I was on a run today and the topic of the dreaded DNF came up with a fellow runner. And my experience at the Philadelphia Marathon (11/21/99) came up.
To the new runner, DNF = Did Not Finish. I had run well over 200 races from grammar school, high school and college through that race – 5K’s, marathons, 100m, miles…XC, track – you name it – I ran it and, whether I came in last or first, I always finished it.
But on this day, things were different. I was at about mile 10 and the top of my right foot started hurting a bit. The way this course runs, you hit the start again at mile 13 and again at the finish. By the time I was at mile 13, my foot was in definite pain – NOT soreness. But I limped on – I stopped to take my shoe off and re-tie my sneakers. All that did was make it harder to start again. I ran a 13:00.6 mile during mile 14. It was time to stop….and go home.
I was very angry and disappointed and defeated. But if you hear what had happened before the race, you would have an idea that I should have not run it in the first place. About 6 weeks before, I had run the Steamtown Marathon in a respectable 3:33. Then, after only a week off, I started retraining for Philly. I ran a long run of 16 miles about 2 weeks before. And I felt my foot hurting. I should have listened to my body. I should not have attempted to run 2 marathons in 6 weeks. I should have allowed more time to recover. As it ended up, I was out for about 2 1/2 months.
Lessons learned…..for future races…. #runningtips #running #marathon #lessonslearned
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