19 May 2014

The "DNF"

TNF100 2014 - DNF
There is next years motivation

Perhaps I am too harsh on myself and at times I potentially expect too much or have high expectations of myself.  Normally when I enter an event my time goals, expectations, performance and so on are based on two things, my ability and my training.  These two things give me guidance and confidence when I go into an event that I can run to the plan whatever that plan may be.

In 2013 at TNF100 I ran in the 50, I was ready, full of energy, confidence and the belief that I would run well. And I did, I ran 4:49, coming in 4th overall and feeling awesome throughout, this run has been reflected upon a great deal in the last 48hrs or so.

Coming off the Golden Stairs and onto
Narrowneck, things weren't
happening today.
In 2014 at the TNF100 I ran in the 100, I was injured, underprepared and not willing to be honest with myself.  I had constant tightness throughout the run and could not run through a full range of motion and as a result my speed was below what it should have been.  On the fire trail I was not flowing as usual but on the single track I was ok, maintaining fairly similar pace to my fire trail splits. At this point I was running with Gill Fowler and this was helping with taking my mind from the issues I was facing, the pace was kept steady and we had a good chat along the way.  Gill ran awesomely and  went onto 4th overall and was 1st Aussie home in a touch under 12hrs.

On the approach onto Dunphys at 31km I noticed my hamstring was tightening some more and on the last descent into the stile the leads to CP2 my footing slipped causing a servere aggravation at the top and bottom of the muscle.  It was excruciating to lift my leg below the glute and behind my knee left I had a sharp pain every time my foot hit the ground.  Once I began hiking up the steep hill into Iron Pot the pain was very strong, and when I tried to start running again it didn’t happen, no way no how.

I shuffled up and over the ridge to the turnaround point.  The highlight was seeing the Aboriginal guys ripping it up with their Didgeridoos and Clap Sticks, filling the air with an awesome atmosphere.  I decided to go back to Dunphys and get first aid.  I rang Kel and let her know what was going on, it was a tough moment for both of us, we had both known my likely fate but trying to be positive we hadn’t verbalized it too much before that point.  So like that my TNF100 debut went away with out much of fuss.

The walk back was tough, both physically and emotionally.  Seeing so many runners coming the other way was hard, as was chatting with those that I knew about what had happened.  It was over and it was hard not to show how much it hurt, but I tried to encourage as many as I could, heck they were all doing their best and didn’t need to see a grumpy little bloke coming the other way.

The rest of the day allowed my focus to turn to the race and support my friends.  Kel was awesome and supportive and we enjoyed the afternoon and seeing a great finish.  It was brilliant seeing my friends exceed their own goals and perform well, but I must admit there is some jealously on my part, I am human and I wanted to finish and do well too.

I have reflected and feel I am at place where I can move forward. It looks like I have High Hamstring Tendinopathy, a particularly tough issue to shake and I know it’ll be some time before I can compete properly again.  The road back will be tough and arduous but it will make me strong both physically and mentally.  I am prepared to work and learn from where I have fallen down.  I haven’t trained well, missing massive bulk of my load while nursing injury, there may have been some key sessions but there are no short cuts and you cannot hide in an ultra.  Next time I will prepare more thoroughly and be ready like I was in 2013.  I will not take the start line injured again, no matter what, it is just not worth it!

With my mind stewing over the problems I need to freshen up.  Kel is now getting fitter and closer to returning to full health and I hope to support her comeback into running as she has supported me.  Even though I won’t be running for a little while, I will still be about and will keep being involved in the running community and supporting those who have supported me.

The bike is calling, as is the strength and conditioning room and they better be ready because I have 15hrs free time per week at the moment to fill.  

Life throws its challenges but it is how we meet them that shapes who we are.


  1. bad luck Wes. you'll bounce back stronger and better than before.

    bloody hell, 15 hours a week! i'd be lucky to do 7!! enjoy the break!

    1. Thanks Ian, you how it goes in running. Good luck on your plans for later in the year it looks like your running well at the moment.