I failed to DNF

This morning, I had planned to DNF at Around the Bay. I simply wasn’t ready for the 30K so the plan was to run the half-marathon distance, get picked up along the course by the boys (who would be coming from Church) and head home. I had arranged for a ride out to Hamilton and had Daddy prepped to take the little guys to their respective Church choir practices at 9:00, sit through the service, wait through another set of rehearsals and, then, head out to Hamilton to pick me up. Now, Daddy is a nighthawk and works until 2:00 a.m. so mornings are not easy for him; simply getting him to agree to all of this was accomplishment alone.
Late yesterday afternoon, all of my plans went wayside when I learned that the race start was at 9:30, not the 10:00 that I had planned for. That will teach me to be nonchalant about a race! This meant that I would be finished running and the boys would still be a 30 minute drive away. Daddy suggested that I run the entire 30K, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid doing by planning on 21K. I knew that I could if I had to, but I still wanted him to pick me up just past the half-marathon point. He repeated that I should just do the 30K and he’d meet me at the finish.

Starting temperatures were just over 0C and there were 7000 people on the course, which meant for a slow start, but each kilometre seemed to pass really quickly. I ignored my watch (okay, I forgot to start it) but paid attention to what the tech-savvy were reading off their garmin. At many points, I realized that I was picking up my pace and tried to slow down, but the runners whom I tried to pace myself off, were generally a polite bunch, apologized and kept letting me pass them.
By the time I got to the 21K point, my legs stopped. Physically and mentally, I did not run any more; I was done. But I wasn’t discouraged as I did what I planned; I ran 21K in 1:46 (according to the guy with a garmin). Now, I just had to look for hubby and keep moving to stay warm. A few times, I borrowed cell phones from spectators to call him and find out where he was but there was no answer. I kept walking, picked up an injured runner around 24K and walked with him until 26K. This gave me a great excuse to continue with my trek through downtown Hamilton in search of my family and warm clothes.
But then the rain started. Running dude assured me that he was fine so I left him and took off. My pace shocked me (I was worried about my legs tightening after walking for so long in the cold) and passed hundreds of runners in the last 3K. That was a blast! I smiled for the cameras on the way in – something I never have the energy to do – and waved my arms overhead as I crossed the finish line. So, yup, I failed to DNF.
The official 30K race time is 3:10:29 (chip time 3:08:05) – not bad for someone who wasn’t going to run the whole thing.
Splits are: 10K – 51:35
15K – 1:16:35
20K – 1:41:27
21K – 1:46 (according to the guy with the garmin, giving me a 5:15 pace)
I finally found Hubby and the boys outside Copps Coliseum. The fact that they went to the finish really didn’t bother me. Hubby’s comment about my time, though, did – especially when I had planned to DNF 9 kilometres earlier.
Number 2 jumped into my arms and wanted to race me back to the car and, to my surprise, I could. It must have been the Superman sticker he made me wear all day yesterday so that I could have super powers.
It was a definitely a day of Superlove from start to finish.

4 Replies to “I failed to DNF”

  1. This is a great story! Good for you for getting through the whole thing and doing it in fine fashion. I'll bet the warm/dry clothes felt awesome when you finally got them.

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