I had my first DNF at a race this past weekend. I attempted the Vermont 100 and dropped at mile 62.5
A lot of things went wrong. I was ill prepared and inadequately trained. The course wasn’t very technical but the hills were relentless.
I did not train on enough hills. The one key aspect of 100s are night running and I neglected to cover this during my training. Once the sun went down I broke down mentally and was looking for any excuse to quit.
I needed a crew. The mental support they provide would’ve helped me pushed on when I have doubts.
I need to pay a lot more attention to what I put in my dropbags. Most of the things I had in there I couldn’t use at all.
My unraveling was in part caused by my taking of the 5 hour energy bottles. I used it during my 5 hour training runs on weekends and figured that it would help during the actual race. After downing 6 of them the appetite suppressant side effect did a number on me and I was no longer able to consume any food. I didn’t want to eat or drink anything.
5 hour energy and ginger ale doesn’t mix well together. I threw up as soon as I drank a cup of ginger ale.
By mile 54 I was losing too much weigh and couldn’t consume any food to maintain a safe weight. I would not have passed the upcoming weigh check stations.
I tried to forcefully cram sandwiches and fruits down my throat but everything came back out. At mile 57.4 it got dark and I only had on a singlet. I was walking a lot so I wasn’t able to generate enough body heat to keep myself warm. I was freezing. I didn’t pack any warm clothes in my drop bags.
I slogged my way to the next aid station at 62.5 They had a fire going, I told them I needed to sit for a bit to warm myself up. I pulled a chair up right next to the fire and sat there. After about 15 minutes one of the sweepers came up to me and asked if I wanted to quit and pointed me to the van of shame. Another 15 minute went by and I finally broke down. I told him I was done.
I learned a lot on how to approach a 100 mile foot race. I made some poor decisions regarding my training and nutrition. The best lessons are learned through personal mistakes. The experience made me a bit wiser. I will make the necessary adjustments the next time around. I hate to leave unfinished business.