They say that a DNF (Did Not Finish) is more honorable than the DNS (Did Not Start), so the decision to withdraw from the Devil Dog 100 miler in December was not one I took lightly. This training cycle started awesome and in July, I had maxed my monthly mileage to 190. Then, the wheels fell off. I started having minor issues pop up: runner’s knee, tight calves, planter fasciitis, and a pain in my foot. I cut back running miles, tried different shoes, and stretched (but not yoga, I have to draw the line somewhere). Every time one problem seemed better, another cropped up and my mileage ended up dropping by about 50 the next month. I finally went to the podiatrist for the bottom of my foot earlier this month and found out I had an issue with my toe joint at the planter plate and that it takes about 6-8 weeks to heal and could get bad enough to take me out for the season.
I decided to cross train for 2 weeks and then see how my foot was after doing the Patapsco Trail 1/2 and Ragnar DC (race reviews will be coming). We are mid move so I’m logging lots of “stairs” as I pack and clean. While I made it through 13.2 and then a total of 23 a few days later, my foot started to complain a few days later. That’s when I realized, that I may be able to cross train and pull Marine Corp Marathon out with my base and then enjoy (or DNF…either seems likely) Stone Mill 50, doing a 100 was not looking good.
It was the best decision I could make for me and my family. The kids will be changing schools and I wanted to be more available to them during school hours, if needed. I also sort of hated the idea of running for 3 days in the woods so close to a big life upheaval. I want to spend time as a family exploring our new town and putting my goal race aside for a few months seemed to be the right call. I’ll see what MCM and Stone Mill 50 bring and if my foot is feeling up to it, I may try the C&0 Canal 100 in April or maybe I’ll just enjoy a few 50Ks.
There is definitely a feeling of sadness to let go of my big scary goal this year, but maybe I’ll be able to get back out there and pace some friends or volunteer. Devil Dog is a great race and I loved running it last year as a 100K and I’ll be back.