And it has happened. My first DNF. Never in a million years did I think I'd say that (unless I was talking about my goal race). But, I have it, it happened. Looking back I never should've started it, but I am a stubborn ass. And so it goes...
Friday night we headed down for the pre race dinner. The dinner was held in the park and was so good. Spaghetti, stuffed shells, lasagna, rolls, salad, COOKIES! I got my race packet, chatted with Ray one last time before the race and was starting to get pretty excited. Mild panic did set in for a second when I looked at the back of the awesome race shirt I received and saw this:
(it's really not as bad as it looks!) My husband, son, and I ate and listened to the RD's and Park Rangers at the pre race meeting. Seeing how excited everyone in charge was it was hard to not get pretty pumped. The Rangers were especially enthusiastic about the event, which was so cool to see. My favorite part of the meeting came when the RD explained that at one section of the race the 50 mile runners needed to rip a page out of a book as proof you really did make it to that point. Instantly all you heard was chatter from runners "ooooh..like Barkley!" I sat and smiled :)
Meeting over, we headed out to stay at my mom and dad's house about 40 minutes away from the park. And so it began. My body was starting to give me one big F.U. I tried to ignore it, but this made it even more angry. Inside I was hoping I would go to sleep, wake up and all would be well. But this was not the case. I tossed and turned all night, and at 3 a.m. off goes the alarm. Wake up, upchuck #1. I was completely bummed, but still determined to run. So - I forced myself to eat, thinking I can't run 50 miles and not eat breakfast. Well....ha upchuck 2. and so on and so on. I woke up my hubby up so he could get ready and told him what happened. He didn't even make mention of the fact that maybe I shouldn't race, he knows me all too well. He just said "Oh shit!" yeah. So we headed out and I could feel that I was already dehydrated. At this point, water and food were out of the question though. We arrived at the race start, I dropped of my drop bag and I hung out in the bathroom as long as I could until it was time for the race to start.
I took a ginger candy thinking it would work like magic and all would be well. Off we went and I found myself in 1st, and running at a pretty good pace. After a little while I started to slow down considerably. My energy was zapped, all my fuel in the toilet, and dehydrated. My muscles felt like jelly, they had no power. I started to not be able to imagine running 50 miles this way. The first female runner to pass me flew by, looking pretty good. I tried to pick up my pace again, but nada. I had completely fizzed out. I slowed down even more, then came to a screeching halt and started to walk. Even the walking seemed to take everything out of me. Soon many people would pass, each one of them asking if I was o.k. I shouldn't have been surprised, I mean, trail runners are known for this - but still it touched my heart in a way they will probably never know. How amazing is it that someone would do that? Not just one person, EVERYONE. You know, I always thought that if I would get a DNF I would be completely crushed beyond belief. Which yes, my husband and Ray got a few of my boo hoos on Saturday. But, the more I think about it the more I am amazed at those people who just simply cared. I am, believe it or not, lucky to have witnessed that. It has me more in love with trail running than ever.
I saw my husband around the mile 15 aid station and completely broke down knowing I would have to stop. (People were STILL stopping to see if I was ok!!) I was so glad to see my guy there.....I was just all....HOLD ME! drama. ha. I was SO SO cold from starting out fast and then coming to a screeching halt. We went to the aid station where the volunteers were so amazing and caring. I can't thank them enough. And that was that. I took off my bib, signed my name, and peace out. Will I run this one again? You betcha. First day registration opens up for next year, I'm in. The course was beautiful, and people amazing - I wouldn't miss it. And besides, I have a score to settle now.
We went back to my mom and dad's house where my dad said something to the effect of "You look like the Grim Reaper's sister". Yahoo. I felt it. I hung around half dead on the couch for awhile and then we made our way back home. I called Ray eventually, after getting enough courage too (don't know why I was nervous really!) and he was his typical encouraging self...I'm lucky to have an awesome friend like him! The rest of the weekend, and yesterday - was spent inside, I made sure not to venture too far from the bathroom. I thought I had success in keeping yesterday's lunch and dinner down, but I was wrong. This morning I woke up, and same old story. BUT I got my lazy but up and took myself to work today. Why? Because #1 I'm BORED and #2 I'm AGGRAVATED. Now I know absolutely nothing about medical issues, I'm completely ignorant when it comes to that - but here's what I do know. Before this year, I never had the flu. Never got the flu shot either. This year the flu shot was offered to me free of charge. I thought "Why not, can't hurt anything!" Got the shot. Got the flu. Twice now. As I said before I don't know too much about medical things, and I do know that the doctor's say the flu shot can't make a person sick, blah blah blah - but you can bet your ass I'm not gettin' another one.