Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My First Race DNF

To make a long story short, the Alpine Races Half Marathon ended up being pretty far from what I expected. I ended up with my very first DNF - a Did Not Finish for those of you not into the running scene.

There's a first time for everything . . .

It was heartbreaking for sure - I made it through the first 10 miles on pace to set a new PR and finally hit my half marathon race time goal. It was my favorite type of course - rolling hills around a lake and through residential areas. But it just wasn't meant to be. Shortly after the 10 mile marker, every stride became progressively more painful until I had to stop and walk. I tried running a few more times after that, but my left hamstring hurt so much that I ended up having to pull out of the race.

There were definitely tears when I finally got back to the finish area. I hate falling short and don't like giving up on anything. But I told myself I only had 24 hours to dwell on the race because Lakefront Marathon is my priority this fall and that's where my focus needs to be - not a little half marathon race.

Once I got past the sting of the race, I began worrying that I'd jeopardized my upcoming marathon. I tend to think of myself as invincible and able to run through anything. I haven't ever been seriously injured and as a result was probably a bit over confident in thinking I could race a half marathon all out just two weeks from my first marathon. Definitely should have listened to my professional runner friend, Ariana, on this one :)

Fortunately, I think I got off lucky. I can walk without any problem and the pain in my hamstring has all but disappeared. Since it's well into the taper period, all my training for the marathon is done and I can relax a bit with lower mileage. I took all speedwork off the schedule for now and will probably cap my "long run" this weekend at 8 miles.

My take away from all this is be patient, don't get cocky and keep your eyes on the prize. Take a long-term approach and remember how months of training can easily be lost by making one silly/stupid decision!

On that note - who else has taken a DNF? What forced you out of your race? Or, what's the silliest/stupidest decision you've made before or during a big race?

Don't be embarrassed to share - There's a good chance I've done everything and more :)

- ST

10 comments:

  1. Aww! I am SO sorry to read this. Pulling out was the best decision for recovery for your marathon. Just take it easy and focus on getting your body to feeling its best before the race. Maybe you already do this, but I stop weight training (save for maybe 10 min core) 2 weeks before a race and use that time to do extra foam rolling and resting. Be lazy, as lazy as you can! :) You've got this girl!

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    1. Thanks! I am definitely taking it easy until the race. My first run since the race is tomorrow morning and it will just be a slow, short one to make sure I don't re-injure. I'm still really excited for the marathon :)

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  2. Well, you are still inspiring!
    I ran my first 5 mile run this week 50:56! This is a PR for me :)

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    1. Thanks Leigh and that is great to hear about your first five miler! Any upcoming race plans? :)

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  3. Aw, I am sorry to hear about this! I'm glad to hear, though, that you're finding the silver lining in the experience. You're right - you have big things in the future!

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    1. Thanks Alex - there's always a silver lining or at least something to be learned!

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I've never had a DNF, but part of that is because I don't sign up for many races in fear of having a DNF. However, you are a running role model, so this is definitely a great push for me to stop being a baby and just try! You will rock the full, I already know that :)

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    1. Thanks Laurie! Fingers crossed my leg can make a full recovery by then!

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  5. OMG. I'm so sorry this happened to you :( DISLIKE! I'll have to hear more deets tomorrow...over same falafel!

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    1. I'm sure we both have some good race stories after last weekend :)

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