Still Puking After All These Years

Written by Charlie Hesse

I need help. I puke.

I recently discovered I still have the talent to puke after running an ultra marathon. Itís been almost eleven years ago since I ran my last fifty-miler prior to injuring a knee and having surgery, changing jobs, and working longer hours.

Prior to my first retirement I had run eight or so ultras including a multi-day jaunt on the Blue Ridge Parkway and an attempt on a 100, (DNF at 64), with relative average success, (PR 7:57 50 MI). The last few I ran were when the puking began. But this was not until after the finish, usually when the smell of the post race meal was really great. I puked up water, I puked up milk, and I puked up industrial strength Tagament (sp?), anything I took in for three to five hours after the run was over. I should also add that there is actually a rock named in my honor on the Mountain Masochist course (after Forest Valley), where I was seen draped over a particular piece of landscape doing my thing. HELP!

So the knee injury, the job change, and other issues gave me an out for the next few years. I had accepted the fact that I was not cut out for this ultra stuff. When a job change in early í98 allowed me more time to get back into running and train again, I accepted the challenge from my friend David Horton (now many of you know the source of my major problem) to try another 50-miler.

First a half marathon in the mountains. OK, no puking. Then a 50K in Alabama, (Mt. Mist): No puking. Then a mountain marathon in North Carolina, (Mt. Mitchell): No puking. Then a 50K again, (Rattlesnake, Hot,): No puking. Training was adequate, not great. Some muscle cramping in the calves cost me some mileage, but otherwise I felt like this cool jaunt through the beautiful woods near Mt. Ranier was doable. "So," I thought, "Between

E Caps and being more mature, no more puking." Ö. WRONG! After six months of regular running and training for the White River 50-Miler, it happened again. HELP!

In early í99 David and I decided to take our wives,(the luckiest Nancys in the world), on vacation to Washington State the end of July, and to roll the White River 50-miler into the trip. Here I need to inject some thoughts on White River. Absolutely awesome, spectacular, intimidating, tough, beautiful, competitive (Said enough?). I was totally impressed with the territory, (having never been west of Iowa, can you imagine?).

Then it happened. Actually it was déjà vu. After finishing in an average 10:38, strong at the end and feeling pretty good, I puked. Didnít have to drive far, and did not eat at all until after I showered and cleaned up. Until this point I felt pretty good.

After joining the group in the cabin where we stayed, I thought a couple salty crackers might taste good, and help my recovery before eating. I puked up crackers (only two crackers). After eating the crackers, within fifteen minutes the stomach began to quiver. Out to the deck I went for some "fresh air", (yea, right), and puked over the edge. Only two crackers.

I then decided the two pretzels I had in my hand should not happen. So I did the only thing I could do. Got away from food as soon as possible went to bed and stayed there.

My wife brought me some ice cubes to suck on to put in some moisture. I almost puked, but was able to fight off the gags. By about ten I was able to sleep, but soon awoke, (about two in the morning) with the munchies. Since I didnít want to disturb anyone I resisted until about six and then went down to the kitchen and pigged out. No problem, the puking was over. HELP!

I am looking for other pukers. I think a Pukersí Anonymous Club might help. I need others to identify with. Horton can puke, but only during hundreds and multi-day stuff. (I will not go there.) I could start a web site and call it (www.throwupthecookies), and post information for other fellow pukers to see. My wife suggested that I purchase a license plate that says "RN2PUKE". Together we pukers can overcome.

Seriously, if anyone has ideas to help this problem, I would love to hear. Consider these facts:

The jury is out on whether I go beyond the safe 50K distance again.