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 :)