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.