Monday, July 30, 2012

Voyageur Trail Ultra 2012 = First DNF

No overwhelming reason for dropping at the halfway point/finish of the first loop. The weather was as perfect as it gets for this race (cool morning, didn't really start heating up until nearly noon). I was running a solid pace that had me finishing the first loop in 5:30; an hour ahead of the cut-off.  I just had mentally checked out 7 miles back and could not find a compelling reason to head out on the 2nd loop, despite the best efforts of friends and volunteers to get me back out there. As a matter of fact, I couldn't think of a compelling reason to keep running ultras in general and seriously considered retiring from the sport altogether.

Leading up to the race I had over a month of sub-par training and high stress at work. It has been unusually warm this summer and I was not adapting well to the heat so wasn't getting in many long runs.  I had also been having some nagging issues with my low back/hamstrings (I am sure related to too much sitting and not enough physical activity) in the week leading up to the race.

When it came down to it I opted to quit rather than face the pain I knew would be coming - both during the race and for the days following.

On the plus side, my legs felt fine the next day, with little residual tiredness and today I headed back out to the Powerline Loop to take down the flagging in that section.

I suppose it was good to get the DNF over with and I really have no regrets at this time. It was fun to be there to watch the lead runners finish their races (something I only witness if volunteering at the finish line as, in an ultra, I am usually hours behind these folks).

Now to get back to training and finalize my plans for running/racing this year; or maybe I should retire and focus on pacing/crewing/volunteering?


Anonymous said...

The DNF sounds like a good decision, Lisa! Distance running often involves pain, but it's a productive pain; it shouldn't be pointless. Take some time off, go for some walks. You have to take what the summer offers. That's my two-cents worth anyway–maybe a cent and a half's worth.

John K.

SteveQ said...

Ultrarunning is all about "getting your head right." You have to find something you really want to do and then decide to do it, no matter what happens. It sounds like you need to take some time to find the desire again.

wildknits said...

Ah John - I have been taking time off - at least from running.

After two days off from work I am feeling a bit more refreshed as that is where the bulk of my stress is.

Steve - I agree. Working on tactics to re-achieve some balance in my work life so I have energy for the rest of my life.

Ross said...

I got my last DNF when I started looking for reasons to continue. There are none! The only logical choice is not to do it.

Ever since, I've stopped looking for reasons to keep going.

I hope you get some more time off work. It sounds like that is what you really need. Good luck.