DNS/DNF

Thursday 3 June 2010

31 days to Ironman Germany
59 days to Ironman UK

It’s been an interesting week.  Over the years I’ve learnt a lot about my own body, especially just how hard to push myself in training and when to back off and recover to allow my body to adapt.  I saw my GP recently and was told the infection in the left ear had receded, but the ‘glue ear’ was still making me feel rough, and my RHR (Resting Heart Rate) was a little elevated.  I use my RHR as an indicator of my health.  Generally I record around 42-44.  If I’m breaching 50 then I know I’m over-trained and/or unwell….and it’s time to ease off the effort level or rest completely.  Over the last 2 weeks I was hitting 55.

The TriGrandPrix is a new middle-distance (half-ironman) event held at Leyborne Lake in Kent on 30 June and organised by my club, Team Outrageous.  It is part of a new series open to all but also involving some of the best professionals in the world and top-end age-groupers.  I was keen to see just how far up the table I could get on recent form and maybe win some cash, but with the ear issues I was not only ill but had dizzy/unbalanced spells from lack of hearing and decided to DNS (Did Not Start).

I have probably DNS’d a few events over the years but only DNF’d (Did Not Finish) three events to date.  The first was the Luton Marathon about five years ago when I pulled a quad as both seized up in cold weather, and decided I’d rather call it a day and not exasperate the injury.  The second was Double-Iron UK in 2009 when I tried to race through a double-ironman (7.6km swim/224mile bike/52mile run) with a flu-type illness.  I got as far as about 13miles in to the run when I could barely move and headed for the tent.  The third DNF was just a month later when I did a private challenge of running the Offa’s Dyke trail (178miles) on limited assistance non-stop.  I made it to 75miles when my knee popped and reduced me to a painful hike.  Pulled-out at 80miles/20hrs after spending 3hrs in the back of a baptist church trying to nurse the injury. Link to webpage

I love a test and want to try and push myself to the limit and see just how far and fast I can go, but at the same time there is a point at which you have to weigh things up.  I usually ask myself the question – just what can I achieve from completing the event, and at what expense?  Is it worth losing x weeks of training from illness, injury and having to pull out of other races further down the road on a domino-effect as a result.

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