Failure doesn’t come from falling down, it comes from not getting back up.
Yesterday was my first DNF. I made the conscious decision to pull from the Colorado marathon at mile 18. I would’ve pulled at the half point, but couldn’t find the darned sag wagon so slugged it out until a nice race official asked if I was ok..to which I replied with an emphatic “no.”
Although I am still processing this DNF, I know it was the best choicefor me. Going in, I had an injury and had given myself permission to pull or walk if needed. At mile 5 I already knew things weren’t going well, my hamstrings were tight like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and spasms in my low back began. I’ve been under treatment for these issues, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. In hindsight, I should’ve switched to the half marathon the day before, but my stubbornness and ever-present optimism (or dumb hope) thought maybe it would be a good day as I’d had a handful of decent short runs in the last couple weeks.
I signed up for this race knowing it wasn’t smart. It falls right in the middle of training for Iron Man Boulder – 91 days out. Training for a marathon during an Ironman puts too much emphasis on running and makes you cheat the other disciplines (yes, I’ve missed a few swims and cut a few rides short in the past weeks) and increases your risk of injury (funny, huh?). If I’d run the race full out, I’d been instructed to take 10 days off all exercise. 10 days would put me back to just 80 days of training before the big race, which is my priority – or “A”—race of the season. This weighed heavily on my mind yesterday. Also, I went in with my longest run being 18 miles some 6 weeks or so ago and little to no speed work since then due to my back and hip. And, not to mention I was hurting – not your usual marathon hurt…but something different and just wrong. Something that deep down said, it’s not smart to continue.
So, now I am on a mission to make this DNF worth it: to have a superior race at IM Boulder. My 13-week plan begins with a rest day. But tomorrow, I’m back at it. Follow me every day for the next 90 up to race day. This is Ironman #2 and I’m already plotting for #3 – strategically placing it so I can train for a spring marathon with full on gusto in 2016.