Well, it must happen to the best of us, my first DNF (did not finish) In the grand scheme of things, I probably should not have attempted the run in the first place. Yes, I know excuses are like bowel movements, everyone has them and they all stink, but I will give three valid reasons. Take them or leave them, it is how I am going to get through my dejection.
DNF (well, sortof, see below) Finished second loop (of 3 loops) total of 34.2 miles in 5:09:30
1. My cardiovascular system was severely broken.
On Tuesday of this week I noticed a tickle in my throat. By Wednesday I was coughing up serious lung crap and feeling pretty awful. Thursday and Friday saw me get worse. I was hopped up on Robitussin, Dayquil, Zycam, Vitamin C, and oranges. I had no appetite whatsoever and tried and failed to finish many meals in those last days. On race morning, 3 hours before thr start, I coughed up a piece of phlegm that had the same consistency, but not quite the size of a gummi worm. Yeah, it was pretty gross. I made the attempt anyways, having come this far.
Because I was so sick, my heart rate was higher than it should have been. Early in the week I went for two 6 mile runs with my heart rate monitor. In both cases, I ran about 7:45/mile pace and my heart rate stayed right about 150. During the race, when running a full 1 minute per mile SLOWER, I could not keep my heart rate below 170. My body had shut down. With my heart racing and me trying to keep some semblance of competitive pace, my legs began to show the effects of reduced stamina. My legs are now jello, with it hurting to just move. I tried everything, twice as much sleep as normal, drugs and healthy food trying so hard to recover quickly, and yet I failed.
2. Running the Detroit marathon two weeks beforehand.
2 weeks ago I run 26.2 miles at 7:35/mile pace (and taking my time and feeling great) but in the ultra, I run 34.2 miles at >8:45 pace and feel awful. I was a little injured afterward and it took me a few days to recover. I am not sure that was the best idea. My confidence was certainly way high afterward.
3. I started running again in fall of 2005.
I have only been running for a hair over a year. Only a psycho could believe they could survive a 50 mile race after such a short training time. During the race I cursed myself for failing, having to walk in several spots during the last 8 mile stretch I ran. Here, almost 24 hours afterward as I write this I still feel like a horrible failure. I am not sure how to combat that and get off my self abuse. Nobody else considers me a failure, especially people who know how sick I was.
I am mortal, I guess. Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.