Sunday, June 28, 2009

DNF

I DNF'd at mile 43.8 due to injury. The ankle pain I experienced a few weeks ago in the right foot made itself known again and I also pulled my left quad really bad as a result of the altered gait.

According to the aid station doctor, I have bad tendinitis in the ankle resulting in limited mobility and flexibility in the foot. While that was painful in itself, it was tolerable. But when I pulled the quadricep a mile or two before the aid station, going on was impossible. My limp was (and still is) really bad.

I have to say the doctors and the volunteers at the Last Chance (appropriate name) aid station were all great. They took my dilemma very seriously and bent over backwards to try and get me going. However, efforts were futile, and I asked if they were going to yank me from the race. They said it was borderline, but ultimately made it my choice, but it was clear there was only one real option. I was somewhat surprised they left it in my hands, but at the time.. who knew? It could have just been a bad knot or something in my quad, but later it became clear it was a bad pull.

I get the impression they only really yank you if you could die or something, which is good and the way it should be. However, other than being cougar bait, I wasn't going to die. I could still move, but only at an old man's pace, if that. I told them I couldn't go on and dropped. They looked a bit relieved at that.

Perhaps needless to say, I'm immensely disappointed. This is a tough pill to swallow. DNF's are common in the ultra world, but given that this was at Western States just makes it rough. Put on top of that the hassle of it getting canceled last year and extending the wait makes it even rougher. Go ahead and throw in everyone that flew out to help me out and it's rougher still.

It also stinks because other than the progressing ankle/quad problem, I was feeling pretty good out there. The heat was definitely really tough, but I was staying at my starting weight of 178 and moving along just fine until the injuries came on progressively and the pace was affected and started to drop.

I'm going to take a few weeks off and heal up. As for this morning, the quad still feels just as bad. I'm really sick of this string of injuries.

23 comments:

Garry said...

Jamie, that's a really tough break. But sometimes discretion is the better part of valour and it sounds like you made the right call. Rest, recover and get healthy!

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

Great job to participate and to toe the line!

Thomas said...

Damn!

Nobody wants a DNF, especially not at a big race like WS. I'm really sorry to hear that, Jamie.

Chin up!

mindy said...

Thanks for the update Jamie. I can only imagine how disappointing this is. Focus on healing. It's pretty clear you have the physical and mental toughness to go any distance, this was just one of those stupid mechanical wrenches that got thrown in. Everyone's got your back, just get better so we can see you out on the trails again soon!

Runner Tammy said...

Jamie,

I am so sorry about your injury acting up. Hopefully by listening to your body relatively soon after your ankle and hamstring started causing you trouble you will be on the mend soon!

You are a super tough competitor and a really amazing runner.

I am sure your crew/pacers are just happy that you were able to hobble off the course on your own power. Having a few friends who have DNF'd at events by way of ambulances, I would suggest your wisdom of making the right choice is admirable and a relief to them.

My husband (a mountaineer) and I have traveled so he can climb a mountain but occasionally he has been less successful at getting to the summit (equivalent to a DNF). Regardless of where he ends up turning around I get a small vacation, get to see places I otherwise wouldn't and meet very nice people. And most importantly I get my husband back in one piece.

I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that you have a speedy recovery

Tammy

middle.professor said...

Jamie - tough DNF. I feel for you. I'll still buy you the beer at Novare Res- it's well deserved.

Blaine Moore said...

Jamie - sorry to hear about the injury - I hope you recover well and recover quickly.

Kate said...

I'm so sorry, but am very glad that you decided to stop and didn't do more serious damage to your body. I'm also glad you are in one piece and that you have people out there to take care of you. Rest up.

Grellan said...

Jamie I know it's a tough pill to swallow and no amount of sympathy is going to ease that. Still you should take what positives you can from it, recover well and come back stronger. I'm sure you'll be back some day to tame the beast.

I was tracking progress throughout the day yesterday and was surprised to see you had dropped out at Last Chance knowing that injury could be the only cause. Looking at the number of "drops" the race certainly has a high attrition rate - even one or 2 dropped at the 93.5 mile mark.

Damon said...

Jamie,

I fully empathize with everything you've written. I'm sorry you didn't finish. When my day fell apart early, I was thinking about you a lot, hoping you were having a great day.

bricey said...

that sucks. Sorry to hear of the injury and of course the DNF but I expect that you'll recover and bounce back so I'm looking forward to hearing of you completing your next ultra!! Brendan

tc said...

No words will heal the pain. I know this hurts in many ways none of us can comprehend, but you will overcome. You are one tough nut.

Take it easy, heal up, set some new goals, and move forward.

See you soon friend. A beer awaits you.

sn0m8n said...

Based on your battle with injuries this past fall and winter, I'm super impressed you managed to get into such great shape to even attempt running a 50-miler, much less the WS100. And, I think you're super dreamy, too.

I still think we should drink beer when you get back. Beer makes everything better.

Rick Gaston said...

Hey Jamie, Dang it sorry to hear about the dnf and your injury .... also not meeting up with each other it was crazy at WS & getting our runner ready the day before...

...I hope u will be at VT and we will meet there!!

.. my runner dropped at Michigans bluff, just an aweful fueling battle, he was off from the beginning and couldn't recover as he tried to keep running strong...he learned some good lessons !

Enjoy a few beers!!

Paige said...

Dude, that just blows :( But, everything always works out and I think that you will come back even stronger than ever after this. Rest will do your body good, no doubt :) I hope you had a safe trip back home to heaven aka Maine :)

Mark said...

Hang in there Jamie, the injuries will pass, keep a good eye on your diet and cross-train. There are many good miles out there for you.

Laurel said...

Jamie, I feel your pain! I was in in the same situation not too long ago and I know that recovering from the disappointmemnt is as hard as recovering from the injury. But we ultrarunners are a resilient bunch and you'll be back to try again!

Haliku said...

Dang! Sorry to hear about the DNF. At least you tried, not that it takes the sting out of your decision. Heal, train, do it again. Cheers!

margaret said...

Jamie, As others have said what a disappointment for you having trained so long, so hard, and having traveled so far. We're relieved you didn't injure yourself more seriously. You'll train to run another race, another day.

Erik Boucher said...

That sucks big hairy cougar balls. I'm really sorry that the injuries happened. We were thinking of you while running around Mt Ag and at the BBQ afterwards. I hope you don't let the dream go and try again some other time.

Luc said...

Good job out there, Jamie! I checked up on you and gave you a nice Twitter shout-out near the time you DNF'ed... apparently it didn't get to you in time. :)

Take your time and heal up fast. Valiant effort sir! Oh and.. Cougar bait huh!? :)

John said...

Jamie, it was special for me to be part of your crew! Of course we would have loved for you to get a buckle, but as you said, DNF's happen. I always share proudly with others the awesome running accomplishments and adventures you undertake. That will still be the case after this.

You said in your post "Go ahead and throw in everyone that flew out to help me out and it's rougher still." Well, in response to that I think Runner Tammy's comment says it all from my perspective. We're happy you walked away in one piece, and I had a great vacation, got to see places I otherwise wouldn't, and met very nice people.

Good luck with your recovery, hope to see you soon. Lets go Bills!

Donald said...

I'm late in reading this - I wrote a race report and then took off for 10 days. Very sorry to hear about your DNF. You're right, they happen all the time - often for reasons we can't control - but that doesn't make the pill any easier to swallow. I hope you heal up well and get your mojo back at another 100 at some point in the future.

P.S. I think I was near you on the course for a while - I heard someone yell your name at the top of the Escarpment, but you were a ways ahead of me at that point, and I couldn't tell who was who. Sorry we didn't get to meet personally.