As many of you know, I received my very first DNF at the SpeedGoat 50K on July 19th. Although, I was somewhat disappointed that I missed an aid station cutoff, I was not terribly upset. Like most people who have failed, you want to look back, reflect and learn from that failure. In this instance, I concluded the following:
- Even though I was consuming 2 bottles of water between aid stations, I was still battling dehydration which significantly slowed my pace during the 2nd half of the race;
- You can never do to much hill work. The 5 – 9 mile long climbs to the top of mountains was unrelenting;
- Hiking poles appeared to be of great assistance to many especially during the latter stages of the race; and
- It is very hard from someone training at sea level to not struggle at altitude. As noted in my previous blog, only about 4% of those who finished were not from the arid mountainous west.
So, as I ponder my Lessons Learned and use them to prepare for the upcoming Pine to Palm 100, I have discovered that I may be more sensitive to the DNF than I originally thought. As the days have passed, I have picked up my training and have had very good runs. However, I have a ‘good friend’ who has been somewhat unrelenting in his teasing and ridicule. I have requested that he refrain from the negativity; however his actions persist. It is only now, that I am questioning myself.
Can I complete the Pine to Palm without a DNF? I know the Pine to Palm will be hard regardless of how much training one has endured. I also know, that without the dedication there is little chance of success. More importantly, without a positive attitude, the chances of success are greatly diminished.
Therefore, I will continue to train. I will remain focused. I will reduce the negativity. I will, take one more step….one more step…one more step….