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.