DNF – Yankee Springs Double Marathon

Two days later it still stings.  My first DNF.  Can I run 52.4 miles?  Sure, I know I can. . . just keep pressing forward right?  Relentless Forward Progress.  Stay on top of your hydration, eat something at each aid station and take your S-Caps.  Easy enough, right?  What happens when your plan fails?  You reach up to wipe your sweat with your shirt, only to realize that what was once a soaking wet shirt is now oddly dry.  You also then realize that the wiping motion is only a habit, not necessary as there really is no sweat to wipe.  Uh oh!

Yankee Springs Double Marathon this past Saturday was quite an experience.  Staying in a rustic cabin less than a 1/4 mile from the race start was quite nice.  After taking Kylee out to potty, I mosied my way over to the start line as I heard 5…4…3…2…1…HORN!!!  Oh, crap. . .guess we are off.  Shortly, I realized I didn’t have my SpiBelt on. . . doh!  Good thing the cabin is right on the course, bad thing I won’t see it for 13 more miles.  I did have a pack of Honey Stinger chews and my handheld, so no big worries there.  I also was right with my running buddies for the first loop, so they could help out with S-Caps.  First loop was pretty uneventful.  I just enjoyed the course, especially “Pine Land” where there were so many pine trees and pine needles.  I noticed the humidity kicking up at the end of the loop and knew I better keep on top of my hydration.  A quick stop for a swig of ice cold Coke, SpiBelt and a Kylee kiss left me out on my way for Loop 2, just a little over 3 hours for the first loop.  Right on target.

The sun came out, the humidity seemed to rise more and the stupid deer flies decided it was time for snacking on this loop.  It started out nice enough.  I was cruising right along and kind of finding my happy pace.  The loop was going by faster than the first.  I was sweating like crazy though.  Thoughts of running Afton with Jenster and MK were floating through my mind, especially in the open sunshine parts.  I was hoping that someone would be as awesome as those little girls at Afton with their freezer pops at the next aid station, but no such luck.  I did start having my hand held filled with ice and increased my chew consumption.  I felt my energy draining toward the end of this loop, so I figured eating and drinking more would help a bit.  At the last Aid Station I caught up to two folks in my running group, who were struggling as well.  I did the math and for all the fluid I was drinking, I hadn’t went to the bathroom at all. . . bad sign.  We discussed our status and decided we would attempt a third loop and see how we felt for a fourth and final loop.  Good plan and thankfully, at the end of the loop I had success in potty department.

Crossing through the start/finish area is always a boost and though the 2nd loop had taken about 15 mins longer than the first, I was still on target for a finish in the 14 hour course limit.  Positive thoughts and stay on top of my fueling.  The three of us stuck together and powered along.  Before we hit the first Aid Station, I had downed 20 oz of Nuun.  20 oz. in roughly 4 miles seemed like alot.  I kept quiet about it though, so as not to worry my running buddies.  I refilled with ice, pb n j and a Coke, but still felt a little off.  This is when I realized I was no longer sweating.  My irritability for the use of crunchy pb, the deer flies and the mosquitoes was quite apparent, as I began to curse like a sailor for much of the next 3 or 4 miles.  I also confessed that I wasn’t sweating anymore and I was almost out of another 20 oz of fluids about a 1/2 mile from the next Aid Station.  Papa Bill took over here and the three of us walked it in to the Aid Station where it was confirmed that 4pm was the cutoff.  We would need to cover the next 6 or so miles in an hour and a half to make it.  As our pace had slowed considerably and we were all in some state of dehydration, we knew it would be our final loop.

Thus, began the shuffle of shame.  I wanted to sit down in the middle of the trail and cry.  At one point I did stop, dead center of the trail, nothing to hang on to and said, “I need to stop for a second, I feel like I may pass out.”  What.a.moron.  Usually, when one feels dizzy and about to pass out, they lean on something.  Not this girl.  Nope, just stand right in the middle of the trail.  Doh!  We all asked Mother Nature to please rain on us, but no luck there either.  Needless to say we finished up the last loop together and in fairly decent shape – coherent, upright and somewhat hydrated.  Coming around the last corner, I heard Kylee barking.  I yelled, “There’s mommy’s girl!” and she nearly pulled poor Lori’s arm out of it’s socket as she charged toward me.  I grabbed her leash and we crossed the “finish” line with Bill and Andrea.  What a day! There were no tears, probably because I didn’t have any.  39.3 miles completed!  My first DNF earned.  Now to buy that DNF sticker!

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