Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My 50 milers

After my DNF at Palo Duro, I have been reflecting on my ultrarunning record.  I'm slowly crawling out of my post-DNF depression, but still rather disgusted with myself for quitting.  It especially hit home after reading about Bart Yasso's race at Comrades in South Africa and his long history of running through pain (article in Runner's World here).  He has lyme disease yet has continued to race and to inspire others.  But I got a little hot and discouraged so I quit. Wah, wah, big baby.

So here is my illustrious record of 50 milers:
  • October 2009, Palo Duro: finished 13 minutes before the cutoff.  I probably would have laid down on the trail and quit if I hadn't met up with Brett, who was also running his first 50 miler.
  • February 2010, Rocky Raccoon: finished in just over 11 hours.  Not a bad finish, but my ankle hurt so badly I went and had it x-rayed the next day.  Nothing there, I'm just a big baby.
  • February 2010, Cross Timbers: a tough, hilly course, especially compared to the relative flatness of PD and Rocky.  I finished in about 15 hours, close to setting a course record.  The only slower time was set by a man in his 70s.  I probably would have quit this one, but I had to keep going to get back to my car.  I was probably not recovered from Rocky, 2 weeks before.
  • March 2010, Grasslands.  I quit after about 19 miles.  It was cold, wet, and muddy.  I still felt like a wimp, even though only 7 of the 70 starters finished.
  • October 2010, Palo Duro: quit 1/2 way through.
 Not exactly a steller 50 miler resume.  Part of my problem out on the course is the gradual loss of motivation.  I start thinking, I gave up a whole weekend for this?  I could be hanging out at home, playing with the kids, watching college football, working in the yard or around the house.  I missed soccer or football or judo!  I could take Kelly on a date!  And what's the point anyway? 

So, contrary to a recent post, I'm not going to plan on the 100k in Bandera and the 100 miler at Rocky.  I'm not saying I'll never do another 50 miler.  Part of me still wants to run a 100 miler, to try Western States or Leadville.  But part of me says, too, I could just go someplace pretty and run.  I don't need to pay a fee and get a number just to experience a nice trail.  The trail at Palo Duro is great; I love to run it, and it's got some great views.  But one lap gets you all the views and trails.  The next 3 are more of the same.

I'll start running again soon, and I'll probably sign up for another race soon.  I'm still planning on running White Rock since I'm already registered, but after that, I'm not sure what I'll run next.


  1. Wow, I feel your pain on this.

    I just DNF'd a 50 miler on Saturday and am wallowing in self loathing right now.

    People keep telling me I made the right choice, but I can't get over how other people can run through their pain and I couldn't.

    Felt like a sprained ankle at the time. Now, not so sure.


  2. Thanks for your empathy. After I DNF'd at Grasslands, a friend who's an experienced ultrarunner said, don't worry about--it probably won't be your last (not against me, just that many ultrarunners DNF from time to time). Easy to second guess after the fact, right?