My third race of the year was a 50k in Pickering, Ontario, the Seaton Soaker. It should have been a good race for me, it was the closest race to home all year, its trails I've trained on before and it was 6 weeks out for my goal race Big Horn 50 miler.
However, it wasn't meant to be. The Thursday before the race I woke up with a wave of nausea followed by 24 hours of diarrhea (lovely). Friday I was feeling slightly better but still no appetite. I tried to get as much sleep as I could and figured if I felt ok Saturday that I would go and take it easy and try to make the best of it. Adding to my stress and fatigue was an emotional night Friday night arguing with an ex boyfriend about pretty much everything and stirring up lots of emotions leading to a very restless night.
Saturday morning came quickly and I think I hit the snooze about 3x and that is not like me on a race morning or any morning for that matter. The rest of the morning was uneventful, I had my usual breakfast and headed down to Pickering. As I was driving I was listening to Chrissy Wellington's new autobiography: A Life without limits. You would think listening to her amazing accomplishments would get me motivated and fired up, but not so much...The early morning was great I saw a lot of trail running friends, some were running and some were volunteering, it was great to see so many familiar faces!
The race started at 0800 it was pretty much an out and back on the Seaton trail system that you do twice. It was already warm at the race start and was suppose to get warmer and be the hottest day of the year thus far. We haven't had a lot of hot days yet and it takes me awhile to get use to the heat.
So what followed was pretty much Tips to execute your first DNF
- Have diarrhea for two days before the race
- Don't hydrate or eat in the days leading up to race
- Get completely emotionally stressed out the night before race
- Show up to the race with no gels
- Run the first 5 km with someone who runs a marathon an HOUR faster than you do
- Keep worrying about your stomach and so not drink or eat hardly anything in the first 25 km
- Know its the hottest day of year and somehow lose your salt tabs, don't drink enough and forget sunscreen.
- Forget in the first 25 km that you are here for a training run and that you're NOT suppose to be racing!
- When the inevitable bonk comes on, get frustrated and negative and completely impatient
- Actually quit, because.....well really for no good fucking reason, that's why! I had no injuries, I was still conscious, I was still moving forward.....
After almost a week I still haven't really come up with a good reason, other than I really didn't feel like continuing on. It was really bizarre, I was battling with myself for a bit and then all the sudden I was running down the trail around 30 km mark and I was like Forrest Gump, I just all the sudden stopped, turned around and decided I wanted to go back to the finish.
I felt a little weird at first, I have never DNF'd and didn't really know what I was suppose to do. Because it was an out and back course and there were different distances I think people thought I was a slower 25 k runner and were like "good job, you're almost done" , I was like "I am done alright".....
I thought my first DNF would be more spectacular and would involve me crawling missing a cut off, or a bone sticking out or some other medical emergency. I didn't think I would have such a soft pathetic DNF, but it is what it is and I am trying to focus on my bigger goals for the rest of the year.