Monday, July 23, 2012

My 50k attempt – DNF


We all know people who do that thing that literary muckity mucks call “burying the lead”.  They’ll go on and on while telling a story, never really getting to the “point” of it. Usually, by the time they do, you’ve already started to look around the room and sort people into the “yep, I’d have sex with him” and “yep, I can kick his ass” categories.  (Or, am I the only one who does that?  Wait, who am I kidding? Everyone always ends up on only one of the lists.)  Well, let me cut to the chase.  On Saturday I set out to run 31 miles.  I ran 22. 

With anything that has never been done before, success or failure can rarely be pinpointed to one thing or another. Usually it is a series of unfortunate events that are set into motion days or weeks before that are to “blame”.  For me, my running has been a bit ‘off’ for weeks now.  It would be easy to bitch about the heat and humidity, but if I am being honest with myself it was the god damn unrelenting soul sucking heat I think that was only part of the issue.  Honestly I’ve been in one of those funks that doesn’t completely take you out of the game, it just takes the edge off.  In a sport of seconds, the edge is all I needed to feel like I wasn’t myself.

But, in spite of feeling off, I set out to run a mile for every year of my life thus far.  Because it was something that I had never done before, I actually did a fair amount of planning for this run. I froze bags of water and used them as a poor man’s fridge to keep spare water bottles cool, I made sure that I was fully hydrated the day before, and I lubed up every.single. part of my body.  Man, I was ready.

Ice bags? Check.  Bottle of wine? Check. Crock Pot recipes? Check.


I started out on my 4 mile loop course nice and steady around a 7:30 pace.  It instantly felt hot but more importantly humid.  Either way, I was bound to get the miles in – not running all of them had never crossed my mind.  I had planned on starting out with my 40oz water belt, run the first 15 miles or so, and then start refilling it as necessary from my nice and cool water bottles that I had stashed on a corner.  The logistics totally worked out!  I was looping around and had access to water essentially whenever I wanted it. (Or so I thought)

You spin me right round baby right round..... like a record baby


Around the 10 mile mark or so my shoe came untied and as I bent down to tie it I realized that the reason it came untied was because my shoes were SOAKED with sweat.  Not the normal “oh wow, that is a little damp” kind, but instead the “eww, this little piggy went to the swimming pool” feeling.  I was able to shrug it off and continued to plug away along my 7:30ish pace – my feet squishing with every step. Some of the miles were a bit faster, others a bit slower but overall all systems were a go.  That is, until I refilled my bottles at mile 17.

This seemed like such a good idea at 3:50 in the morning...


At mile 17 when I refilled my bottles, I had this intense thirst that caused me to chug 30oz faster than if it were in a funnel at a frat party.  I’m sure I needed the water, but a little bit of restraint / gradual consumption was probably warranted (actually, that is probably good advice regardless of what I am drinking).  The next mile was a strange feeling of a horribly sloshy stomach while still being thirsty.  It is sort of the feeling that you get when you’ve already ate Thanksgiving dinner and had a full bottle of wine but your body just yearns for another glass of glorious delicious wine.  So, I had a tire that was leaking air for sure, but the wheels hadn’t completely fell off.

Ah, but at mile 20, the wheels fell off in the form of hip cramps.  I have been battling a bit of hip tightness for a few weeks now.  Nothing that even garnered a mention on this blog, but it was certainly there.  Ah, but at mile 20, it decided to squeeze tight like a retired woman to a 90s era Beanie Baby and stop me in my tracks. Literally.  At mile 20 of my 31.07 mile run, I stood in the middle of the sidewalk wincing in pain, stupid garmin watch running all the while.  I tried to stretch it out, but honestly I didn’t get down on the ground to stretch it out like I SHOULD have so it never really went away.

Long story much longer, I hip hop and limped the next 2 miles in 10 minutes and 13 minutes respectively and then called it. I was done.  BLEH.

"Lubed every part of my body" my ass..... battle scars abound



As I look back, I think that I could have done a few things differently that could have helped.  First, including during the run and the hours after, I drank 200oz of water w/out peeing.  While not good, I think that some additional electrolytes would have helped avoid the sloshy feeling and help my body actually “use” some of the water that I was ingesting.  The heat played a huge role as well, but I’m not comfortable blaming it on that.  Fact is, I just didn’t have it in me this time.  If it would have been a race and I would have had money on the line in the form of a race fee, I would have finished.  I have no doubt. But, I didn’t feel the need to risk hurting myself on a training run that I made extra long.

But, as much as I know that I made the right choice, as I moped around the house after the run, I really wish I would have finished.  My son did too as we were hanging out and I was hydrating.  Can’t you just tell by the disappointed look on his face?

You did what today?  Whatever, turn on Mickey Mouse


So, what now?  I’m still 31, it is still hot out, and I still haven’t ran 31 miles.  Unfortunately for my sanity, I’m not one to let unfinished business lie for very long and have already found a window for which to try another attempt.  3 weeks.  August 11th will be the new attempt.  I’m sure it will be just as hot before, but I figure that I’ll just run twice as fast as I did before so that I don’t have to worry too much about the heat.  Perfect logic, right?  In all honesty, I am going to actually focus on training for the thing a bit and will have my sub 4:00 revenge soon enough.  

31 comments:

Runners Fuel said...

It was smart of you to stop when you did. You'll get the 31 miles.

B.o.B. said...

Yeah, doing it again in August even faster sounds like a really smart idea. Lol! Maybe you should wait til the fall and then run it really, really fast!

Jen said...

I feel your pain. This heat and humidity sucks the life out of you!

::Druming my fingers on the table waiting for winter::

On a more important note...your baby is freakin' adorable :)

Jen said...

Oh man - I'm sorry you didn't reach the goal but I'll know you'll get it on Aug. 11th - (btw - you share your birthday with my hubby - I knew you were a good egg)..

My bday is August 12th (my 40th - I will do no running of 40 miles…maybe 4, if I'm not too hung out from partying on August 11th, like it's my bday.) However, I promise I will not be too hung over to be poking around to find out how you did on YOUR run!

Chad Chisholm said...

Does everyone in Phoenix have the same counter tops?

Meghan said...

How about 31.5 miles on your half birthday!?

fancy nancy said...

You'll get those 31 miles...104*...yikes!!!

Nobel4Lit said...

Do the remainder on a different day, and it will count. ;)

Mike said...

Nice run in the heat even if you didn't accomplish your goal. Maybe some fresh shoes and socks (after drying your feet) at mile 20 would look your feet to make it.

Crystal said...

I'm so sorry that you didn't get to finish your 50k....but I'm glad that you listened to your body.

Don't fret, you'll totally conquer it

Book Dragon said...

How many days until your next birthday? You'll still be 31 until then right? You will attempt this again, and complete your mission!

on the otherhand...you just ran 22 miles!

My husband suggested you have friends along the course.

Pam said...

OR!!!! .... and call me crazy .... but you'll still be 31 in the fall/winter when it's approximately 140 degrees cooler.... I think you see where I'm going with this.

Matt said...

Good job on knowing when to quit--it's cliche but true; sometimes it's better to live for another day.

Just curious if you weighed yourself before & after the run to see how much water weight you lost?

And regarding your being "off" for a couple weeks, maybe it's time to back off? And, of course, with the heat, can you expect to have an edge right now?

Great job & good luck on 8/11!

Gracie said...

Oof. Hot. I'm uncomfortable just reading your blog. But then, your blog does usually make me uncomfortable...

M said...

Or you could just be 22 again! That's the ticket!

Alma said...

Sorry about the DNF. You should just fly up herefor the day to do your 31 miler. It's cold here. Totally sucks and depressing for Seattle-ites but maybe you could find some good in this non-summer we are having by using it to get 31 miles in without dying of dehydration and heat stress.

Alma said...

Sorry about the DNF. You should just fly up herefor the day to do your 31 miler. It's cold here. Totally sucks and depressing for Seattle-ites but maybe you could find some good in this non-summer we are having by using it to get 31 miles in without dying of dehydration and heat stress.

Sue's Ramblings said...

Happy 22nd Birthday! Anyway, loking forward to your redemption on 11 Aug. And take care of that hip of yours.

Johann said...

I'm turning 49 next week and I'm thinking about a 49 minute run :) The 49km just didn't bite... I know of some crazies that run their age in hours!

Jamoosh said...

You "limped" a mile in 10 minutes. Geez, thanks for making me feel like a slow 50 year old...

Kelly@ Sublurban Mama said...

If you are lacking "the edge" perhaps I could suggest some U2?

Lisa said...

Sorry about the DNF, sometimes it just isn't your day. Way to listen to your body so you don't end up sidelined!

Laura said...

Sometimes knowing when to stop, especially on a training run, is tough enough. No point in injuring yourself dude.

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Awesome job overcoming the hurdles thrown your way and your biggest accomplishment was knowing to stop. And I think someone mentioned this too, but you have many more days of being 31 to run 31! And perhaps on your birthday you were still 22 at heart.

I have confidence in you and YES....take electrolytes!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie K. said...

Sucks about the "dnf". But you ran more miles in one day than most people do in a year :) Happy Trails and take multiple pairs of shoes! I hear all the cool kids do that!

Stephanie K. :)

Quix said...

You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Hope your next attempt is better! :)

Jess said...

Maybe it's just running's way of saying you seem more like 22 than 31 :)

track coach and adorable wife said...

Sorry, but you palyed it smart. Your son is adorable. I love when they just crash out with you!

Katie said...

Guhhhh. I'm too old to run as many miles as I am. Can I bike it please?

Atha said...

Please don't die on your next attempt. I really don't feel like looking for a new coach.