Monday, May 31, 2010

Race Report - Madison Marathon

I've had more than 24 hours to think about how to write this race report, and I still can't come up with anything that sounds good. So I'll just give you the short version. I hurt my back on Friday (a recurring problem that chose Friday morning to flare up). Getting in the car and driving 7 hours didn't help. I woke up Sunday morning feeling optimistic - it was tight, but not unbearable. The race started well, but I could feel my back getting tighter and tighter almost from the start. By the time I hit 7 miles, the pain was coming around to my right hip and starting to go down my leg. I took some walk breaks and tried to stretch, but nothing was helping.

I knew our hotel was at the 11 mile mark. I started thinking about quitting. And then told myself that I couldn't quit, that plenty of people run through tougher conditions and I needed to suck it up and get going. I just kept going, taking frequent walk breaks. As I got closer to the 11 mile marker, I saw my mom and Sophie. And started crying.

I decided to quit. In the end, I figured if I ran the whole way, I would hurt my back more. From past experience, I know the worse it is, the more time I have to take off and the thought of missing 4 plus weeks of running was too much. And, at that point, I knew it would take at least 5 hours to finish. And it was ridiulously hot and humid. I had already stopped sweating and was getting the chills. Heat stroke and a bad back? No thank you.

I feel really crappy about quitting, even though I am 90% sure I made the right decision (the other 10% of me thinks I am a big loser!). So I have my first DNF. May it never happen again.

31 comments:

Marci said...

**hugs** you did the right thing, hope your back is better soon!!

Jill said...

You totally did the right thing. It's not worth it to hurt yourself more. Way to go pushing yourself that far.

Carly said...

I am so sorry! You absolutely did the right thing. As bad as you feel about not finishing the race, you would feel 100 times worse being sidelined for the whole summer if not longer.

I hope your back starts feeling better soon. Hang in there!

P said...

Tell that 10% to keep quiet - you totally did the right thing!! I DNF'd the very first marathon I entered (dehydration and stomach issues put me in the med tent at mile 20). At the time, I felt like such a loser and really struggled with it, but I can look back and put it in perspective. Sometimes it's your day and sometimes it's not - keep yourself healthy so you'll live to run another day.

the dawn said...

don't let that 10% win! you did the right thing and replaying the decision over and over will not help anything. your training was no in vain, you gained fitness and strength! now you just get to decided what to do with it from here.

there are so many variables when it comes to racing and you just can't control all of them all the time. hope you're feeling better soon!

Sarah said...

Sorry to hear that...you did the right thing! I also have a back injury that pops up sometimes. I once started having pain at mile 2, but wanted to finish the 5 I had planned...I ended up barely being able to walk to the bathroom later that day and out of running for weeks. It is good you listened to your body...you are being smart! Hope it is feling better soon!!!

Tish said...

DITTO to what everyone else has said and to what you were smart enough to realize. You absolutely made the right decision. The stars will align and your day will come again, much much sooner than if you had foolishly tried to run with your back and in those conditions.

onelittletrigirl said...

Um...you did NOT quit. You listened to your body.

That said, I know it is a tough pill to swallow. So swallow, wallow and then wash your hands of it and move on.

You STILL kick ass.

Diana said...

You got off the couch and started which is way more than anyone can else say.
I say "CONGRATS" on listening to the voice in your head, for knowing it wasn't right to continue.
Vanity and egos can be are biggest struggles-facing them is what makes us stronger in the end.
Rest up and hope your back is feeling better soon. Do a few TGU's! They always make my back feel strong.

bobbi said...

ugh - I am so sorry! but to echo everyone else, you still kick ass and you totally did the right thing. hope you're feeling 100% soon!

Julie said...

I would of done the same thing. I know that you are disappointed but you were smart to stop. You might of saved yourself from getting injured more. I hope that your back starts to feel better soon:) Hang in there Heather!

DRog said...

Def the right move stopping, what a bummer that totally sucks. It sounds like you get the same thing that happened to me 9 days ago. You fer sure did the right thing, at that point you were just doing damage surviving, not running. Get well.
-D

Marlene said...

Sounds like you made the tough - but smart - decision. So sorry that your back was acting up at JUST the wrong time! I hope you are feeling better and that you can find some redemption soon!

Marlene said...

Sounds like you made the tough - but smart - decision. So sorry that your back was acting up at JUST the wrong time! I hope you are feeling better and that you can find some redemption soon!

Katie A. said...

Sometimes being a smart runner is hard! I am so proud of you for listening to your body! That is the smart runner in you talking!!! I know it sucks to have a DNF, I have one of those, but you will thank yourself the farther you get away from Saturday.
You want to know what went through my mind when I read this? You can sign up for another full really quick! You have all your fitness there, and as soon as your back is feeling up to it, you can try again!
Hugs to you and I hope my package has arrived or will arrive soon!

Teamarcia said...

I'm almost happy to hear you stopped because I did nothing but worry about you out there in the heat. It was HOT and HUMID. even without a bad back it would have been a major chore to finish.
I know giving up on something you've worked so hard toward for so long is tough. But you were wise to cut your losses and live to run another day.
Here's to a speedy recovery and to another marathon under much better conditions!

Jeri said...

I'm so sorry! I know how bummed you must be by this. You definitely did the right thing. You would've been miserable for the rest of the race, and risked a major major injury that could've sidelined you for who knows how long. Head up chin up. What's next?? ;)

I hope your back is feeling better!!

Running Diva Mom said...

Oh, Heather! I'm so very sorry to hear that your back has been troubling you and that you weren't able to finish. I thought of you often during the race -- wondering what you were experiencing during the race and the conditions. It was tough out there. Huge virtual hugs to you. I hope you're feeling better very very soon and are able to get out there again real soon. YOU DID THE RIGHT THING ........... YOU DID!!

Ali said...

there will be other races, other days. Don't beat yourself up. Take care of you and your back.

Heidi said...

Awww, don't beat yourself up. I think you made the right decision. No point in getting yourself so injured that you have to take a ton of time off ... just so that you could say you finished. You definitely made the right choice. Sorry you're having troubles, and that it came up at such a inoppertune time - grrrr. Heal up and get back out there.

Jamoosh said...

The important thing is you will run another day.

Ris said...

I know how you feel all to well, I had to do the same thing this weekend. I had hurt my back on my run on Monday and ended up only making it to 7.5 of my half. Glad to know I'm not the only one struggling with this!

Christine said...

I'm sorry to hear you had to stop. But you did the right thing, it's more important to be healthy! Take your time to recover. Maybe you should sign up for a new marathon anytime soon, that will help to stop thinking about the past and you can start focusing on the future :)

Thanks for your feedback on my blog! ;)

RunMommyRun said...

I'm so sorry things just didn't go your way on race day. I absolutely think that you did the right thing by trusting your head and putting the emotions to the side. It takes a strong person to train for a marathon, but an even stronger one to make a smart, but painful decision to stop running.

Hugs!!!

joyRuN said...

Smart move, girl. I know it sucks not to finish, but it would've been worse to keep going & get really hurt for a result that you wouldn't have been happy with anyway.

wendy_kresha@charter.net said...

Ouch! So smart to stop when you did. It is totally nor worth it to injure yourself over one race. You will be back up and running soon, I know it! Let me know when you start your lake swimming ; )

aron said...

you did the right thing and were VERY smart to stop. there are many who would have tried to push through and would have made it very much worse. you set yourself up for a faster recovery and definitely did the right thing. there will be other marathons!

MCM Mama said...

You made the right choice. It's not worth losing the ability to work out, just to complete a race. Besides, with the wicked heat, you would been dealing with much more than just a sore back.

I know it was a disappointment though.

Hope you are feeling better by now!

LMC said...

I know you must have been terribly disappointed. But, I hope that you are feeling less disappointment and better about your decision to stop. It was definitely the right thing to do for you on that day!! You will run again soon and there will be other marathons. Hang in there and take care of yourself!!

Anne said...

Don't be so hard on yourself...I think you took the toughest and smartest decision. You should be proud of yourself!

Beth said...

You SO did the right thing. Your back is nothing to play around with, and there are many more marathons in your future. Top runners know when it is not their day and save themselves for other opportunities. Good job using your brain!