My First DNF

It was ten years in the making and today it happened. I took my first DNF (Did Not Finish) in a race--the Greensboro Half Marathon.

Before I get into all the reasons and excuses behind the DNF, let’s call it like it is: I dropped out because I wanted to, not because I had to. Ego took hold and rather than face a two-hour-plus half marathon time, I chose to quit.

So then. What happened? I think it was the combination of the perfect storm of bad elements all coming together:

  1. I was coming off a week of strenuous exercise (even for me) where I was working out twice a day and doing triple the number of miles on the bike that I usually do.

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One More BQ For The Books

I feel like I've got my running mojo back. Even though--or maybe because--I spent the first half of this year dealing with on and off again injuries, I'm having fun with running again. Let's be real--I will ALWAYS be concerned with my times, but I'm also relaxing enough to (maybe, kinda, sort of) be okay if I don't go out and kill every race. 

With that in mind, yesterday I ran the 2014 Greensboro marathon. I did it without wearing a watch. My plan was to run the miles based on how I felt, walking if and when needed with the vague goal of coming in under four hours. Holding with tradition, I made a last-minute decision to run the race, signing up on Tuesday, so I wasn't especially trained for a marathon. I knew I could do the distance but wasn't sure at what pace--and that was okay. 

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2014 Hinson Lake 24-Hour-Run: The Third Time's The Charm

Before the start gunI made it to the banana lap. I’ll pause to allow the significance of that statement to sink in.

For those unaware of what a banana lap is, when you run a 24-hour loop, on what is most likely your last lap you’re handed a banana with your bib number on it. When the horn sounds announcing the end of the 24-hours, you set your banana down so they can measure exactly how far you ran during the race. (Sobbing with gratitude that it’s finally over is optional.)

This was my third year running the race. Year one, I got 62.1 miles. Last year, 76 miles. This mile, my official total was 86.341 miles.

This year’s race stood out on several accounts. Here are a few highlights.

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26.2 For The Heck Of It

Today I ran a marathon. On the treadmill. I started running at 5:50 A.M. and climbed off the treadmill three hours and 51 minutes later, drenched but happy. 

Why 26.2? I'm not trained for it. In fact, I'm under trained due to being injured all season. So why? 

Maybe because last night, as I was thinking about my run for the next day, I was feeling decidedly unmotivated. I needed a 20-miler which did not sound like fun. At all. I was mentally bargaining with myself for 18 miles, then 15, except I was pretty sure given my less-than-enthusiastic reaction to those numbers that I'd end up sand bagging and running somewhere around twelve--if I was lucky. 

Then it occurred to me--I could run a marathon.

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Decide What You Want To Do & Then Find People Who Are Better At It Than You

Yesterday I ran the inaugural Fleet Feet Pickle, an 18.2-mile store-to-store charity run for Backpack Beginnings. Later that night, I attended a “Post-Pickle Party.” Someone at the party asked how long I’d been running and if I’d always been as fast as I am now.

My answer was no, nowhere close. I was a 10-minute miler at best when I started running. I remember thinking that if I could ever only hold a 9-minute pace for a 5K, I’d never ask for anything ever again.

“So how did you get faster?” was the follow-up question.

My answer is that I run with runners who are faster than me.

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