You were thinking that, weren't you??
Since we have never DNF'd, and we've been looking forward to this race for ...well, 5 months now....it would make sense that we would be bummed by the day's events.
The thing is, dnf'ing is part of racing. It happens. Even if you only enter events/distances that you have done a bazillion times, eventually the day will come. Unimaginable, I know, but it will. Brian and I have always known this fact. We also know that we like to take risks (in a relatively controlled environment) when it comes to testing the limits of what we can do. We have always said that when the day comes, and we need to pull the plug, there will be no question that it is the right thing to do. Not because something is hard, or uncomfortable, or we're just tired....but when there is no other choice but to be done for the day, we will know and be ok with it. In a heat induced haze of dizziness, a heart beating out of my chest, burning skin, 1/3 bottle of water left with 1.7 miles to go to the half way point, I had that moment. I knew I had to call it.
|We're off! B is in black just over my shoulder.|
|Sam, RD, half of Brazen|
At the top we were able to pick it up and run again w/o much of a problem. I was surprised that my legs felt so good and i had energy to pick up and run because coming up the hill I was so drained. I badly wanted to pour water over my head, but I was also afraid of running out. We kept running and made it to the 8 mile aid station in about 2.5 hours?? We refilled our bottles (we managed fluids well and both had about one sip left in each bottle when we got to the aid station), made good use of the bucket w/sponges dousing ourselves, stuffed my top with ice, drank, grabbed watermelon and 7up, and headed out. About a mile before the aid station we passed Ernie (you'll see him below), and Alva was at the station when we arrived and left. She looked ok and was just taking a minute to cool down.
We were eating - half a cliff bar, salt pill every hour, FRS energy chews, and sour patch kids- and drinking - this was more tricky since we had 7 miles to go between stations for this section and no mile markers anywhere, it was a guessing game as to how far was left. I drank what I needed to on the climb and figured I could make due w/less on the downhill/flats. We had studied the course map for months and knew basically where we were based on the climb/downhills.
So somewhere near mile 14 I knew that I needed to be done. It did not feel safe anymore, in fact there were quite a few times I was scared. It was just the heat. Everything that was happening was heat related. We have ran further and hiked harder hills before....but not in that heat.
|Me and Mrs. NTL at finish|
There was no doubt we would make the cut off, we had around a mile left and about 45 minutes. It was downhill and flat, a few rollers but not major hills. I started asking Brian if he would continue if I dropped at the next station (mile 15.6). He said as long as he knew I was safe, he would keep going. I told him with out a doubt I needed to be done. I knew coming out of the 15.6 station there was another steep exposed hill, and there was just no way i was going to be able to climb it. Once I told him I was done I slowed way down, walked everything, even the downhill/flat sections. I told him a few times that if he was going to continue he needed to pick it up and get going, but after talking it out, he was done. He said he was done, too, that he didnt' want to be stupid and end up getting into trouble. He said he needed to be smart, was starting his new job on Tuesday, and didn't want to do anything to get in the way of that ( I assumed he meant a hospital stay but didnt' want to ask).
So that was it for our racing day. We called it, slowed down, and walked it in. I begged him to let me sit in a pond since we no longer were concerned about the cut off, but he was convinced there were leaches. A runner came up from behind us, she was going to try and make the cut off but was out of water. I told her we were done for the day and gave her my water bottle, and told her to go for it!!
|the copter that came in for 13.1 runner.|
I was alone for the first time on this run. Every now and again I would hear something large in the bushes behind me. I was still overly warm, light headed, and not going to run. If there was something, it was going to have a nice lunch. I kept hearing it, and didnt' really care, i mean I was nervous, but not much I could do. Eventually a horse came out of nowhere and I knew I was not going to be lunch. About then the medical truck came up the trail, so I knew Brian had made it to the station. Eventually I did too, and found Brian wet, red, and sitting in a chair. He had a headache and needed to get cooled down.
|Jasmin, RD, other half of Brazen|
As always, thank you to Brazen for having created an environment where people like us can venture into longer distances without fear of failure or judgement!! Brazen celebrates every runner, from the youngest 5ker, to the elite 50kers, to those of us who have a less than ideal day.
|Outback Steakhouse man|
|50k finishers, and NTL w/Hoover in the back.|
Thanks as well to Save Mount Diablo for all they do, and all they did on race day. To the radio guys...thank you!! Thank you for the ride back to the finish area. I don't know who to thank for having partnered with Outback Steakhouse for the finish area food, but thank you, too!!
I leave you with this - we saw the movie Chimpanzee last night. One of the film makers said "there are easier jobs to have, but they are not nearly as fun".......
There are easier, less challenging hobbies Brian and I could have, but we would not have nearly as much fun!
Here's to many years of adventures and future dnf's to come!!
(Pictures - some are mine, some are from Brazen, and some are from NTL's site)