The 2013 Meet Your Maker 50 mile ultramarathon went off this year with twice as many competitors, over 300, topping the inaugural year's count of just over 140. I was one of the solo competitors who signed up almost a year ago with dreams of finishing the ultra for a second time. After this year's Knee Knacker and the feelings that I had in my body in the following weeks, we set out a plan to deal with the MYM50 ultra, undertrained.
The plan was perfect: start the race, run the first 32kms of it and then exit altogether. The decision made over two weeks ago on a family vacation to Lake Osoyoos was in effect, an effort to mitigate the impending physical beat down that I would have to endure. Attempting to finish an ultra is knowing hot to pull yourself together mentally after your body has quit, then finish on fumes.
I was not looking forward to finishing on fumes, then living the coming weeks on fumes until I replenished myself. Perhaps I am getting soft, perhaps I am getting smarter--all I know is that two days after the race I felt great, and now I look forward to my next ultra (whichever that may be).
Hindsight is always 20/20, and although I would have liked a finishers medal; I admire and think it amazing that the solo and relay racers kept at it for up to 15 hours(!); and I would have loved to experience the finish again, I am better off for the short and long term by not finishing this race.
|Brothers at the dark start: 5:30 AM.|
My rationale is simple: in the current condition that I am in, some of the best shape of my life, I am not fit enough to deal with the stress of the run and the recovery that goes with it. This was covered extensively in the last posting.
|On Comfortably Numb...|
|Our graceful departure with MYM owner/ visionary Kathryn Stanton|
As for the pre-race festivities, it went as follows: starting with the package pick-up--a meet up with Tom Craik and James Marshall; a pre-race dinner with some fabulous people--a dinner that I was late too, but had heard the briefing all before one year ago; a great second dinner with the family, beauty sleep that was only 4 hours long.
|Former Kamloopsians turned ultra runners. Marian Bryan and me--her team won the womens catagory!!|
Her team had the best socks ever!!
|Sean and me with ultra-runner/ crazyman Sam Chiu. Sam would finish this year in 11:49:00|
The best part of the morning? Finishing up on base 2, knowing that I could have gone on, but stopping and pulling the plug. A wonderful feeling--DNF'ing with dignity, not all cramped up, decrepit, injured, delirious, and spent on the side of the road/ trail in the fetal position wanting my Mommy. That would have sucked.
No--this race was halted on my own terms. I am grateful--this was a fantastic training run for the Victoria Marathon in 5 weeks. In total, I managed to run 94 kms the week following MYM50--my longest total since before the Chuckanut 50. My foot feels great, my legs and body have no pain, and I am pumped to run again, recharged and ready to start. It has been a long time since I have been this motivated to run.
This fall, I am looking forward to some XC running races, and most importantly, the Canadian National Championships at Jericho beach.
Have you ever felt great about a DNF?
Have you ever planned to DNF in a race?
Share your story!!