The title should really read the “Mid-Winter Class 10-Miler: The Almost DNF”
I’ve been putting off writing this post because I needed to get over my disappointment from the race. I had a goal for the race and I was positive that I could meet and exceed it. However, I failed. I failed hardcore. It came pretty close to a DNF. The DNF that no endurance athlete ever wants behind their name.
From a young age I was taught that failure was not an option. My parents, mainly my father, always made sure that we didn’t fail and if we did then there were consequences. So failure has never been an option for me and when it does occur then I beat myself up about it. I failed on Sunday and I succeeded to beat myself up about it for the rest of the day. I’m beginning to believe that my dislike of running stems from my belief that failure is not option. I hate failure; therefore, I hate running because I feel like I’m always failing. However, lately I have been running so much better and, dare I say, I actually might enjoy running?!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was sick pretty much all last week with a sinus infection. My head was foggy and I felt like it wanted to explode. I worked a few half days and went home to sleep. I also got 4 days off completely from working out. I also lost my appetite, which usually occurs when I’m sick. Eating anything usually makes me nausea and I can only get a few bites in before I either want to puke it up or it just isn’t appetizing anymore. By Friday I was feeling better so I definitely planed on running the race. On Saturday I went to packet pick-up at Maine Running Company and also got a new pair of kicks at a sweet price! Thanks to a kick ass friend (who ran 23 miles last Thursday for his birthday and then a super fast 63 minute 10-miler)!
I woke up on Sunday and had my regular breakfast of oatmeal, peanut butter and banana. I went to go start my car (which is a standard) and my clutch wouldn’t go in. I tried twice and then started panicking! How the hell am I going to get to my race if my car wouldn’t start? I tried a third time and mu clutch went in and I was able to start my car. I got the the race start and go ready, did a warm-up, peed about 10 times, had some water and a gel. We lined up and the gun went off. The first mile was fast, mostly down hill. The next few miles had some hills but I felt good and settled into my goal pace.
The first 5 miles of my race went very well. I was running good and I felt good. I had a gel and a little water at the mile 5 water station and then continued past the Spurwink Church and started cruising up the hill towards Crescent Beach on Rt 77. Then it hit me. I felt lightheaded and dizzy. And then the tunnel vision started to occur and I knew it was an “oh crap” moment. I thought for sure I was going to eat pavement. I remember thinking that if I was going to pass out then I hope I don’t land on my teeth because I don’t want to get dentures. Weird thought, I know. And as a side note I have a tendency to pass out on occasion from no apparent reason so I’m well verse in knowing when my body is going to pass out and mile 5.5 was one of those. During my freshmen year of college I was sitting at my desk eating a bowl of cereal when the next thing I know my roommate is pulling me out of my trashcan and asking me if I’m okay. I just passed out for no reason. She was very worried about me so she bought me to the ER to get checked out. The doctors did a blood sugar test, a EKG, and a urine and blood test. Everything came back perfectly normal. The doctor told me “well, it’s not uncommon for young women like yourself just to randomly pass out.” In other words, they didn’t have a friggen clue why I passed out. Awesome.
Anyway, back to the race. So I felt like crap starting around mile 5.5. There was even the ambulance parked on the hill leading up to Crescent Beach. That was the moment when I considered DNFing. I walked for a little while to take my breathe and gather my thoughts again. I felt a little better so I started jogging again. Then I few minutes later I would feel like crap again and walk. This happened for the rest of the race. Between miles 7-9 I got going pretty good for awhile then the cold wind picked up and I started having trouble breathing. Fantastic! Let’s just have an asthma attack too! But, the end was near. I saw my running coach about 200 yards from the finish and I told her I was going to pass out because I knew I was going down if I stopped. She finished the last bit of the race with me and held me up at the finish. She bought me inside and gave me water and some food. I started feeling better afterwards, but my head was pretty cloudy and my nose was running. Great. I probably just made my cold worst. Once I felt better I got changed into warm, dry clothes and got in my car.
My car started but it was acting funny. The engine would rev up every once in awhile if you added more pressure to the gas. I decided to make a pit stop at Panera Bread to grab some food. I got my food and got back into my car to head home. It didn’t start. And it didn’t start during the other 10 times I tried. So I do what every girl does and calls her father. “Wah, my car won’t start! Help me!” My car was making funny noises while braking occasionally so my father drove my car around the block a few times Saturday night. While he was getting out on my car he must have pushed my car mat up underneath my clutch. It was the reason my clutch wouldn’t push in in the morning. I realized that before I left in the morning and fixed it. However, it’s the reason my car wouldn’t start! Grr… so my father came and saved the day (or so I thought). He got in started and I had him drive it home. I followed him and my car was a smokin’. Awesome, my father just killed my clutch. He called me and told me to pick him up at our mechanic.
Well, I guess I need a new clutch, new timing belt and possibly some front brake work. My car is 10 years old and has almost 140,000 miles on it. It’s been a great car and it’s the original clutch, which is pretty impressive! But, the question is, is my car worth fixing. Our mechanic, whom we have used for years, is going to take a look at it and let us know if I will be paying close to $2000 in repairs or buying a new car. And my visions of a new tri bike and powermeter are slowing disappearing…. Ugh, NOT my day!
I laid on the couch for awhile on Sunday and had a pity party. I was super disappointed with my performance in my race. I was running so well and then I got sick. I talking with a friend and he reminded me that I had a bad race. It happens. My important races are in the summer. He’s right. I had a bad day and I had a lot of things stacked against me.
So what happened? My day before race day and race day nutrition was fine. It was my nutrition earlier in the week when I was sick. I didn’t eat much at all so the energy storage just wasn’t there. I actually weighed myself the morning of the race and I weighed about 3 pounds lighter than when I last weighed myself on that Monday before. As much as I loved seeing the new weight I knew it wasn’t a good sign. Another reason was I didn’t sleep much either so my body was tired. And obviously I was still sick.
So lessons learned from Sunday:
1. Don’t run races sick (someday I will learn this! See previous post about my half marathon experience)
2. Don’t let your father drive your car because he’ll burn out your clutch!
In other news, I had a great run tonight in my new shoes! I’ve finally got my appetite back and have made some yummy meals that I’ll share soon!