You hear about it all the time but I never thought it would happen to me. As a runner, I know I am certainly not invincible. Injuries will happen, not all runs are going to be good.
Then it happened, out of nowhere, and without any warning, the dreaded D word occurs! Yes, the good ol’ DNF – Did Not Finish. It took me by surprise really. I mean, there I was months before race day training my little heart out. Sure training was tough, and did not always go the way I had hoped for, but I was excited to take on marathon #4 for better or for worse.
Five days before the big day I got sick! I rarely get sick, but when I do, it hits me like a sack of bricks. I am laid out helpless, feeling less than adequate. I tried to fight it with the combo of vitamins, medicine, miso soup, green tea and lots of liquids. At least I was hydrated right? Nothing seemed to work, but I had already decided that I was going to run Marathon #4 anyway.
Race morning came and it was a wet one. Stormy weather was certainly an understatement. I tried to keep myself in good spirits as I met up with friends and laughed away my woes at the start line. I felt pretty strong the first few miles. Rain? What rain! It was actually fun chatting with friends and taking on mother nature in all her glory. It wasn’t until mile five that my body started shutting down. Just like the Wicked Witch of West, I felt like I was melting. I felt nauseous, experienced a headache, and nevermind breathing. I was miserable. All I wanted to do was curl up in a little ball and sleep forever and a day.
I somehow got through to the halfway point where I called it quits. I was sad and I admit there were tears, but I was confident in my decision. Running in the rain can be fun, but it is certainly not ideal when sick. So, I did not complete marathon #4. I was super bummed it’s true, but luckily, there will be other races to run (especially since the world has not yet ended).
Running is unpredictable. No race will ever be the same as the one before, and that is exactly why I love racing. Things don’t always go according to plan. From this experience I learned to expect the unexpected, roll with the punches, and carry on…Or run on in this case. So the dreaded D word happened to me, and while I certainly can’t add it with pride to my running resume, I am happy that I can still hold my head up, throw my shoulders back, and smile, as I stride on down this road of life.