In all the races i've ever done, i've only ever had to DNF one race. It was the 2007 Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis. I had qualified for the race by racing at the elite level at the LA Triathlon in 2006. I qualified for the race in September of 2006 and raced the following July, 2007. What happened? I listened to a bunch of crazy people who managed to convince me that during an olympic distance race it was better to DNF then to carry a spare tube/air to fix a flat. Guess what? For the first time *ever* in a race, not only did I crash my bike, but once I picked myself up, I flatted. Twice. The first patch (stolen, er, um, borrowed from a spectator-cyclist who was dumbfounded that I had nothing to repair a flat with) he was very nice though, fixed my flat and sent me on my way. Another mile down the road, I flatted again. At mile 21 on the bike. AND, I also for the first time decided to race sockless, because you know, who wants to take 15 seconds to put on their socks. So, running barefoot for five miles pushing my bike to finish the bike portion just seemed absurd to me. So, I DNF'd. After a year of waiting to race, flying to Minneapolis alone/knowing no one/assembling my own bike etc. Lesson learned: it is ALWAYS more important to me to finish a race and carry more "weight" with me on my bike than to not finish. Glad I cleared that question up reasonably early in triathlon.
So, what does this have to do with my half marathon on Sunday the 24th? Yeah, it's taken me over a week for my race report, sorry, wasn't sure how to write all this down and keep people entertained :). As you've gathered from my title and tone, I had to pull out of my half marathon.
It's kind of an interesting story actually. My running has actually been coming along really well, better than I would've thought at this point. As much as I hate "the gym" and "the treadmill" it's a necessary part of my day, I can't train without someone to watch Soren and the gym provides that. Treadmill it is. I've watched my running get consistently faster and easier as we've moved here and i'm pretty excited about it.
Fast forward to Thursday before the race--I felt fine, my longest run had only been 9 miles, but I just had a good feeling about my running in general, I knew I had been running consistently enough to pull off a decent race. I don't mean a PR necessarily (that would be beating a 1:48), but I thought I could definitely beat 2:00 hours. Saturday came, I had been hydrating well/eating well and just taking it easy.
Sunday morning, woke up and had my usual oatmeal breakfast. Dave was getting Soren ready so all I had to do was get myself together and I had time to stretch etc. Way less hectic than last year when I was pumping milk and nursing before a race, literally running to a start at some points. We got to Quincy which is a cute New England town right on the water, it was cold. 30 degrees cold. I decided against wearing pants, just can't do it. I was excited because, as most athletes would agree, success on the toilet is a good thing before a race (sorry for TMI) but seriously, no one wants to start a race on a full stomach. My stomach felt "off" though, Dave asked if I wanted to race and I said yes, I attributed the "gut feeling" literally, to nerves.
I said goodbye to Dave and Soren, tightened my very AWESOME Avia Quest Lites and was off.
No timing chip, they do things "old school" just ripping the label off the bottom of your race number. I started, looked down at my watch (wore it for the first time since probably September, I kid you not). My first mile was 8:07 and felt effortless. Excited. I slowed down a bit though, I didn't want to push it. I knew I wasn't really trained to go a mid-distance at a fast pace......anyway, the next few miles ticked by. Then, at mile 5, I felt a pit and jarring pains just where my rib cage meets. Crap. This is the same pain that has woken me from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and kept me up hours. I have never ever felt this pain while i've been awake, let alone racing. I've had a complete ultrasound and bloodwork done to rule things out (back in December), and nothing showed.
I've had a major issue with lack of fiber/hydration a few years ago and it sent me down a similar path. Anyway, mile 6 was uphill and by the time I got to 6.5, I knew I had to stop, at least to get to the bathroom. Mile 7, I found a restaurant, and as i'm stuffing toilet paper in my pocket for later, it dawns on me that I can't even stand straight up, let alone run or finish the race.
And that was that.....I decided to quit. Smartest decision i've made in a very very long time. It took me about four hours to get rid of the pain and i'm *still* working on getting my stomach right. It's been almost two weeks of constant hydration and focusing on proper fiber intake. I have a history of it, so I know what the issue is, I just can't be casual with it anymore!
Was I bummed, eh, kind of, but truthfully, I was in so much pain, I was relieved to get home and into bed!
Here are my stats at least those that I have!
Mile 1: 8:08
Mile 2: 8:10
Mile 4: 8:06
Mile 5: 8:04
Kinda clear where things started to go awry!! Still stoked about my "tempo run".
MASSIVE thanks to my sponsors: First Endurance, Avia and Recovery Pump!!! I definitely wouldn't have had the beginnings of a strong race without you!!!