Start Time: 4/6/08, 7:50am
Location: East Potomac Park, mostly
Distance: 5 miles
Average Pace: 8:58min/mile
Total Miles For April: 5 miles
Bleah. This was an important lesson—when to not run a race. I was still feeling a little cruddy from the National Half Marathon eight days earlier, and when I woke up it was cold and raining on and off. With 20/20 hindsight, I should have just stayed home and scratched the race. But my pride got the better of me, and suddenly I was on the last possible train downtown to get to the start on time. Now, at that point what I should have done was just run the 5K instead, I think I might’ve enjoyed that a lot more. But instead I hopped into my corral right as the one in front of it was starting, and headed off into the crappy weather.
Well, how I felt matched the weather quite nicely. Within a mile I was regretting running. Within two miles I began to seriously wonder why I was there. And at mile three I was trying to remember when the course swung near the start again, so that I could quit. This was the first time I’d ever quit a race and gotten the dreaded DNF (did not finish). And I won’t lie, at the time I was utterly destroyed by it. I felt horrible, and down, and just… yeah, really really bad. Looking back on it now, the fact that I was in fact in the middle of a full-blown cold (and not just allergies like I’d thought) certainly wasn’t helping matters. But it was absolutely the right thing to do. The fact that about five minutes after I quit, it started raining again? A bit of vindication.
So, my first and hopefully last DNF. Next time? If it comes down to that I hope I was smart enough to not even start. (8:49, 8:44, 8:42, 9:02, 9:34)