“If it’s a long one… HOTSHOT is definitely coming with.” Nate Kalani Burgoyne is an ultra-distance runner born in Hawaii, living on the North Shore of Oahu in the surf capital of the world, Haleiwa. The 39-year-old, father-of-four, and self-employed web designer (and magician) refers to himself as a “feast or famine runner.” The athlete spends most of the day “recovering” while doing work at his computer; and when it’s time to run, he goes for it. Here, Burgoyne recalls the beginning of his running journey, the cramps that almost deterred him from continuing, and the ability HOTSHOT has given him to keep up with the sport he loves.
I started running a few years after reading a book that piqued my curiosity. They say the tallest trees fall hardest, and that was me. I despised running my whole life until, with zero training, I decided to try 26.2 miles around my hometown of Haleiwa as a cross-training experiment for standup paddleboard race training. I liked it, got hooked, and running shoes and electrolytes quickly replaced board shorts and surf wax. About two months after my marathon, I decided to try 30 miles, curious if I could do it. It was brutal. I found myself yelling at my cramping legs telling them to keep running. I had no idea what the heck I was doing! Then, I attempted 50 miles, which I did, and immediately decided it was for crazy people. Then, I started learning how to really run and did a couple 100k (62.2 miles) races — loving every step. This year, in January, I finished my first 100-mile race, the HURT 100, a really tough one where fewer than half finish every year. And, most recently four of us attempted a perimeter run of the island of Oahu, which I also finished and measured at about 138 miles total for the route we took. It was for this perimeter run that I decided to put HOTSHOT’s codename, #ITSTHENERVE to the test.
In Hawaii, cramping is a challenge not easily avoided and can even hit the strongest most experienced runners without warning. The humidity and heat stimulate the body to sweat, which doesn’t evaporate, resulting in the body continuing to sweat. This is often considered a contributor to the onset of muscle cramps. In the past I’ve tried coconut water, Pedialyte, salt pills and eating bananas, in my quest to avoid the cramps, none of which were completely successful. Although I’ve been able to problem solve my way out of cramping on the run, the cramping issue that I have dreaded up until now is post-run cramping. Starting about an hour after I stop running, the first onset of cramping typically begins, especially in my calves, feet, and hamstrings. The next onset would come a day or two later in the same places. This was the problem I’d not yet found a solution to, and was definitely on my mind as I prepared to circle the island of Oahu.
My box of #ITSTHENERVE arrived a few days before I was to set out on the longest run of my life so far, 135+ miles. I decided that I’d try it; and if it prevented cramping, especially post-run, I’d be a believer. Our journey took 43 hours to complete, which included an afternoon, the first full night, a full day, another full night, and a long morning with brief water and food stops about every 5 miles. I didn’t take #ITSTHENERVE before I started . . . was running late and forgot (oops). However, approaching mile 30, my calves started to tighten up; and at the next stop, I dug the box out of my bag, took a shot, and carried on. The cramping subsided. About every two hours for the remainder of the run, I took another shot. Zero cramping. On this run, we would take about a 5-minute break every 5-8 miles to refill water bottles, get food, and rest our feet for a few minutes sitting in camping chair. What also surprised me was that I also had no trouble getting out of the chair to start running again after our breaks. When our crew said that it was time to go, I didn’t really ever feel like I had to convince my legs to start going again. It seemed like, although much fatigued, they were always ready to start moving. After completing the run, I took another #ITSTHENERVE and then the last one I had a day after finishing. Again, the result was zero cramping. No cramps after finishing, none the next day and none at night. I never cramped during, or after the adventure.
Training is always a challenge as a small business owner and happily married father of four. When I’m looking down the barrel of a race, I’ll train about 4 days a week, running 6-12 miles at a time, with one longer run per week of 16-30 miles. My strategic approach to ultra-distance running is to constantly be looking for small ways to increase efficiency, avoid breakdown, and catch problems as early as possible. If a runner can increase his or her net speed by 3 minutes each hour, after 40 hours, that’s 2 full hours. Any run over 30 miles is basically a game of controlling damage, and keeping your head in the right place long enough to make it to the end of the course as quickly as possible.
I’d venture to say that most ultra runners would agree that you never feel completely prepared for an ultra-distance race. John Salmonson, founder of the HURT 100, passed on some great words of advice to those training for the HURT 100: No matter what you have or haven’t been able to do in your training, you have to believe that you’ve done exactly what is needed to finish the course that you have before you. What also rings in my head is what I’ve read Ken Chlouber, co-founder of the Leadville 100, say, “You are better than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.” And the ultimate voice that I hear in my head most often is one that comes from inside and says, “Give yourself a chance. You just might surprise yourself.”
If you ever get runners together, we talk about running, we talk about the upcoming race, and our training. Even when we’re running, we’re talking about running, and when we get together after running, we talk about where we ran, where we’re running next, and where we dream of running in the future. What’s next on my ticket? As of right now, I’ve definitely set my sights on a 30-miler called the Triple Trek, and a 50-miler called the Peacock Ass Kicker 50, both here on Oahu. But, you never know… I jumped in on the 135-mile perimeter run on a whim about two weeks before the date.
Who knows what other opportunities for adventure may present themselves this year? What I do know is this: If it’s a long one, and I still have some left, #ITSTHNERVE is definitely coming with.
My experience so far with #ITSTHENERVE has been 100% positive. You can add me to the list of believers. And, I love how spicy it is! I rarely eat anything without hot sauce, and even as I sit here typing this, I’m snacking on a huge bag of spicy crystallized dried ginger. Love it. Thank you!
Follow Nate on his running journey by checking out his “Run with Nate” Facebook Page @runwithnate, and on Instagram @nate_burgoyne #runwithnate, and also on his blog about ultrarunning in Hawaii at www.runwithnate.com.
*Our product, formally known as #ITSTHENERVE, was tested by athletes throughout the past year as we prepared to launch HOTSHOT. Read more about our transition from #ITSTHENERVE to HOTSHOT here.
HOTSHOT Science: What causes a muscle cramp? Read here.
The Nerve is the Boss of the Muscle: Take control with HOTSHOT. Here’s how.