So... I had my first DNF Saturday.
It was around 105° at the start, and while I've run in hot races before, some of my health issues affect my ability to keep my core temperature down. (Definitely a challenge in my part of the world in the summertime.) I've mostly learned to manage it, and was hoping that the fact that it was dusk-into-night would make it more bearable, since at least I wouldn't be dealing with direct sun. A little over a mile in, though, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, and before I even hit the second mile I'd decided there was no way I was going to manage the whole 23k. Even though the first 8k loop was the gnarliest bit, and the second, larger loop was much less technical, I was struggling even to move forward. When I did, I was actually running pretty well--I hit the "finish" line doing under a 10-minute mile--but I had to stop a lot, and mostly dragged myself along.
Ultimately, I was not having a good time at all, and while I know there's something to be gained from pushing through rough bits, I didn't think whatever lessons I'd learned would be worth another 12 miles or so of slogging through brutal heat and feeling crappy.
Even though I know I did the right thing, it stung (okay, still stings a bit). The next morning I was awake early, and noticed there was a Sunday morning yoga class at my gym, which I figured would be a good antidote. Unfortunately, the instructor seemed to dislike newbies (this was my third-ever yoga class), and was annoyed that I didn't know the names of poses and wasn't able to do some of them. "You're just going to fall over sometimes, deal with it until you figure it out," she told me.
Feh. Anyway, I'll shake it off.
Western States was CRAZYPANTS! I missed the end until after I got home (I mean, the end of the front of the pack). This is a good writeup of the Jim Walmsley insanity--when I last checked, before the race, he seemed to have the win and the CR in the bag, and when I finished, he was... missing.
What a wild ride.
And a 20-year-old won it! You never know what to expect in this sport, for realz.