My wife, Anne, and I completed our first Florida summer ultra, River to Sea, and we learned plenty. While this was not our first ultra, it was our first ultra attempt in Florida. First things first, Florida in July is HOT! The day started at 77℉ and peaked at 91℉. At the 7AM start I already had sweat running down my back and by 10AM my shirt and shorts were soaked. Needless to say, keeping up with proper hydration was a problem. I did my best to keep up with fluid intake but I was still feeling the results of dehydration. When this happens, my fingers begin to swell.
(Exaggeration…If only I looked like Chris Pine)
At the beginning of races I try to remember to take off my wedding ring as it becomes uncomfortable. Urban legend would have you believe that your finger will be cut off if your titanium ring gets stuck but Snopes has proven that wrong. Maybe someday I will get trendy with a Qalo but I have like my “old” ring. After 4 hours of running the swelling was really beginning to bother me and drinking plain water wasn’t doing the trick. The great thing about ultrarunners is that they are always willing to lend support and that was when a fellow ultrarunner offered me Tailwind. Tailwind is a powder that is mixed into a water bottle. There are a variety of flavors, even unflavored. On my first sip I was surprised by the salty taste. This caught me off guard but subsequent sips were not so startling. I am pleased to announce that the swelling subsided after 30 minutes and did not return as I kept up with my fluid intake.
Written by Adam Stark, ultrarunner, student, father, husband, cyber security researcher…aka…the smartest man alive!