Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not this time...


I'm back from what was a perfect day for running 101.8 miles in the George Washington National Forest. Unfortunately for me, I tripped on a rock around mile 8 or so, and during the subsequent stumble to save my balance, I ended up doing some real damage to my left leg up where the quad meets the hip. There was definitely an awkward and ungraceful series of flailing limbs as I attempted to stay upright (imagine Elaine from Seinfeld dancing and you'll get the idea). It hurt like hell right away, but a handful of Aleeve and an easy 3 or 4 mile section right after that helped me "run it off", so to speak. As the race went on, however, the intensity of the pain grew to the point where I actually had to use my arms to pick up my leg on the climbs. After an epic ascent of Bird Knob (during which I'm pretty sure I invented 2 or 3 new swears every time I picked up my leg), I knew I was done. I ended up needing my friend Amelia to help me up the final few yards as I limped into the Rt. 211 Aid Station. Once there I immediately told the Station Captain I was dropping. I had covered 58 miles to that point, but I was dangerously close to doing serious damage if I tried to drag my leg any further.

I know lots of people have epic tales of fighting fatigue and injury all night to show their bravery and desire, but I can say without a shred of doubt that I HAD to stop when I did. I could no longer lift my left leg to step up the slightest incline. The frustrating thing about this injury is my legs were actually still feeling strong. If not for the lightning blots of pain shooting out of my left hip, I definitely would have had 42 miles of running left in them. I was running in 6th place at the mile 39 Aid Station, and even though my leg really started to fall apart right after that, I was still in 8th place when I had to drop at mile 58. You might think it would be tough to drop a race while in 8th place with strong legs, but I assure you the intensity of the pain made it an incredibly easy decision.

The good news is, I was able to run enough of the race to know my training plan and preparation over the last few months were perfect. Even with the injury I was running on pace to finish between 22-23 hours. I'm not sure if I'll return next year to avenge this DNF, but I will most certainly be back sooner than later. It is a tremendously challenging course and a very well organized race. The volunteers at the Aid Stations are amazing - I look forward to meeting the rest of them when I come back. I feel bad for dragging my crew out there and not finishing, but we'll all be back together under happier circumstances in 5 days at my wedding. ...and the race down that aisle will certainly be one I finish in record time with a big smile on my face!

9 comments:

Jamie Donaldson said...

Hi Dan!

I was following your progress online. I am very sorry that you had that horrible fall! You were right on stopping and not trying to be "brave" out there. You already proved your character at Umstead when the rain caused the hamstring issue. You knew that was mostly mental and pressed on. This weekend was a different story and you made the right choice even though it isn't what you initially pictured.

You can save that Elaine dance for your wedding!

Take care and recover quickly! What's up for you next?

Jessica said...

I was following your progress online, and when I saw that you didn't finish, I spent all day worrying about you. I'm sorry about your injury, but I'm glad you were able to do as much as you did and that you stopped when you needed to stop. I have no doubt that you will kick butt next time you do this race. Can't wait to see you next weekend! Evan even has dress shoes :)

Dan Rose said...

Thanks Jamie and Jess. It was definitely the right call to make when I did (if not 20 miles sooner - my leg is in rough shape today!). The course was truly a blast (some sections were basically like running up a river!), so I at least feel like I enjoyed myself even though I was in a ton of pain.

Next up for me (after the wedding and honeymoon) will be the big push for the charity event of the year - the whole point of this blog - "Run 192"!

I'll be joining forces with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to promote this solo 192 mile run across MA over the next couple months. Tons of updates and posts will follow. I'm also looking into finding some sort of GPS system so people can follow my progress online while I run. Sure, it'll take 50 hours or so, but with the support of all my friends I know it will be an amazing time!

JW said...

Oh DR, I hope you're feeling better... but it sounds like you were kicking serious ass before the injury, so you still rock. Glad Amelia was there for you! If you buy me an iPhone, I can mobile-blog the 192 ;)

Stanley said...

Tough break Champion.... I too was concerned when I saw the DNF. My paranoid mind initially thought that a bobcat got ahold of you, as I know there would be very few reasons to stop early. I'm glad you did though. You need to be healthy for this kickass wedding...there's no way I'd be able to carry you down the aisle, unless my doctor approves my cybernetic limb surgery tomorrow.
Keep morale high and DEVASTATE the 192.

WVmtnrunr said...

Dan,

Great getting to meet you on the course this weekend. I'm sorry the day didn't go as planned. It looks as if you have greater running plans and purpose in the near future.

I found your link from Bryon Powell's blog while surfing the net this morning in my bruised and battered post-MMT state. You've got a cool blog set-up.

Enjoy your wedding this weekend and best of luck in your future running and life endeavors. I'll see you again down the trail.

Adam Casseday

Dan Rose said...

Hey Adam, Congrats on your great finish!! You rocked that course (no pun intended) for a sweet first 100 mile finish. I hope you're feeling super proud of yourself today. I'll be back at MMT in the future to make up for this first-ever DNF of mine. It's not a good feeling!

Keep me posted on your upcoming race plans. I'm always willing to help pace/crew for a fellow fan of the rocky trails!

Best of luck to you...and Congrats again!

steve dunn said...

Dan-
I kept staring at that DNF thinking you had gone out too fast after Umstead. Now the truth is revealed... It was a tough break but you are a strong guy and will be back with a vengance. Just take it easy this week so you don't have to drag that leg down the aisle on Saturday!
The 192 run will be here before you know it!
Steve Dunn

Staci said...

danny boy, glad you are taking care of yourself. sorry it didn't go as planned. have an awesome weekend, we should wish we could make. baby mark wants to scream during your vows. we can't wait to see you run 192 and we can't wait until your reception/party this summer. i will have less stitches then.