Friday, March 23, 2007


I knew I was undertrained for Chuckanut and that my hip and right glute had been bothering me for some time, but I figured I could run slow and still muddle through. And in hindsight, I probably could have stuck it out and finished. I simply wasn't having fun and wimped out.

The run started out on a bad note - we were two cars from pulling into the parking lot when we were turned away. The lot was full. With four runners in a single vehicle, the was particularly disappointing. With the extra poplularity of Chuckanut, I would like to see some parking priority given to those who do make the effort to carpool. On a positive note, it was typical Chuckanut with old friends at every turn. I need half a day just to say hello to everyone and catch up with their lives.

The run started okay with Mark Hartinger and I pledging to run slow and easily together. We both commented on how this year the enthusiasm for running just wasn't there. The first 10K was longer than ever, but went okay. Our group of runners joked and chatted while we kept moving along. I felt okay, if a bit tired as we started up Cleator Road. The road had more mud on it than any previous year that I can remember. It is commonly wet, but hadn't been muddy before that I can recall.

It was on Cleator Road where the wheels started to come off. Mark hung with me and was tremendously encouraging and supportive; I simply had no gas in the tank. Normally, I am able to pass people along the ridge trail. The technical conditions suit me and I can bop along pretty well. Not this year. My calves started cramping pretty early on the ridge, in spite of drinking and taking some electrolyte capsules. By the time we reached the back side mud fest, I was dragging. My hip and butt were sore and I was not having fun anymore. I finally convinced Mark to go ahead and continued to walk. After being passed inumerable times, I finally made it over the crest near Lost Lake and tried to run the downhill. The mud made it slippery and every step was uncomfortable. Not a sharp pain, just a large discomfort. When I reached the gate at the bottom, I went straight through instead of turning right and heading up to Little Chinscraper. From this point, I hiked down to the last aid station and begged a ride to the finish.

I had plenty of time, reaching the gate about 3:40 into the run. Why didn't I go ahead and finish? Bottom line - I just didn't want to enough. I wasn't having fun. I was battling some discomfort that my lack of enthusiasm used as an excuse to bail. As a result, my first DNF in the 9 years of ultra-running that I have done.

I have started some follow up on the hip and glute pain. X-rays show nothing abnormal. An MRI is up next. Most likely, the issue is related to a back condition (spondylolithesis) that I was first diagnosed with in high school. I guess we'll see what the docs say.

Hopefully, I can find my lost enthusiasm and get back on my horse soon. I need to be in good shape by the end of June to be able to keep up with tc at Western States. It would be bad form for a pacer to not be able to keep up with his runner. - KRK


olga said...

Sometimes to stop is the only wise decision to not loose the passion:) And having first in 9 years is not bad by any count! It was great to see you for those split seconds, and sorry we didn't get to chat more. Take care of those nagging things and be well, I will see you around again, I know I will!

GotLegs! said...

Kendall, you were NOT having fun when I went by. I didn't know what to tell you but my first instinct was "just quit." I suppose it's like a straight "A" student getting their first "B," it gets easy after that to DNF. That's a good thing and a bad thing. I hate to DNF. The only race I don't mind a DNF in is Bridle Trails where I'm 6 for 9 finishes. It was also my first ultra attempt and first DNF at the same time, so I started off badly. The other two were CCC first attempt and Wheres Waldo where I got lost forever (that one pissed me off ;-)

Even so, I have completed 96 ultras (if I don't watch out, WS may end up being number 100).

So I look at the bigger picture. I try to avoid DNFs by not going into a run hurt - but I still play the odds. I'm kind of in that situation with the 100K this weekend. I'll DNF rather than putting myself at risk of SERIOUS injury that will keep me from going to States.

Heal up buddy!


robtherunner said...

That's how I felt at CCC last year. I just wasn't having any fun and I got to the point that another 38 miles certainly didn't sound appealing. I probably could have finished, but the desire wasn't there. I hope you can get back on the horse in time to pace TC at Western. See ya.