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My first DNF….

I think… at least I cannot recall dropping out of a race before…. Let me start at the beginning:

I am several weeks out from my Boston Marathon experience. I took it easy the first week – 1 run.  The next week I got in three runs and about 40 miles of cylcing. The week ended with a nice 15 mile fast finish run to church: 5 easy, 10 at marathon pace average including the final 2 at about 7:30 pace. Last week only 3 runs…. 5 on Wednesday, 7 fairly quick with Karl early Thursday morning and then on Saturday the run/race in question….

The plan was to do a 20 mile training run –  I entered the Phantom Trail race in Agoura, a 20 mile trail race to accomplish this. The race did not start till 8 am and, we are having a bit of a heat wave…. so it did not go well. The first 6 or 7 miles were fine, the temps were in the 70s rising into the 80s and the course had some ups, some downs, some relatively flat places….

Then it got crazy steep… too steep to run, and it got hot, rising into the 90. Between miles 7 and 11 I found myself walking almost every uphill and then trying not to kill myself on downhills that were almost too steep to run.  My pace got really slow…. About 11 1/2 miles in, the course crossed a road. From the road you could look to the right and see the start/finish area about a mile away – down the road…. The trail was headed up a little bluff and then you could see it would drop into a valley where it would head toward the finish line – uphill… the remainder of the race was to be on the far side of the finish area….

I stopped and took a break in the shade of a canopy at the rest area there and tried to cool off…. I got to thinking that my wife was waiting at home for me to finish – and then we would go to a family party for a graduating nephew…. I tried to run up the next uphill and made had to walk almost immediately… It was easily into the 90s by now. I figured if I took the time to walk all the uphills of the rest of the race I would be out there way too long…. I looked back at the downhill roadway to the finish area… I turned back, told the volunteers I was dropping out and walked downhill back to the finish area… I reported to the timer and told her the same… she dropped me to the 10 miler as I had completed about 12 1/2 miles by now… in 2 hours and 40 minutes…. crazy slow, but at least I still got a medal….

The only real disappointment here is that I missed my 20 mile practice run opportunity. This Saturday I am entered in a 100K bike ride with Clay, so it won’t work to try to do a replacement…. hmmm… should I not worry about it? I would try an after school long run, but it is still in the 90s everyday after school…

Oh well, that’s life… I will do what I can and go to the Mountains 2 Beach and see what happens….

3 replies »

  1. So sorry. DNF”s are no fun. Burning the candle at just one end is usually enough. But then why not get in a long run before the 100k on Sat. We could leave at 2am arrive at 4am and you could run for 3 hours before riding for 3-4 hours. I am bringing my touring bike with the cargo box and front handle bar bag so you could have a moving aide station for the run and ride too!
    Let me know. At least burning the candle at both ends gets rid of all that wax faster!

  2. Temps are 60-65 deg between 4am and 12 noon. 8% chance of rain at 8am. I remember when I rode my bike up to Baden Powell started at 5am hiked Baden Powell and rode home before sun went down. You can do it! Mobile aide station! 100K bike is nothing in 65 deg weather, you get to sit down the whole time!

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May 2018


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