Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DNF . . . Part 2

The day was warmer than we hoped for... but much cooler than it has been for 3 of the last 4 years for Grandma's Marathon.
There was a pleasant, almost too strong fresh breeze ... but a head wind instead of wind off the Lake.

My knee injury from the spring of last year was finally a thing of the past.
Three weeks before we had finished a half marathon in Idaho.
This was going to be my chance to do a marathon in my seventies.

The National Anthem, the playing of "Chariots of Fire" (I love that), and the pair of deafening fighter jets flying right over the runners and the start line....

As we approached the 13.1 point, Sweet Pea declared, "I'm tired.
We had slowed down in the last few miles and I knew that neither of us could finish anytime ... before nightfall??

But WHY?

I discount the fact that I am just plain old. That would not explain why Sweet Pea was as wiped out as I was.

**Maybe it was that half marathon 3 weeks before... that should have been our usual 22 mile long run.

**Maybe it was not getting our usual good night's sleep in a totally dark room the night before the race.

**Maybe it was those 2 (stupid??) training runs we did in the few days before the marathon... which should have been taper time.

**Maybe it was because, although we are below Weight Watcher's goal weight, we are too heavy for best performance in running.

**Maybe that stiff wind, while exhilarating, had contributed to our being worn out.

It sure did happen to both of us: that being too wiped out to continue.

It was after we decided that we couldn't go on that we saw the dog... but yes, you could say, we stopped to play with a dog, lard out in a yard, and eat our gluten-free pretzels and ginger cookies while sitting in cushy lawn chairs instead of on foot finishing the marathon.

We appreciated the rest there, waiting for Don to come in the car to pick us up after he finished the marathon with a good time.

"MAKING LEMONADE" out of the lemons I find myself buried in,
THINKING UP PLANS FOR BETTER TRAINING...(better resistance training for strength, more long runs), plus finally getting back to some Tai Chi,

Hope springs eternal. It is the best day of the year.


feresaknit said...

When my mother in law was in her seventies she regularly used to say they'd had a busy day. Once when I inquired further she said 'Well, we stripped the bed put the stuff in the washer, hung it out to dry and then made the bed', unable to restrain myself after hearing for so long how busy they were I asked 'Since that took all of 10 minutes what did you do with the rest of the day?' Apparently I was a cheeky so and so.

I know it may be disappointing to you but I'm impressed with half a marathon! :D

Sunshine said...

How sweet! Thanks for that.

Backofpack said...

Or...it just wasn't your day. Sometimes a run just doesn't come together no matter what you did before or do during. And, it's so easy to second guess yourself later, when you are rested and comfortable. No worries - and on to the next goal! You'll get there!

DawnB said...

it just wasn't your day and there will be many more marathon, thats for sure.

Elaine Merrill said...

Most people would be over the moon for doing a half. It's a tribute to your level of athleticism that you were disappointed. Besides, I know there will be other marathons for you!

Anne said...

I'm with Michelle. Some days go better than others. There will be other races, and gluten-free snacks in beach chairs.

peter said...

Hang in there, Sunshine. You made it 13 miles, that's more than 99% of all us folks that day. I believe in acceding to reality in the present, then there's always tomorrow or next year. Congrats for a good run.

A Plain Observer said...

I have considered DNF twice, once in Vermont, it was just painful the whole way but somehow i couldn't justify in my head all the training I did and last November in Harrisburg when the temperature hit 72 instead of the 42 I had two years earlier.
All of those factors you mentioned are reasons for not feeling your best. For me, lately as I get older, it seems sleep is a big factor, and I believe strongly in a good taper but also Sunshine, sometimes it just happens, we just dont have a good race.
But what's good about a race is that there are so many others to do in the future...

Amytrigirl (aka Amybee) said...

I think you still had a very successful day, despite what happened. You've been coming back from an injury; you didn't have time to acclimate to the weather and you just did another 1/2.

There will be more finished in your future!

Susie Hemingway said...

Well I think you are both amazing if I may say so - I am a little younger but would certainly have trouble running now - I am not particulary over weight but just over worked I think! After mowing the lawns and doing all the chores outside in the garden and there are plenty that H once did, I am just looking for a little sit down. Well done both of you. x

Vickie said...

Sorry about your DNF after wanting so much to finish a complete marathon. It apparently wasn't in the cards that day. But that leaves the option of another adventure somewhere else some other time. Keep going!