Tuesday, August 05, 2014

2014 DRHT 50k Race Report - DNF

Yet another DNF. But this one was totally planned well in advance of race day. It still hurts though. I know I can do the distance. Even up to a few minutes before the race started, I was tempted to go the full length. But I knew in the back of my mind that that was not the plan and that even though I would finish, I was not prepared. I didn't want to risk doing anything too stupid and that's what I would have been doing. So I dropped at Mile 4 as planned and returned back to the Start for a full 8 miles of running. A quarter of the distance I could go but those damn cutoff times were looming over me the whole way and I knew I wouldn't make them.

I'll post my full race "report" below the dotted line but I wanted to go over something that happened on race day that made me proud, sad, and inspired all at once.

Have you ever had a complete stranger come up to you and know your name? Kind of freaky, right? Have they ever known more than just your name? You know, like your wife's name or kid's name or where you work or knew of some accomplishment that you made recently? Super-freaky, right? Well, that's happened to me a few times over the years. And yes, it freaks me out. Like when I ran the Oil Creek 100 last year, somebody knew me from my race report from the year before. I felt so honored that they knew me and appreciated my race report but it was like an out-of-body experience that they knew so much about me. Yes, I know, I don't exactly hide behind a curtain and feel comfortable sharing my life online, but you get the idea.

Anyway, I had several people that either knew about my planned DNF or that were concerned about my DNF on race day. It was crazy. I never knew that many people even knew who I was or would remember me after last year's race. I mean, these are people I see once, maybe twice a year. And to have them care about me enough to either ask why I planned to drop or to ask if I was okay made me feel great.

And a bit like an ass. I mean, some of these people I just don't care about enough to even think of until I see them at a race. Well, now that they've shown me this much kindness, I'm sure I'll be thinking about them for awhile.

Race Report:
A planned DNF, meeting the legend MikeWardian, and a day of volunteering. Wow. Where should I start?

Let's start with the planned DNF. Even though I was seriously considering attempting to run the whole thing right up until the start of the race, I realized (and my coach confirmed) that running the whole thing wasn't a good idea. Taking 2 weeks off to move and not quite being up to where I needed to be before that meant that I just wasn't at the training level I needed to be at to finish the race. Well, that's not entirely true. I knew I could finish the race, I just knew that my lack of training meant that I'd likely not make the cut-offs. So I started the race and turned around at the first aid station and ran back. It was a tough decision but it was one that I knew I needed to make. And at the end of the day, I was glad I made the right decision.

Meeting Mike Wardian was a great opportunity. I had sent a tweet ages ago when the race director did an interview on a show he helps produce but I never expected him to show up. He registered at the last minute and as soon as the news broke, I about crapped my pants. I mean, to see such a big name show up at such a small race is incredible. So as I directed cars into their parking spots, I got out of his and asked a question. I knew his voice right away from various podcasts and interviews but I didn't recognize his face. A beard, no backwards hat, and the pre-dawn light makes a great disguise. I caught up to him again as he was waiting in line for the porta-john and he offered to take a picture right there. Well, timing worked out a bit different and I managed a picture after he went. It must be weird to have people stalk you outside of a toilet waiting for a picture.

See? I told you I stalked him near the bathrooms.

When it came to volunteering, it felt nice to return something to the community. And better yet, to a race I really enjoy and have fallen in love with over the years. After all, this was my first 50k five years ago. So to be able to help out here and there felt nice. I did my best to take pictures of all the finishers and got to listen to some speedy people (and not so speedy) talk about their race. Wardian broke the course record then promptly turned around and ran a few more miles. The first female totally crushed the course record and came in 4th overall. Amazing to see these people run so fast. And just as amazing to see the slower folks tough it out over a long course on a hot day.

That's Joyce Ong in the pink. She's a fucking rockstar.


Temps were about 65F at the start and got up to about 75F at the end. Sky was overcast. Light breeze. High humidity.

Fluids and Fuel:
Had a banana, yogurt, and coffee before the run. Drank a serving of GenUCAN during the run. Recovery was another GenUCAN serving.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt. Generally felt good.

No special gear but I did wear my new JWalkingDesign kilt over my TStarRunning shorts. Got a few compliments on both.

Heart Rate:
Didn't wear my HRM but I'm sure I was in Zone 4 most of the time. After the first couple of miles I took more walking breaks but felt more at ease with the faster pace.

Mile 1 - 11:23
Mile 2 - 12:50
Mile 3 - 13:04
Mile 4 - 13:02
Aid Station - 7:36
Mile 5 - 11:36
Mile 6 - 11:56
Mile 7 - 13:05 (includes pee break)
Mile 8 - 12:41
Finish - 1:47:48

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I hate cut-off's, but I guess they need to have them, otherwise, there I'd be running around the mountains at all hours of the night. Anyway, that is super tough to do, plan a DNF, that is. I think that takes great strength. Another plus on your side! (Plus volunteering is a blast -- another plus!)

It is really weird to have people come up to you who know so much about you. I always feel strange about that. What's particularly odd is when I start telling a story to a complete stranger and they already know it because they read it on my blog, and they start filling in the blanks for me!!!