A few emails I received combined with some of the chatter over on Craig's blog has impelled me to share a bit of my thoughts about renal failure, ibuprofen, training, and running 100 miles. So, in that order, here goes:
In the 2004 AC100 after finishing 2nd to G Medina I peed brown, had flu like symptoms for 5 days following the race and ended up spending 8 days in the hospital getting IV's and blowing up like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man. Turns out my CPK had been 145,000 and my creatine upwards of 8.0. Dangerous stuff. After recovering and doing a bit of soul-searching I met extensively with a nephrologist at Kaiser in Oakland. The end-game of the conversation went something like this:
Me: Doc, I want to keep running these things. What do I need to do?
Doc: Well, the muscle damage you did here means you ran beyond your body's ability to handle the pain. So, what you need to do is pretty simple; you can either slow-down or stop the next time the pain gets this bad or you can train harder so that the pain never gets this bad again.
You can guess which option I chose.
I also swore off Ibuprofen on that day because of this little exchange:
Me: Some people have said I got this because of Advil. You think that's true?
Doc: Look, Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, therefore, it's job is to basically shrink things in your body. The last thing you want to happen in your kidneys is for the tubules that process the waste out of your body to shrink.
Me: OK, so if I don't take Ibuprofen the tubules will stay open.
So, I started training harder, racing less, and getting my blood tested after every 100 miler I ran. So far, it's worked.
I'll try to dig up the extensive report I wrote after my 2004 experience but, in the meantime, if anybody out there wants to discuss please drop me a line.
Finally, if you're keeping score at home my CPK's for the last 6 WS100's I've run have been 18,000 (2nd place, cool day), 42,000 (hot year, went in injured), 5,000 (4th to Koerner, Skaden, Cooper), 14,000 (scrapped out a 10th place after coming in under-trained), 18,000 (steady 9th on a benign day), 15,200 (PR on a very good day)