My First DNF……A rough One

The first weekend in May was a busy one for me, I had Ft Carson Military Sprint on Saturday and Sunday I was set to attempt my very first 50k, keeping in mind I have never officially pushed beyond a half marathon.  It’s ok to call me crazy at this point.

Saturday was great, lap 1 I ran with Colorado Obstacle Racers.  This is the group I travel and race with, they are supportive, helpful, and extremely encouraging.   Find them on Facebook!!!

Lap 1 was at a nice slow pace, Heather and I both knew we had a 50k the next day and didn’t want to push it too hard.   The course was at a new location, which meant something completely different for us.   Trail running is great especially in areas you are unfamiliar with!   Made it through the first set of obstacles and hit the rope climb.  I am so bound and determined to actually get this rope climb but failed, so 30 burpees!! This is something I want to achieve by the end of the race season, have a few more to get this down at.  I missed the spear throw but pretty much always do 🙂 another I should probably practice more at.   We kept on moving along at our slow but steady pace, and hit the inverted wall.   For some reason I usually struggle with this one, but this time Heather and I went up and over with ease.   Holy crap we were almost ninjas!

Bucket carry and A-frame were up next.   Bucket carry is always a hard one especially with the terrain, this one happened to be brutal, but still got through it slowly but surely.   Up the hill to the A-Frame Cargo and back down to the moats and dunk wall.   The final obstacle happened to be the slip wall.  I honestly don’t know what it is about Colorado but the mud is ridiculously slick……So when it comes to the slip wall its a bad combo.   Jeff was at the top of the wall which I was thankful for …..I made it up most of the way the first time face planted and slid back down.   Wasn’t going to give up on this one the second time I made it up all the way with the help of Jeff and the volunteer that was working that obstacle.  If it weren’t for the help I wouldn’t have made it.

Colorado obstacle Racers got the biggest team!  So we got to hear the announcement and a picture taken! It is great be part of such an awesome group of people!

Well I decided I needed to run a second lap, because I had convinced quite a few people from my Crossfit Box to go and run this race.  Wouldn’t be fair of me to get them to run and not go with them.  Second lap was take it easy lap since I knew I had a 50k the next day, my foot and shin had started hurting but I didn’t think anything of it.   I continued on and was able to get to the point where they called the race for lightning, the people I was running with stayed back but I had to go and work the Street Team Tent.   Best part of this is that they LOVE the obstacle racing now.  WHICH IS AWESOME!

That following day Heather and I traveled to Cimarron, Colorado to run a 50k.    You know just 31 miles 😉 I was nervous as can be about this race, wondering if I was going to be capable to do something as outrageous as run a 50k.

A lot weighed on my shoulders starting this race.  This was a lot of miles to take on considering I had never even officially ran a marathon.   Heather stuck with me the whole race.  There was A LOT of walking and some jogging.  You see before the race even started my shin and toe were bothering me.  I had an ingrown toe nail, which I just taped up and didn’t think anything of.   It’s just a  toe nail, how bad could it be?

The miles clicked by slowly and my foot started to hurt more and more, despite that Heather and I laughed and had a good time,  She is truly a great friend for sticking with me through all of that!  At the turn around point I noticed blood seeping through my tennis shoe…..yeah the toe nail must not have been very happy.    I decided to keep going.  The next 6.5 miles were excrutiating.  I was fighting a lot of demons, I wanted to finish so badly but my body was telling me no.   Not only was my toe and shin mad, but I did a good job of pissing off the lupus.   My whole body hurt, everything.   The lupus was in full on rebellion mode considering what I was trying to tackle!

At the next water station, I made the hardest decision I have ever made in my life.   I chose to not finish the race.   I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t have made the time cut off, and knew if I kept going I was going to only hurt myself more.   So I got my first DNF.    This hit me hard.   This was the first time that I have ever put my mind to something and trained and didn’t accomplish what I was going for.   I did have a break down, who wouldn’t after something like that.   I had made it 22 miles and couldn’t do anymore.   I was disappointed and upset with myself and trust me stopping was the hardest thing I have done to date.  If you know me I don’t give up easily or stop and quit.   But I know I had to this time, it was the smart thing to do.

Heather wanted to stop with me as well and I was having none of that, she still had time to be able to finish so I told her she needed to continue on.    The volunteers took me back to the start line and John was there and saw the defeat in my eyes.  Hell I am crying right now typing this.   I broke down.   I was beyond disappointed and upset.  He explained that it’s ok that DNF’s happen.  But for me it was so much more, I had trained for this and couldn’t complete it.

I am finally accepting that it was truly ok to stop.   Even though I didn’t finish my 50k, I will be back to attempt another one again!  Trust me this isn’t going to last long.   So i will continue training and improving who I am.    I will complete a 50k, to prove that I can and because now I want to.

I didn’t get any pictures during my 50k but got some great shot during my two laps at Ft Carson.   This one set back will not slow me down, I am going full force ahead !! Watch out world you have an angry and determined Cassidy to watch out for. 🙂

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