Dnf. Meh. I had my second one on Saturday. Only a local 7 mile race. A race I have won before back in 2016 but then had a total nightmare on in 2017 due to my personal life really getting in the way of my running life, tres inconvenient. And then this year I really wanted to come back and put those demons to rest yet somehow managed an even worse outcome despite being in a totally different place to that of 12 months ago. In fact, I think my running in general is worse this year despite this being one of the happiest times of my life. So what the hell is going on?
This weekend, I raced on Friday night (and won, woooo) at a new race over in Holbrook. A hot and hilly trot around the local villages. Less than 24 hours later was Crich Monument race, another tough event in the midday heat. The initial run up and out of the village and through the nearby fields and woodlands passed by without too much problem. I got myself into 2nd position and felt comfortable enough. However, by the time we reached the flat stretch along the Cromford Canal the stifling air started to get to me. Everyone I had just passed on the downhill overtook me and my pace got slower and slower. By the time we had reached the uphill departure from the towpath I felt sick and exhausted, barely able to muster a walk let alone maintain any kind of race position. Upon reaching a friendly marshal I had decided enough was enough. There was nothing in the tank to give to the final few miles and if I was going to have to walk the rest of the route holding back the vomit there frankly didn’t seem much point continuing. Disappointing and tears at Crich yet again but the right decision.
Last year I ran a lot, be it racing or training. I had more time on my own and it was a great way to get out and see friends and also to clear my head. This year I have a lot less time to dedicate to running but for good reason. A new relationship has meant there have been different activities to try, weekends away, nights out, nights in, good food and new friends. But that’s ok, because sometimes it’s good to remember there is more to life than running or racing. It can become a bit all encompassing at times but taking a step back is sometimes needed.
So despite my dnf being upsetting and incredibly frustrating, I know why it happened and what is needed to try to avoid one in the future. However, it is not the end of the world and will more than likely happen again at some point. We come back stronger from these things and a little bit of perspective helps us to learn from them too. Next year if I actually train for that race rather than just turn up and hope for the best like usual, who knows what could happen.
Happy running x