Sunday, July 2, 2017

DLF vs DFN

My first 5K and my 3rd 10K

Every sport, profession, and hobby has it's own set of acronyms and alphabet soup. In running, two race terms are DLF and DFN. Dead last finish and Did not finish.

On Saturday I ran the local Alien Chase. I did a 10K. I finished DLF. But I probably should have finished DFN. There were several reasons the race didn't go well:

  • I haven't done a lot of running lately. 
  • I was on call last week, and I worked almost 30 extra hours between Sunday and Thursday. 
  • I was up late the night before awaiting news of my brother's medical procedure. (He's okay!) 


But I decided to run the 10K anyway. I did okay keeping up my (slow) pace to about the 4 mile (of 6.2) mark. I was maintaining a healthy "lead" of 4th from the end. Then I hit a wall. I would not run another step. I managed to walk the rest of the course. But throughout the final two miles, I wrestled with the questions I've asked before:
How do you know when you have hit your limit? How do you decide if it is time to give up?
I've asked those questions before. Sometimes I push myself and I find I can do it. Other times I give in and back down.

This time, I honestly believe I should have stopped. I should have marked this race off as a DNF. I was not in good shape. The three trailers passed me and finished the course long before me. I thought about stopping and sitting on one of the benches I passed, but I knew I would not get back up. My stomach was bugging me enough I almost used a porta-a-potty! (Almost!)

 When I finally crossed the finish line I had to sit down for a while. When I got in the car, I leaned the seat back and sat with the air conditioner blowing on me. When I stood up to walk in the house, I felt a bit woozy and nauseated. As I laid down, I felt like I needed to vomit, but I was too tired to move. I should have. Fortunately I only had water in my stomach. I returned to bed and stayed there most of the day. I was worn out, had a huge headache, and I could not keep my eyes open.

 I don't know if there is an easy answer to determine when I have reached my limit. How do you decide if it's time to push forward or retreat?

This was just a little bit before I hit the wall.


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