It’s disappointing. And the day after it stings more than my blisters and my aching muscles. I could have filled a salt lake with my sweat and tears. But it’s ok.

The hardest part? How to deal with the congratulatory messages. ‘Yeah, thanks. But I didn’t really finish it’. And the medal. I didn’t want to take that either. And the unofficial finishing time that’s up on the website because my running pals insisted on running me over the finishing line and it recorded my chip? Well that’s just fraudulent – it’s ok, I’ve emailed them.

I’ve had a long time to analyze what went wrong. Six hours on my feet in 30 degrees for starters. But I still haven’t really reached any definitive answers. Was my training to blame? My programme was 3 run’s a week, which some would argue is not enough. Sometimes I only ran twice – choosing to do Pilates or yoga and then running out of time. I did my long runs almost to plan. I reached 30k as my longest run 3 weeks before M-Day. It was grueling, but I ran it with only walking the last 2 or 3 km’s. Did I test out my race day strategy? Not really, but it wasn’t wildly unobtainable. Thirty minutes of running with 3 minute walk intervals. Hmmm. Ok, I never tried it in training, What about the heat? It must have been hovering around 30 degrees on the day. But I am acclimatized to this heat; I have run parts of this course in similar temperatures. Was my nutrition to blame? No, absolutely not. And I can’t blame bad carb loading either – I never hit the wall as I never gave myself a chance to even get to the foot of it.

So what went so desperately, horribly, pitifully wrong?  Continue reading “Why I threw the towel in at 38km (and why that’s ok)”