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Hi, I just ran "The Toughest Foot Race in the World," which is 135 miles across Death Valley. I have run several ultras before, but this was the hottest and hardest. About 28 hours into my 39 hour run, it was dark in the desert and running on pavement. All the shrubs, rocks, geological features started to turn to bears, bison, people, motor homes, boats, etc. Those have happened before, but after another hour or two of running the pavement turned into millions of numbers, formulas, Indian symbols, chemistry elements, graffiti, etc. I knew these were hallucinations, but it was maddening. This pattern/hallucination ran from horizon to horizon. I hoped when the sun rose, it would reset my brain, but these "faux patterns" continued until sleep at the end of the race (2:00pm). Other than the obvious sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion, what caused this in condition in the brain? Any random set of features turned into words (in one case the moles on my pacer's face.)
I hope I never have this condition again...it reminded me of the "A Beautiful Mind" movie. It became increasingly confusing/irritation. Please send any answers/thoughts to Charlies@woodlandobrien.com
Scary, I had to do complete the verification that reminded me of the visual hallucinations!