The Unelite Athlete

Another disappointing DNF?!

This is a subject that I think I should cover now, while the wounds are still fresh from last weekend. There really is no easy way to deal with it. The fact that sometimes you put in the work, and on the day something happens that is out of your control, and bang – game over!

That’s what happened to me, when I was just over 12 hours into the biggest race of the year and gunning down a 100 mile finish. The main race report will be coming soon but, for now I’ll just concentrate on the point at hand, the point that has been forefront on my mind!

So, I was on target and feeling great. After having no stomach issues, no real fatigue in the heat, and just generally having a good day, night had fallen and I was ready for a night of jogging around the course, and feeling the cool breeze that the darkness offered. Halfway around a lap, I felt a feeling in my right leg that can only be described as a bike chain coming off it’s cog.

Bang! An immediate stand still, followed by the pain of dragging myself back to the physio. I received the recommendation that I knew was coming but, always dread hearing. If I didn’t pull the pin I would end up doing permanent damage. Not something you want to hear, let alone it being only halfway in and you feeling ready to really turn up the night. My IT band (a tendon that runs up your leg from your knee to your hip) had decided it had done enough for one day.

So that was that. My race was ran, my day was done. No finish line glory this time. It’s something that is really hard to deal with. Looking around for a reason why it happened. Was it not enough training, not enough rest, not enough strength work, not enough recovery? All these thoughts, and no answers. There is always one more question I ask myself though. Is this the end? The point at where I decide enough is enough because it’s the forth time that I haven’t managed to run 100 miles?!

This is the important part of the story. There is always a point where you are standing at a metaphorical crossroads, one side means quit and the other means go back for more. I’ve ran out of reasons to stop now. I think I need to do this. I need to keep pushing forward for however many more attempts it takes because I refuse to think that I can’t do it.

This is the type of mentality you need in running, especially if you get a DNF (did not finish). You can give something a go, it might not go your way but, even if you fail more than once, you pick yourself up and dust yourself off.

If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. That’s my take on it anyway.

This Japanese proverb reflects an important and shared ideal: “Nana korobi ya oki” (literally: seven falls, eight getting up) means fall down seven times and get up eight. This speaks to the Japanese concept of resilience. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you get up again.

I fully intend to follow this advice and while I need to recover, I will get back up again!

Photo Source: Presentation Zen

Catch up with you soon,




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