Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I didn't finish

I DNF'd the Good Friday road races this past weekend.

3 laps of about 18 kms and I DNF'd after the first lap. In fact I had made my decision within the first 20 minutes.

I've never ever withdrawn from a race before. There are a few races in my past that I probably SHOULD have DNF'd though. I figured there was a first time for everything.

I did NOT want to write this blog post. I can't even come up with a comical way of looking at it. It just wasn't meant to be for me that day. But, with life the bad comes with the good and maybe I'll reflect on this months down the road.

So what happened, you might be thinking.

There are two very major things both equally on par for causing me to walk away with my head hung low. I have problems with my feets. I get very numb toes and I've tried just about everything (see below). I'm afraid at the thought that it might be diabetes related. Usually they start going numb at about an hour and then every 15 minutes or so thereafter. I slow down, I un-clip and I shake my feet back to life. Even in the heat of the summer, I lose feeling in my toes. When I don't stop and shake them out, the numbness creeps up my toes and into my feet. So when it gets cold, I'm in an even worse place. I wear my cycling booties for extra protection. On Friday I had no booties because I didn't think I needed them. The temperature outside was not so cold but there was this ass nipping bite to the air. My feet were cold before I even got on the bike and I wondered if my booties would have even made that much of a difference. See they are winter shell style booties and not the sleek neoprene ones. Unlike running, my feet do not "warm up". They just get colder and colder and subsequently more numb from both the temperature and the pressure.

I got dropped from the field within 10 minutes. Long before we even hit the string of hills which were brutal by the way and bring me to my next downfall. I felt like my blood was full of sludge and I panicked. I panicked 10 minutes in and my heart rate went up, my legs felt like bricks and I just wanted to roll over and die. I climbed those hills with incredible amounts of suffering. Granny gear all the way and still just barely moving. My heart rate was so high I felt like I was going to pass out. I was dizzy, nauseous and seeing spots. It wasn't my blood sugar. I was maxing out at 193bpm. All the while the field was LONG long gone. I thought, how can this be? How can I be an athlete for this many years and fall SO far behind in a race so quickly?

I am in the process of hunting down a place to get a fit test done. I'm also tailoring my training a bit more in an effort to see if it's even worth my while or will I always be the slow ass of the field. From what I've learned about myself so far I've got good tracking capabilities. I'm good when I'm IN the field and I can keep up no problem on the flats and corners. It's when I hit hills that my HR gets out of hand and I hit a mini wall of emptiness. It makes me feel dead inside.

I turned the second corner where spectators were lined up. Oh look, here comes the girl who looks fast but doesn't belong on a bicycle. Someone get her a tricycle will ya? No... actually, they were so kind clapping and cheering. I groaned and rolled my eyes while shaking my head. I was trying to say, "Don't humour me guys, I know I've already failed."

I quietly rolled off the course to look for a commissionaire to announce my withdrawal. I've never DNF'd and I assumed I could go to the register tent. Then above on the loudspeakers I hear, "To the woman on the gravel road, you must report to the commissionaire." I hung my head even lower. I cursed under my breath out of embarrassment and I wanted to scream, "I know, I will, MUST you scream that over the loudspeakers?!"

I know I made the right decisions. My gut told me so.

I packed my car and left. Realizing that the friendly guy who was parked next to me had one of my water bottles I let him borrow as he had none and I wouldn't see it again. I just wanted to get the fuck out of there as fast as possible.

I spent the entire rest of the day struggling with insanely high blood sugars that eventually turned into lows. My roller coaster ride of yuckiness left me laying down while my family had Easter dinner.

(Note: I have tried it all. Different socks, new shoes, new cleats, placement of cleats, placement of saddle... etc. it's all hell)


  1. your still a winner in my books!

  2. aww scully :( i know you feel like shit cause of the DNF, but you did what you had to do for YOU! and for that YOU ROCK!!

  3. Scully -
    I am so proud of you for so many reasons. Your tenacity, your athleticism and your honesty.
    It's so incredibly hard to do what you have to do and share it with others, especially when it's not the outcome you'd hoped for.

  4. I had a terrible race last week, too. Maybe it was something in the air! My only bright spot in the whole thing was my kids, who rarely watch me race but came out for the afternoon. My daughter threw her arms around me because she, at four, doesn't get the whole "mom was slow and totally sucked" thing, and yelled, "I'm soooo proud of you!!" So it was a win, podiums aside.

    The truth is that not all victories are measured by "first across the finish." I'm not going to win a lot of races...but, at 33 and with diabetes, I am still working out and working hard. We are doing more with a tougher circumstance than most people do without the additional challenge of D. You win every time you get on your bike. You made the harder decision - to pull out of the race - and to be honest about yourself and where you were on that day. That is a victory.

    And I'm glad you are good on flats because I am so going to suck your wheel in Dallas. I looked at the course yesterday, saw the long straightaway, and freaked. :)


  5. Scully you ROCK!

    I sometimes get the numb toes too and like you nothing works. I really hope it is not D related.

  6. But you did finish – the next day! And you totally rocked it for 30 minutes, which means your next race, you'll rock that one even more. Everyone has to start somewhere. As Mario told me last night, races are way different than long road rides on your own (we know that from our running races right!). He also told me that he entered a race in his 20s, feeling confident he'd be great at it, and just about died getting to the end. And the fact you're doing this as a type 1, giving so many other type 1s inspiration – all of it is something to be proud of. We're very proud of you!

  7. Scully I'm really proud of you. Because you're stubborn as hell and the most driven person I know. I know you're not going to let that race dictate who you are. And we're going to be reading about your next race, and the one after that. It's the journey girlfriend. That's what really counts.

  8. I can totally relate to the frustration found on hills. I love to ride, an am pretty darn quick, but hills are my kryptonite. I can be at the front of the pack on the flats and downs, but as soon as we hit a hill, riders are passing me on both sides. After the hill I catch up again, and slowly weave my way to the front of the pack, then we hit another hill, and repeat the process. So frustrating.

    I don't know how to fix that, except to ride more hills...but if you come up with a solution, pass it along!!

    And don't worry about the DNF. Everyone has bad rides/runs, they can't all feel great. You still rock!

  9. I was kicked out of a triathlon once and I think it felt about like how you describe this situation. Everyone was nice to me but to have two fat cops pull me off the course because they did not like my speed just upset me. I was 5k into the 10k finish. What would 30 minutes for me to finish would kill them?

  10. oy, what a mess. that's a lot of stuff going on all at once. and i'm glad you did what you needed to to take care of yourself. that couldn't have been an easy decision.

    and this is my new favorite quote. it's from michael jordan: "i can accept failing. i can't accept not trying."

    you tried. that's what counts. and you'll be kicking ass again soon. hang in there!

  11. x youre awesome. toodilu!

  12. eaaakkkkkkkk!!! Sounds awful but you were out there and you will get out there again.

  13. You already know what I think about this, but I'll say it again here: You're fantastic and an inspiration even if you DNFed. Your willingness to race, race hard with everything you've got, and then tell us about it (warts and all) just proves how awesome you are and why we all love you.

    And you'll be able to look back at this race in the future with a nostalgic "You've come a long way, baby!" sensibility (minus the cigarettes, of course).

  14. Hi, late late comment, sorry, i read this on the phone, but its way too hard to write a comment on same....hard luck on the dnf, but fair play to you for knowing what you had to do, i hope you're not being too hard on yourself since the race.....but cringe oh cringe on the loudspeaker woman, has she no cop on at all?!?!?


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