Question of the week–DNFs

This week’s question is prompted by my first DNF, at a 50K this past weekend.   Have you ever DNF’ed?  Or maybe you should have dropped out of a race, but didn’t.  Or wished you could DNF but something made you keep going.

Share your DNF (or almost DNF) story, and make me feel better;-)  

By the way, for newbies, DNF= did not finish.

7 Responses

  1. Since I posed the question, here’s my story. Skyline Challenge 50K this Saturday. I dropped out at mile 22.5ish (but probably about mile 25 for me since I got lost with another runner). I’d been running for close to 7 hours at that point. I shouldn’t say running- I’d say about 60% was walking– ridiculously steep muddy uphills at the beginning, mossy rocky slippery terrain at the top of the the mountain, and then just tiredness kicking in. Nothing seriously wrong, just completely mentally exhausted especially after getting lost and facing climbing back up a mountain and difficult terrain. I’m glad I quit- my quads are still killing me today, I can’t imagine how they’d feel today with another 10 miles of steep inclines.

    • Cindy, it must be really disappointing, but it sounds like you made a wise decision. Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor, and all that. And, there will be other 50ks.–clare

  2. You’re still Ultra Cindy. 🙂 But I agree with Clare and your decision to listen to your body. Sometimes we just have to say “no mas.”

  3. My DNF was not in an official race but July 3rd’s PGRC Adventure Run. It was so exciting. Leg 1 (6.6 miles) from ABC in Greenbelt to Glendale Splash Park was a breeze – beautiful weather at 6:30 AM and people with varying paces. Leg 2 from Glendale Splash Park to Starbucks in Bowie (4.4) was nice with the sun now shining bright, but I love the sun, so not a problem. During this leg, Gary mentioned he planned to run sub-10s during Leg 3. I started doubting whether I should even consider, but I really wanted to run from Bowie to Annapolis since I had never done that before. So, during the break at Star Bucks, Kim mentioned that she’d be trailing us in a vehicle, so I convinced myself to continue. By the start of Leg 3 at 9:30, the sun is blazing, but I’m still feeling great. My running partner had a Garmin and we were a bit faster than our intended pace, but we both felt great throughout the first 5 miles. By mile 6 of Leg 3 (17 miles total for me), I’m starting to count every step and the blister on my big toe is a bit annoying. Thank God for Kim and Cass for giving us a reason to break for hydration and fruit because I needed it. With the heat blazing, we continue a great pace, but after that last hill and feeling that blister with every pound, I couldn’t wait to see Kim and Cass again. By the time I saw them again, it was about mile 9 (20 miles total for me), and I was really happy for the hydration break. During the break I hydrated well, and considered going out for the last 2 miles, but felt a bit queasy. When the group said let’s go, I quickly said, ” enough” and bailed.

    Although I really wanted to complete the full Adventure Run, I’m glad I bailed because I was able to enjoy the remainder of the festivities (lunch with the group) and then hang out with my daughter while she and a friend played tennis. The next day I walked a few miles to stretch my muscles and felt absolutely great.

  4. Anyone who runs a non-training 20-mile run in the blazing sun on a Saturday “for fun” did not bail! LOL Now, the person who started with the third leggers and stops after 3 miles because she was afraid she would get hit by a car, she bailed! (That would be me.) 😉 You guys did great and we had a ball providing the water and fruit stops. I need to post all of the pics.

  5. Really wanted to bail on the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler last year. I had too little sleep the night before, ate a toaster strudel for my “power” breakfast, wore brand new shorts (which inched closer to my knees on just about every stride), and it was the first hot day of the year. I knew at mile 1 that I didn’t want to run the race. The only thing keeping me going was knowing that the car was at the other end! Felt like crap by the end and kept from vomiting by sheer will power! Took the rest of the day to recover. Sometimes, we should listen to our bodies and not let pride get in the way! Way to go Cindy! No way I could have gotten as far as you did!

  6. I’m not sure if planning not to finish a race counts as a DNF, but I decided several years ago that I liked the Marathon in the Parks course a lot (the site of my one and only marathon), but I wasn’t going to be able to do the marathon that year, and planned to stop half-way at 13.1 or so. It was really a funny experience, as I stopped after wading through 2 feet of water on the trail in front a great bunch of cheering supporters who seemed disappointed that I was stopping. I thought about trying to keep going, but then decided about discretion and valor, especially since I had arranged for a pickup at that spot. And as I walked off the course, soaking wet and cold, I got some really terrific cramps in my calves, so I think I was right. But I’ve always felt a little twinge about not trying–even though that’s how I planned it. Running is some funny stuff. I even thought briefly about trying for the 2nd leg of the adventure run (my endorphins had kicked in fully from the 1st leg) before coming to my senses about that as well.

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