Javelina Jundred Jaunt
Javelina was not at all what I had anticipated it to be. For nearly 365 days, I talked, thought and trained for it. I told everyone that I knew who would be there to not let me drop – no matter what.
What I didn’t anticipate on race day was feeling like I had a lead monkey attached to each leg. It’s not at all unusual to feel horrible for the first 5 miles in any run or race, but I eventually shake it off and feeling horrible soon becomes a distant memory. This was not the case on race day, a day I planned to run an average of 9:30…all day! 9:30 is such an easy pace to maintain for me — anything slower and it actually becomes painful, well on this day, it felt like I was on the tenth mile of a 6:30 pace tempo run. Not good.
The way this course is set up, we run six 15.4 mile loops and then a smaller loop to finish out 101.4 miles. We alternate directions of the loops every other lap. It was on my first lap that I suspected something was off and it just never got better. As I headed in to finish my first loop, greeted by my wonderful crew (Andy and Ashley), I grabbed my new handhelds, a few bites of whatever and I headed in the opposite direction to start my second loop.
Around mile 20 in my second loop, I found myself struggling to even keep going, and that 9:30 pace was extremely difficult. Finally after around 22 miles, I got a very short second wind until the finish of the second loop.
Around two miles into my third loop, I knew I just couldn’t continue for an additional 60 miles in this condition. Even with all the runners passing me telling me I was literally a minute away from the first woman, I just couldn’t do anything more than what I was doing. About halfway through this lap I decided to run/walk. Running was too painful, my hip flexors were extremely tight and walking was just plain horrible in the dead of the desert heat. I had told myself I was done when I finished this lap, there was no way I could continue and I was in a lot of pain.
As I finished this third loop, I headed to my crew and none of them could accept my decision to DNF. I had accepted this fate well before I reached them, but all they knew was that I had told them to keep me going and to not let me quit. As I sat in the chair, each one approached me with words of wisdom and some sort of encouragement to get me back out there. At this point, I was not at all concerned about my finishing time, I was looking at this from a standpoint that I knew I could not get through the rest of the race running. After a long period of time, and coaxing from everyone around, I hesitantly headed out for my fourth loop receiving a standing ovation from everyone around. Almost immediately I changed my mind and headed back to my crew. Realizing it would be a non-stop fury of everyone telling me I could still do it, I decided, “fine, I will go out another lap.” I ran for about 1.5 miles before I coaxed a guy named Van, who was walking, to keep me company for the rest of the loop.
Van and I, actually, it seemed like I was the only one talking, walked the entire loop. As the sun set, we finished our loops and I told my crew I was REALLY done. After a half hour, I finally snuck over to the timing chip and called it. I was done. Not happy, not sad, just done for the day.
What annoyed me about my DNF was having to explain to people at the event why I felt this way. I knew why and even when I told them, I felt that all they saw was a quitter. To them it was more important that I continue on, even if it meant a 30-hour finish. I am sorry, but that is not an option for me. This was not my day regardless of the race distance. I refuse to say that the 100-mile distance got me again and I really don’t see the point of marching day and night to get a buckle. Good for you if you want to suffer and prove something, personally, I have bigger goals to achieve and that is to hopefully run a week after this fiasco instead of limping or being injured for a long period of time.
For a few days after the race I did find myself limping, my flexors hated me and my left ankle hurt(s). It doesn’t matter what you think, that is not normal. I made the right decision and I can’t wait to go running tomorrow. 🙂