Today was nearly a DNF….

….and for those of you who know me, that’s not what I do.

My relationship with running is tricky at best. But today it was tested to the limit.

I signed up to do the Dorset Invader half marathon on the back of the fantastic Sydling Bell Race a few weeks back. White Star Running events are brilliant events with stupendous bling….. and it was only a half marathon…. I’ve done 3 before – should be ok 🙂

It was a warm day – to say the least – I heeded the warning about “Blandford Fly” and bearing in mind the reaction I had to a couple of bites in Denmark – I applied insect repellent. It really is disgusting stuff – you stink and no matter how hard you try you always manage to get it on your hands – and consequently in your mouth…. sheesh it’s bad :-/

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Once the horn sounded and the horse went off (I know…it’s a white star event….anything can happen), we all charged down the hill…we were on our way….straight up a hill. I’m soooo glad this wasn’t a hilly race 🙂 haha!

I was fine for about 10k…enjoying myself even……but then I started noticing I couldn’t get my breath quite….I was starting the wheeze…..not something that has afflicted me before. We were running (term used loosely here) between 2 fields of wheat and it just got worse…. I started to panic… this just made it worse, I couldn’t breathe properly….I started walking and concentrated on calming down my breath by breathing through my nose….

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We slowed right down from here on in. I made it to the Love Station and took my time to eat some bits and pieces and take on fluid. All the marshals were great – all dressed up and helpful. Several cokes and pretzels later we set off.

The wheezing didn’t really let up so we just kept a steady walk and got round. I’m pretty sure I would have stopped and withdrawn at the love station if Dave hadn’t have been with me – it was a scary but I really didn’t want to quit – the bling was calling and I am not a quitter.

We crossed the line 3 hours and 12 mins (we crossed the line together – did I mention it was our wedding anniversary? – 33 years today – weather was much the same actually now I think about it) and I was wheezing really badly – I had to sit down and calm down- Strava tells me it was the 2nd best Half Marathon effort – so the other ones I’ve done must have been short. I must have felt bad….. I didn’t even care about the bling….and look at it, it’s lush… it’s huge and a thing of beauty 😀

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As we drove away I was feeling so disappointed with myself….like I’d let myself down somehow, but I really couldn’t breathe. This was my first long trail event and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I was so excited about it and the bling, but do I want to go through all that again? My hips and back hurt. I’m pretty sure my symptoms were a result of the heat and the dust (I hope so anyway)

It’s left me questioning my ability – and consolidated some thoughts about future events (you know what you are…..) I know I’m not a strong runner, but things have been improving since the JCC…. my legs felt ok, but what if it happens again? and I’m not in the position where I have Dave (my rock) with me….

I’ve got the East Farm Frolic coming up in August – same location – shorter course. Lets test it all again then and hope this was a one off 🙂

DNF is not me – but today it was close :-/

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6 thoughts on “Today was nearly a DNF….

  1. Easy to beat yourself up but try not to (especially when you’re tired). I was also really struggling yesterday. I know my training has been pretty dismal lately but even with that counted in I came in really behind even my lowest expectations and I struggled to enjoy it much! Similarly left feeling grumpy and kicking my efforts. The heat for me was a killer. I struggled to muster much energy unless I was in shade (and there wasn’t enough of that). Don’t let it put you off the longer trails though… Each one feels very different and on another day you’ll find you have a great race with none of these probs! Just one of them things. Hopefully the breathing issue was a random reaction to the conditions or flora.

    • Thanks Stu… appreciate your comments. I wanted to do well and wasn’t expecting it to be so hard. The heat was horrid…

  2. Cathy, you finished it in a great time still and not being able to breath!! What an achievement is that. Always impressive, but you never realise how good you really are xxx

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