Monday, November 15, 2010

My First DNF

Well, I came, I ran, I froze, I DNF'ed.

Following nearly putting my back out at the gym, I was happy to be walking, but I decided to give running a try.  Once I started running, I was shocked to realize that my back felt pretty good.  The course we were running was three four mile loops and two nine mile loops.  I did the first four mile loop and felt pretty good.  I started the nine mile loop and started thinking to myself, "At least the weatherman was wrong about the possibility of rain."  Of course, within the next five minutes, the freezing cold rain began.  It was about 40 degrees and I was soaked through.

Halfway through the first nine mile loop I started thinking that there was a real possibility that I wouldn't finish the race.  Not because I wouldn't make the cut off.  Not because I wasn't in shape enough.  Mainly because I was so darn cold.  My stomach was hurting too, but I could have pushed through that.  I ended up teaming up with my buddy Tom and we decided to run in the nine mile loop together.

We came to an open field and the flags stopped.  We had no idea where we were supposed to be running.  Others around us were lost too, so we went over to the starting line to ask them where we went astray.  Unfortunately, they had no idea where the course was supposed to go, but they did say they had others there lost as well.  Tom and I decided to just climb the first hill we went up to start the race again and end up at the aid station where we were supposed to be anyway.

Once we reached the top of the hill, we saw Kelli, a woman we'd been running with on and off throughout the day.  The mileage was on so we continued on for another four mile loop, Kelli deciding to stay with us.  By this time, I was shaking I was so cold, Tom's IT band was hurting him terribly, and Kelli was trying her first trail 50K.  The three of us decided to get through the four mile loop and call it a day.

What did I learn?

1.  Never trust the weatherman.  When I checked the weather before I went to bed, the night before the race, the weather called for 60 degrees and only a 30% chance of rain.  In actuality, it was about 40 degrees and pouring down rain.  I should have layered and prepared for it to be worst case scenario.
2.  Getting up at 3:00AM to go to a race two hours away is not a recipe for success.
3.  Figuring out proper foods to eat the night before the race is something I really need to work on so I don't feel like I constantly have to use the restroom.
4.  I can make the best out of a bad case scenario.  I didn't really feel like going back out and doing the four mile loop again, but I'm glad I did now.  Plus Tom and I found a new trail running friend!  Welcome to the Warriors Kelli!

Success of the day though, belongs to Adam for helping run the main aid station on the course with only ONE other person.  The 50Kers visited this aid station four times each and the 22.5K visited this aid station twice.  That's a lot of visits.  They did a great job and they were BUSY!  Also, major congrats to Julie for completing her first race -- the 8K!  Way to go Julie!

Time to get to some more serious training before the Run For Regis 50K in January!

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