. I ran 3 1/2 miles up the McKenzie Highway to my favorite short trail in central Oregon: Black Crater. Four sweet uphill singletrack miles with about 2,500' vertical, pretty much all runnable. It was awesome! Coming down was easy-schmeasy; my legs weren't sore at all, and I even ran a couple 6:15s once I hit the pavement again.
Crater Lake Marathon is in only 2 weeks. It's gonna be fun!