DNF: Did Not Finish…

On June 6, I ran part of the Hospital Hill Run, a half marathon here in Kansas City. I was really excited about the run – my fitness was in a good place and I was going to give it an “A” effort. I had a sweet low bib number. I thought I might have a PR in me, and I was gunning for a sub 1:30. I don’t run many half marathons – in fact the HHR is pretty much the only one I do every year.

However, I made a mistake. I decided to try some beet juice for a little endurance boost. Like this. I know, nothing new on race day. However, in my defense, I did try it out the day before, with no side effects. If it makes any difference, the only variety of beets they had at the store were “orange” beets. Apparently the other runners had gobbled up all the normal red beets.

So, on race morning I juiced up a few beets and drank it down. I didn’t feel good from the get-go. Nausea. I couldn’t get my usual espresso down. On the car ride to the race, I thought I was going to have to ask my friend John’s dad to pull over. When we got there, plenty early, the feeling subsided, and I was able to go on a little warm-up run with John. I was cautiously optimistic that I was going to be ok.

Here are a few shots of me in the first couple of miles, still cautiously optimistic:

race_1264_photo_19574854race_1264_photo_19575092 race_1264_photo_19605817

Anyhow, coming to the top of the first long hill (Hospital Hill, the namesake) I felt increasingly like I was going to barf. I had managed to stay out in front of the 1:30 pace group, but I could tell that I was going to be sick if I kept running. I pulled it over around mile 3. I was really disappointed – it was my first ever DNF. I’ve run through nausea before, but this was different since it was food related.

I walked in the “breakdown” lane for a while until I came to a spot where I could watch for my wife. She had changed her outfit and she saw me before I saw her. I tried to run with her, but couldn’t, so I took the 10k cutoff and walked back to the finish line area (not through it, of course). John had a great run – sub 1:30!

Lesson learned. I’m using it as motivation. I’m going to run a 10k on July 4th. Sans beet juice.