Sunday, 3 October 2010

"Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge. - Dave Bedford, English distance runner who occasionally put in 200 miles a week in training"

My First Did Not Finish (DNF) - New Balance English Half Marathon}}

Let's skip to the end. Why do I think I DNF? In order of bruteness, with the first being most brutle reason:
1) The cold rain.
The Met Office's severe weather warning for the Warrington area stated: "Be Aware".
2) Injury.
This has been an issue over the last week.

The Story}}

Travelling to the race, I felt strong, got to the race early and waited for the start in the car because it was raining heavy. Once I got out the car I got wet and cold whilst waiting for the start. The horn went to start us all off. The roads were covered in rainwater and in some places quite deep. This made the running hard. The rain also meant that I couldn't see my watch to keep pace. At about 5 miles I realised that I was slower than my target time. Then at 6 miles my injury was hurting a bit. I decided to push on but it was hard as I was running alone near the front. Once I got to 7 miles the injury was causing my quad to tighten (counteracting my shin muscles). Still I decided to press on. Then at 8 miles I couldn't stop myself from limping. There was no way I could carry on so I stopped. Maybe I might have been able to carry on if the conditions were better?

Once I stopped I got very cold. I was directed to a St John Ambulance Portakabin. They measured my oxygen intake (90mm), temperature(low 30), heart rate (33bpm) and blood pressure 110/87. This is were things started to get serious (for them). They called for their ambulance and when it came they got the wheelchair. I said "I'm OK walking".
"Not with the readings we've taken" they said.
So I was wheeled into the ambulance, clothes off, wrapped in blankets and an oxygen mask on. I wish they were around after some of my training sessions because I feel a lot worse after some of those. St John Ambulance deal with 'normal' people and not with hard-nuts like me who have a low oxygen uptake even when not running and also a low heart rate. They wanted to take me to hospital but I explained to them that I'm bradycardic all of the time due to excessive exercise. They agreed to take me back to the St J at the race HQ to be monitored. Once there I was not allowed to go until I came out of my hypothermic state. This took about an hour. They were also not pleased with my blood glucose level. Eventually I got home.

Now I'm warm and typing up this report. Thinking over this experience I have learnt that I should look after myself better. Some people before the race did not even start because of the weather. I should have done the same.
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