Race report: Kansas Gravel Grind 50K

Kansas Gravel Grind 50K

June 27, 2015 — El Dorado, KS

Place: x / 31

Time: DNF

This one will be short. Things went wrong, I didn’t finish. My first ever DNF. I’ve dropped to a shorter distance option on a couple of occasions, but I’ve never just not finished. Until now. I don’t love it.

Here are the excuses: I likely hadn’t recovered much mentally from the grind of Heartland 50 and the 20 weeks of training I put in leading up to it. My mileage went down. My weight went up. Woke up the day before the race with a headache and intense dizziness. It never went away until maybe right before the race Saturday morning. I got hot fast. I overheated. I got dehydrated.

About the race: The shirts were awesome. The venue was awesome. Got to see my good buddy Mike Stout, who did well, as always. I ran a solid first eight miles, most of that with two girls named Jessica and … Something. I’m sure she had a name, but I’m drawing a blank. We ran a steady 9:06 – 9:27 pace for those first eight miles.

I first saw Kami around 10.4 miles in. The aid stations were not where I thought they’d be. I quickly realized that if I have to rely on aid stations, it’s a pretty clear indication that I’m not ready. After changing shirts and hydrating, I went on my way. I made it to around Mile 12 before I started to fall apart. It was around then that my friend Allyson passed me. She was feeling strong and went on to dominate, as I expected. As for me, that’s around the time I knew I likely wouldn’t finish.

I got to Mile 14 having already walked much of the previous two miles. I considered quitting then, but remembered the cool medals that finishers got. So I changed shirts again, hydrated and kept on. Again, mostly walking. I just didn’t have it in me. I had been light-headed for a few miles and couldn’t focus for the life of me. I made it to just shy of 18, and I was done. I had to drop. Hated to quit, especially when I knew I’d just run a 50+ mile race just seven weeks earlier. But I knew it was probably the right call. I would’ve had to walk the last 14ish miles, and further damage would’ve been done.

It just wasn’t my day. Hitched a ride with Kami to the finish line where we hung out with Team Stout to see Mike finish. That’s not something I ever get to see, since he’s always so far ahead of me — and most other people. Seeing his kids run across the finish line with him was made me even more envious than his running ability does. Someday…

Later in the evening, after we’d returned home, I got much worse. Dizziest I’ve ever been. Room was spinning rapidly. I fell every time I tried to stand up. No idea what caused it. Woke up Sunday morning feeling fine, and have felt nothing similar since. So strange.

What’s next? We’re running a nearby 10K this weekend on July 4, but not “race ready,” so it’ll be for fun. At least I should finish that one, huh? I’d like to run a fall marathon and kick up training for that soon, but we’re not sure where we’ll be by then. Aside from that, I’m occupied as Race Director for Rodeo Run 5K & 1-mile in my hometown of Pretty Prairie July 18.

Nothing else planned just yet. Maybe that’s good. For now. I’ll be back.

Cheers,

Derrick

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Bib + Shirt

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Mike and Me.

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The wives, Kami and Shelly.

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