Ice Age 50k DNF

May 2013 261Some days, you just can’t get ‘er done. Saturday was one of those days for me.

I had registered for the Ice Age 50 several months ago since the race fills so quickly. There are three race distances to choose from—the half marathon, 50k, and 50 mile. I picked the 50 mile race, which I had participated in each of the past three years.

Long story short, I’ve encountered a number of running injuries this year that have set back my training. As the race drew nearer, I knew I wouldn’t be ready¬† to run 50 miles. Luckily, the race director allowed me to switch to the 50k. Although the injuries improved, it was still difficult to get in the training miles I needed. Still, I thought I could somehow bust out a 50k when race day came along.May 2013 264

The reality is that I totally underestimated the distance and terrain. Although I felt great for the first 10 miles or so, the lack of training and the pain in the ball of my foot (further aggravated by the steep, rocky descents) caught up to me and forced me to reevaluate whether it would be smart to finish the race. I knew I could get it done if I had to, but really, would it be worth sacrificing a summer of biking and running? Not to mention that whole Ironman training stuff. And so at the end of the first Nordic Loop (22 miles), I pulled off my race chip and told the race director that I wasn’t going to be able to finish.

Although it bothers me to think that I quit, I also think it’s important to realize your own limitations and goals. I didn’t invest enough in this particular race in terms of training to be upset or disappointed with the result. Instead, I am focusing on reflecting on and appreciating all of the other days when things did work out and my training and race day came together flawlessly.

In the parking lot after the race, I spotted a “DNF” sticker on the back of a car and it made me chuckle. I’m chalking this one up to a great training run, a beautiful day on the most magnificent trails in Wisconsin, and a fun time seeing so many longtime running buddies. And I will definitely be back next year.

Category: Racing and Training One comment »

One Response to “Ice Age 50k DNF”

  1. Krista

    Ah, the great Ice Age DNF. Welcome to the club. We’re a gentle people. ;) Good for you for making a smart decision out there! It’s so easy to underestimate a race and distance you’ve done over and over and over before. But boy, training sure comes in handy when you least expect it. Running always finds a way to humble us JUST when we think we’ve got it under control. You will totally be back and get redemption for both of us — because I’m never going back to that course. Hehe. ;)

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