Birkie Trail Run: DNS

At 3:30 this morning, still wide awake, with adrenaline pumping, I realized I wasn’t going to run this race. I had everything prepared – clothes laid out, hydration pack filled, extra gear packed. But once again, as soon as I crawled into bed, tired from a long day of fun with my family as we celebrated my Gramps’ 91st birthday, I was suddenly wide awake. I only expected to have 4-5 hours of sleep and figured that would be sufficient. Then that ticked away to 3 hours, 2 hours (and I wasn’t even obsessively looking at the clock, I just knew the time was slipping away), and I realized that I wasn’t going to get enough sleep to drive 1.5 hours, run a marathon, and then drive 1.5 hours back. I could have done the race, had it been local, but I didn’t feel safe driving in a sleep-deprived state.

I’m disappointed and embarrassed, but it’s not the end of the world. I went on a short trail run and then spent time with my family – time I wouldn’t have had if I had tried to make the race. Even if I had made it safely back home after being awake for 30+ hours and running a hard race, I wouldn’t have had energy left to have an afternoon, dinner, and fire with everyone. I’d probably have had to take a 3-4 hour nap and missed out.

I have to regroup and refocus on Wild Duluth. I don’t know how to fix this pre-race insomnia – I hadn’t had any caffeine (not even pop), I didn’t change anything about my bedtime routine, I was tired when I went to bed, and I tried to zone out, take my mind off running, and avoid looking at the clock or my Fitbit. It’s frustrating, and is something I’m going to have to fix before I try a longer race than a 50K. I don’t need to go into, say, a 100K that could take me like 17-18 hours when I’ve been awake for a day already.

I’m still tired, even. I got really poor quality sleep even after I decided not to run. My consolation run was ok, but not great. Now I have three more weeks to let this stew in my guts before I get the chance to race again. Goody!

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