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Thursday, September 27, 2007

DNF

Well, I experienced my first DNF on Sunday. I'd like to say that I had a good reason for it, but I really don't. I guess my heart wasn't into it. I do have a ton of excuses though that ran through my head during the bike and talked me into dropping after the bike ended.

Here they are:
1. I almost drowned on the swim - 3 times. It was chaotic at the start and I got hit, punched and kicked. That didn't cause the near drowning though. There was a random wavelet chop in the water and three times on the first lap, water went into my mouth and blocked my airways. Very scary, but I didn't panic too much. It was very disappointing to come out towards the end of the wave, but at least I lived.

2. The bike was not flat or fast. We had to do 3 loops on a course that had a couple hairpin turns, some gravel surface and rolling hills. The hills didn't bother me, but the wind really beat me down. My hoped for 3-hour bike split turned into 3:20 instead (1:02 first loop, 1:04 second loop and 1:14 third loop).

3. I knew I had a sun burn on my back and didn't want it to get worse. I'm getting my tattoo this Saturday and didn't want to do it on sunburned skin. Sure, I could have had volunteers help me reapply sunscreen, but it didn't occur to me until after I quit.

4. My husband was spectating at the race, so I could hang out with him while waiting for my friends to finish. Little did I know that he would leave 30 minutes after I finished. Can't blame him though, because it was a long drive back and he still needed to pack for his trip to Houston. He had dinner waiting for me when I got home - such a great guy!

5. I had a long drive home and wanted to be coherent for it. Normally, Matt and I share the drive home, so the one can get rest while the other is driving and vice versa. Of course, I gave Charlie a ride home, so he could have spelled me. I didn't know at the time I quit though that Charlie has no valid driver's license, so that plan wouldn't have worked. He did keep me company and alert - he also put up with my musical tastes and we had some great conversation. Great getting to know you better Charlie!

6. I was gunning for sub-6 hours and knew I wouldn't make it. Not by a long shot. I would have had to have the run of my absolute lifetime. I know, a finish is great no matter what. I should have kept going.

7. I was dehydrated and salt depleted. It was hot out there people. I lost my salt pills an hour or so into the bike and had only taken one so far. I knew I was in trouble, because I didn't have to pee on the bike. I always have to pee.

8. The run course had no cola. Cola saves me on my half-IM runs. I did fill up two fuel belt bottles with Coke, but accidentally left it at the bike special needs aid station instead of the run.

9. The run course had no shade. Did I mention that it was hot? After I quit, I sweltered in the shade - it was that hot. No clouds in the sky either and the wind on the bike course didn't find its way to the run course. I couldn't stomach the thought of running 13.1 grueling miles.

10. I could support my friends better as a fan. In this respect, I think I did well. I cheered in all of my CTC buddies and ran Charlie, Paula, Sam and Joe in to the finish. There wasn't much of a crowd, so extra support was good.

Yes, I'm a quitter, but I'm at peace with my decision. You can't change the past. I learned a valuable lesson that day - it will take some perfect conditions for me to go sub 6. My half in June offered those conditions, but I didn't know how close to 6 hours I was. We'll see what the future holds.

I'm very proud of everyone who finished this race! Great job! Sam and Joe did their first half-Ironman on Sunday on the road to doing IMLP next year. Joe experienced back and hamstring cramps, GI issues and wasn't breathing well. Sam was kind enough to stay with him for the rest of the run once she caught up to him. I know it was tough to give up her race goals, but she was a good wife to her husband. Watching them finish while each holding a hand of their 2-year-old daughter brought tears to my eyes. I'm very proud of them!

5 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

i totally support your top 10 reasons for your DNF... you put up a good fight and will definitely hit your sub-6 next time :) good work lady!

2:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen, this just makes your Ironman Finish all the more spectacular.
Jean

5:14 PM

 
Blogger Jodi said...

No excuses necessary. We don't think any less of you!

Put this season to bed. Your body and mind need some rest!

:-)

Jodi

5:32 PM

 
Blogger The Scott Family said...

Nobody likes to see DNF as a blog title but you've nothing to prove or give excuses for. I think you've had a great Tri season. Here's to the next!

Mike

7:32 PM

 
Blogger Charlie said...

Cool doo. It will make a huge difference beneath your helmet and Visor. It will make an even bigger difference to the recipient.

The heat was brutal. If you are worried about salts and hydration, it is absolute that you stop. That was a wise and brave move Sunday. The heat is nothing to mess with.

Thanks for everything.

11:40 PM

 

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