Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reactions to DNF in Spain

I've had about a week to take-in the unfortunate events that occurred in Spain at the Duathlon World championships. Going in, as you may have read from my previous posts, I was feeling confident in my running, having returned to a feeling I hadn't seen in quite some time. I had produced some promising solo results and was more than ready to mix it up with the world Duathlon elites.

Pre-race, I felt fresh. I had had a good week of laying low and the mini workouts leading up to the race were promising. Race day showed ideal weather and no big surprises. The gun went off like any sort of big running race. Immediately a lead pack formed with a few anxious athletes off the front - they would undoubtedly come back. I wasn't aware of any splits being given out during the first run but I did hear post-race that the first 5k was fast, around 14:30. At about the 6.5-7km mark, like an explosion, my entire right abdominal section from my waist to my ribs seized. I tried to run through it over the next 400 meters, attempting any anti-stitch technique I could think of but it only worsened. By the end of that quarter-mile, it seized up so much that I was having trouble breathing and I wound up tearing muscles in both the upper and lower sections of my abdomen. 

My race was over.

I couldn't decide what was more painful, my abdomen or watching the group run away from me. Again I say, my race was over and it was simply surreal. Everything was lost. I had worked so hard; put in so much time and for what? This? No. In disbelief, I tried once more to get back on course but it was unbearable. What I was hoping would be a top 10 finish or even better turned into a DNF - not how I saw this one panning out.

While this result was completely defeating and demoralizing, at times like this I must rely upon my ideologies. I am an optimist through and through and I believe these types of events happen for a reason (credit is due to my wife for reminding me when I didn't want to be reminded). 

It took a little while for all this to settle in which is why I'm getting back to you all only now. My conclusion of it all: I am still HERE. There will be ANOTHER day. I WILL race again. In this profession where bad days certainly happen, you must be teflon-like. You have to deal with the cards you're dealt on that given day and tell yourself there will be another hand of cards. Letting this sort of guff bother you for too long will only hurt you down the road. With that, my plan is to take what I can from this experience, channel it into something useful and get ready for next season. 

For those who had already heard, thank you for your kind, supportive remarks. I'm going to heal up as quick as I can and get right back into it!

Thanks for checking in, talk soon!