Friday, April 16, 2010

My First Ever 10k DQ

AM: 3 miles
PM: 2.5 miles w/u + strides
Target: 10k predator run starting @6:00
Actual: 5:58, 5:54, 5:52...it's a long story
Total: ~9 miles

I can't decide if this is my most embarrassing running story or my proudest one. Maybe you can be the judge. At any rate, suffice it to say I'm glad this, er, "incident" happened at our conference meet rather than anywhere else. Let me start from the beginning...

So basically our conference meet is a joke. The level of competition is nonexistent and, as a result, so is the quality of the meet. We generally use this more as a "participation" meet and an opportunity to do workouts/predator runs than anything else. Consequently, the plan for tonight's 10k "race" was for Tanya and I to get in a hard predator run effort starting at 6-minute pace. Everything went to plan the first few miles, as we took turns trading off the lead every 800 meters. This was both to practice working together for Nationals and to get a break from the wind, which was gusting at almost 20 mph despite us being sandwiched in between the mountains. (We were at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, a small community just past Boone. It sits at 3500 feet, which means we get a hefty altitude conversion for the distance races despite not feeling the altitude at all.)

Midway through the third mile, Tanya started to pick up the pace a bit. Normally I would've been on board, except it was at that exact moment when I realized that I, um, needed to take a bathroom break. Obviously in a real race this would not be an option, and even tonight I resolved to push the urge aside and finish up the workout. Unfortunately, after a few more laps I realized that just wasn't going to be an option. Jenna was standing in the infield near the home curve, and the next time I passed I informed her of my situation and asked if I could go to the bathroom. She relayed the message to Simmons, and the next time I passed the finish line he simply said, "Go for it." I had no idea if I would get disqualified or not, but there was hardly time to discuss. Without another word I sprinted off the track, through the gate, down the hill and into the fieldhouse bathroom. It was a solid 200 meters away, but I covered the distance in record time. I can only imagine what the race officials and spectators were thinking. A minute later I was out the door, up the hill, onto the track and back to my workout. I think I still had eight laps to go at that point, but to be honest I'd sort of lost track of what the hell was going on.

Oh, and did I mention I was still in second place?

That's right, with a finish time of 39:00--including my slight detour--I still managed to finish ahead of everyone except Tanya. I kid you not. Tragically, I did end up being DQed for leaving the track, but I thought it was an impressive feat nonetheless. Less impressive was the state of my stomach, which for some reason was so topsy-turvy that I couldn't even fathom attempting a cooldown. I have no idea what was going on there, but you can bet I'm glad it happened here rather than at an important meet. If nothing else, I got a great story out of the whole experience and my first ever DQ. You can't put a price on that.

P.S. As for the altitude conversion I mentioned earlier, it definitely worked in Tanya's favor. She earned an automatic qualifying time for Nationals in her workout tonight, as her 35:30 converted all the way down to 34:48. Glad things worked out for somebody.

3 comments:

Jilane said...

I appreciated having the inside scoop on this one. Else, I might have spit my coffee all over my desk this morning.

Fantabulous all around.

Mad said...

i cant believe you actually got back on the track and finished the race...

caitchris said...

too funny. good thing you were still speedy despite taking a b-room break. one time my friend didn't make it to the b-room. That sucked...