Monday, 6 October 2008

My First DNF - Don't Ask

What a disaster this turned into, and what long term damage has it done.

The race itself was a very flat run from St Margaret’s in Hertfordshire, along the Lea Valley into London, finishing near the site of the new Olympic stadium (apparently). Apparently, because I never got there. A nice course with little in the way of climbs (only on small bridges across the river) but with a section on loose gravel and trails that twisted and turned with great regularity. It was these turns that caused the problem.

I was charging along well inside PB pace, in fact a good 20 mins inside PB pace and feeling full of running at 11 miles in 1hr 18 min and not feeling tired, which after the previous 3 weeks I was expecting, however it was the footing that led to my downfall (almost literally), as I ran through the trails that formed a switch-back onto the route I felt a pull on the outside of my right calf, that started to ache almost straight away and gradually got worse as I progressed. The next 5 miles took me 45 minutes and by the time I got to 19 miles I could only run a few strides before hobbling a few more. This was the lowest point I thought until the stomach decided to join in and I started being sick (lasted for another day – but enough info on that). I had to think long term and decided that this was to be my first DNF of my career since 2001. I had to reason with myself that to continue could result in a tear that would seriously jeopardise the MDS and that was more inportant that this.

I knew I could have finished and having done the Shotley race 3 weeks ago knew the distance wasn’t a problem. Perhaps I went off too quick and was over confident, but i felt good for the first section and felt I could really benefit on this run from the training and work I had done in the past few months. Now all I can do is take this week off and try to resume training as soon as I feel able to, I will have to reduce the output when I return, but hopefully, as I have 5 months left I will be back soon enough not to have lost much of the training fitness I have done. A bit of water running this week will help and gym work will continue as before.
Only time will tell.

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