Monday, April 3, 2017

First DNF. That's tough.

Race:  Swamp 50k
Date: March 11, 2017
Finish Time: DNF
Distance: 12.9 miles
Elevation gain:  606 ft 

I love running the swamp. I train out there several times a week and so love the difficulty of running several loops of the course. I tackled it last fall at Jacks 50k and was anxious to PR this time. I had a great plan but after my 100 mile race in January I haven't been keeping my miles up. I dropped to the 50k in hopes of an awesome PR for the course. I woke up with a crazy sinus infection and cold 2 days before the race that made it hard to breath or even think. Race morning I woke up and set out to run but knew I should've probably stayed home. Everything just felt a little "off"I went out and watched my pace the first loop (so I didn't go to fast). My goal was 70 (ish) minute loops for the first 3 loops, then closer to 75 minute loops the final 2 (if I couldn't maintain the 70 at that point). Loop 1, mile 1 I rolled my ankle. It was just a twinge I shook it off and kept going. Phew that was close I thought! Loop 1 went well I paced myself with a group that was going about the right pace, came in at 68 1/2 minutes. Perfect! Grabbed some more water and headed out for loop two. 

 Mile 10 I rolled my same ankle again but this time it knocked me to my butt. Ouch, it really hurt. I kept going but had sharp pains to put any weight on my foot. No! I made my way slowly to the finish of the loop at 72 minutes. I stopped, took my shoe off iced and elevated it for 10 minutes. I thought maybe I could shake it off and keep going. After the 10 minutes my foot had swelled so much I couldn't get my shoe back on, it hurt so bad :( I weighed my options to risk really injuring myself, and decided I had to call it. DNF at mile 13 of a 50k. My FAVORITE 50k. I can't believe this happened. I was so bummed, disappointed and angry! I sat there sulking, nursing my foot (with a beer).

I wasn't even sure how to blog about this race, or if I wanted to. I am embarrassed that such a stupid little thing caused me to DNF when I had the "home court" advantage. Thinking about a DNF and wondering if a DNS would have been better... Every race I try to learn something from, I realized I could still learn something from this. I learned through this race that there is a difference between quitting, and deciding not to finish. I decided not to finish but I did NOT quit. I feel like my decision was a smart one, and one that I made not from fear of pride or failure, but one based off weighing my long term options and making an educated decision. Turns out, I fractured my ankle and the force and impact running has could have caused a full break. I'm at 3 weeks recovery now, hoping to be back to running within the next week or two. A full break would have set me WAY back. I am grateful I decided not to finish and to end my run early. 
Once the race was over, I got to celebrate a great friend finishing his FIRST 50k and becoming and ULTRA RUNNER! I sucked up my sulking and celebrated his great success finishing a challenging course!!! Great job to all the finishers that day.

Swamp = 1 - Toni = 1... it's a tie game ladies and gentlemen!

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