You Say “DNF” Like It’s a BAD Thing

Well, it wasn’t a good day. No, that’s not right. I had a great deal of fun with parts of the marathon, but I didn’t make it to the finish line. I’m ok…well, sore in places that make no sense to be sore after running, dehydrated, and exhausted…but after what I’ve just been through, I believe that qualifies as an “ok.” 🙂 

The good news first:

  • 13 miles has never felt that easy! 
  • Winter Warrior may have qualified for Boston…on his first try! Wowee! 
  • Husband Extraordinaire has logged another impressive marathon finish. 
  • Running Buddy finished right around 4:15…a little over our goal time, but a finish! Yay! She was so strong. 

Now, for the bad news. I was doing very well for the first half of the race. They had tiny water bottles at the aid stations, so my practice became to snag a bottle and sip from it for the next mile or so. I felt that I was being conscientious about getting in water and shot blocks, and I enjoyed running around Churchill Downs. We actually got to see some horses. We also saw 3 Elvises, the devil, and a go-go dancer jamming to a stereo that one Elvis was pushing in a baby stroller. Additionally, we saw some ladies dressed as jockeys (whips included, grrrrowl) and a fella in a polyester suit for no discernible reason whatsoever. 

At mile 12, the “mini marathoners” left us, and we were suddenly all alone. Running with a south breeze. Completely exposed to the sun for the first time in the course. Miles 12-14 were the beginning of the end for me. I was starting to feel the effects of the heat, and I told RB that I felt I was on the edge of something really bad. Three miles later in second hilly park of the course, I was really struggling. RB stuck along with me, encouraging me and walking with me until I finally begged her to not sacrifice her time for me. She made me promise that I would finish somehow, and then she was gone. 

I really tried, folks. At the point I stopped (mile 20), I had walked a solid mile and couldn’t even fathom the last 4 miles of the race. There would be no cover from the sun and stronger wind to contend with. I jogged along, trying to think happy thoughts, when a giant cramp that extended from my back, down my hamstrings, and into my calves sidelined me. After a minute or so, an officer approached. All I could say was, “I think I’m done.” 

I’m disappointed, but I don’t think (although I said as much to my brother in a more emotional moment) that this journey has been a waste of time. Training for the marathon has helped me lose 5 pounds and get back to the best shape I’ve been in since college. I got to see an old friend from Kansas and visit a city I’ve never been to before. This only shows how much respect the marathon truly requires. The earliest casualty I saw to the race was at mile 6…it was a tough, tough day. I hope she’s doing ok.

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7 responses

  1. I’m so sorry Megs. I can’t imagine what it feels like after all that hard work. I’m so happy to read that you’ve got a great attitude about this because just completing the training truly is a huge accomplishment on it’s own!

    Congrats to the hubs and Running Buddy!

  2. Megan, I’m so so so proud of you!! What an amazing feat to get to 20 miles!! wow!! The wind and the heat in Ohio and Kentucky the past 2 days have been brutual. If it was 3 days ago when it was a nice 65 with a light breeze it probably would have been a beautiful day. But deciding to jump to 90 with no cloud cover and 20 mile an hour winds probably hadn’t happened during your training, stupid spring. Regardless, everyone thinks you’re a bad mamajama

  3. The marathon will always be there. You were smart for not pushing into a really bad situation. Keep your head up and you’ll get another crack at it!

  4. Pingback: Not Me! Monday « MeganRunning

  5. Pingback: Marathon Training vs. Baby Having « meganrunning

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