I got my first DNF (Did Not Finish) today.
I slept well last night. I was in a great place mentally this morning. I felt GREAT for the first eight miles (nailing marathon pace with very little effort). Then the crazy headwinds started (and last for over 10 miles) and I hit a section of tough uphills. I was still doing ok with my time, but was working a lot harder than I should have been. At one point my whole body cramped up (which has never happened to me). I was fueling and hydrating well and went into the race well fueled and well hydrated, so I don't know why. (Some people were saying it was hot, but I thought the temps were great and I never felt too warm at all). I walked for a very short time to try and regroup, and got to running at my goal pace again, but the whole cycle just kept repeating itself.
But the third time it happened, I noticed that my left hip was feeling sore. (This is not something that has ever bothered me before). I tried to run through it, I tried to stretch it, I tried to walk it out... nothing was helping. My hip hurt worse as I went along, even when I tried to walk, but it hurt worse when I ran and the rest of my body just felt awful too.
Despite that, I was still doing a pretty good job staying mentally in the
game. I was hoping to negative split, and even though I was a little
behind on the clock, I was confident I could make it up. I kept telling
myself over and over that it was "my day" and it was "my race", and I kept thinking about a bunch of the encouraging things that Josh had told me. I kept reminding myself that it was supposed to be hard and it was supposed to hurt and that it would pass and I would feel better.
But things just kept getting worse. At mile 16, I gave up. My hip hurt. My body felt awful. My time goal was out the window, and as badly as I wanted that medal and as much as I had sworn up and down that I would never not finish a race, I knew in my head that even though I could finish, it would not be the smart thing. I knew that I would likely be turning the beginnings of an injury into a full blown injury. I knew that there was little to gain and much to loose.
So I walked.
I would have gotten in to a shuttle right then, but I didn't find one until the aid station at mile 23. At that point I had walked most of 7 miles (occasionally I ran a little just to see if it magically felt better... it didn't). It was demoralizing and frustrating to walk.
Walking for seven miles in a race you thought was going to be a huge PR and a huge breakthrough race and a big stepping stone to your goals leaves you lots of time to think. (Mostly not good stuff).
I kept worrying about Josh and the kids and knowing that they were worrying where I was. When the race clock hit 3:15 and I knew that they all knew that I hadn't hit my goal, and I knew they were all anxiously watching for me, I cried.
I kept thinking about how much is sucked that Josh and the kids were waiting to cheer me on at a finish line that I wasn't going to cross. I finally had my family waiting at a finish line for me, and I couldn't get to it.
I kept thinking about how much I had wanted to make everyone proud and how bad it felt to suck.
I kept thinking about how Josh had told me over and over and over that I was going to "be amazing" and all I could think was "Definitely not amazing".
And, in case you are wondering - as much as it sucks walking in a race and getting passed by hundreds of people and having crowds cheer at you to "Keep it up! You look great!" it sucks a million times more when lots of people recognize you while you are walking in a race and getting passed by hundreds of people.
I was so close to the finish when I finally found a shuttle at the EMT at mile 23 that part of me thought I might
as well just keep walking and finish, but I knew that the extra three miles of
walking were not in my best interest in looking at the big picture of my
running. So I gave up the really cool medal to try and do the smart thing, with hopes that it will benefit me in the future.
In the shuttle I had a guy tell me that I must be a marathon weather "jinx" since I got the hot hot weather in Boston and then the crazy headwinds today. Gee thanks!
It was just a rough day. Rough physically, rough mentally, rough emotionally.
I was going to wait to write this until tomorrow, but I know if I wait I won't be as honest and raw as I am right now... so these are my honest, unfiltered thoughts and feelings.
I am not sure what now. I am not sure what the deal is with my hip. It is definitely still sore, although not anything that is forcing me to limp while walking and it is only sore when I am walking (not when I am sitting).
I am sure that I have the MOST incredible husband, family, friends, and support system. (THANK YOU for all of the texts, facebook messages, phone calls, etc.)
I am sure that I am not giving up on my hopes and dreams and that I will not let today discourage me for long.
And I am sure that I am sleeping in tomorrow, and taking a day off from running.
To end on a positive note, THESE GUYS all rocked the kids 1k. Shane won by a nose, Ben was close behind him, and the younger crew represented well. They got "real" race shirts, numbers, and ribbons and are all feeling pretty big time. They all loved the race (and Marcus was having a blast despite the look in this picture). My kids rock. :)