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DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
CREATED: 10/07/12 by ellenwex REPLIES: 7
ellenwex's ravatar ellenwex    JOINED: 11/16/09    POSTS: 71
DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/07/12 3:41 PM

A brief race report mixed into a big shout out to those who raced today @ REV 3 Half Full…

It’s true you can’t control the weather. But you know what you can control? What you wear to mitigate the weather. I made some poor clothing choices today (choices to learn from for next time I compete in 48 degree rainy hilly weather) – and I paid the consequence – my first DNF (Did Not Finish).

It is in this context I want to say BRAVO to the members of the club who raced today. I know many who DNS (Did Not Start) – and I actually considered the same. But then I thought – it’s going to be really, really uncomfortable but you know what’s more uncomfortable? Cancer (the race was to benefit the Ullman Fund – hence the “Lance” hoopla), or not having a body that allows me to do things like this. And this would be an opportunity to push the comfort zones, right? I began to view it as more “adventure racing” than “triathlon.” I was psyched, but dreading the weather conditions – so I bought... gloves and borrowed running arm warmers. Hmmm….

On the note of BRAVO to those who raced – I shared a transition area with some of you ladies today – to name a few: Erin Bougie, as well as someone who I borrowed a pump from (your parents were cheering rock stars!) – and another racing IMFL training with the DC Tri Ironman Training Program – I think your name is Stephanie?

While setting up transition we all joked around about not getting the t-shirts till the finish line, and one of you even said (I think it was Stephanie) – oh Snapple/ DC Tri Elite Team aka you’re going to kick our butts today? Well I’ve got news for you, girl – today YOU kicked MINE. BIGGG TIMMMEEE. Because I couldn’t finish, and YOU DID. NICE WORK. Wear your t-shirt to bed tonight – you earned that thing on a TOUGH day out there!!!! Watch out, IMFL – you have mastered one of the keys of endurance racing: Do your best to control the controllables! You FINISHED.

Oh, and to the clubber who I almost knocked down when I tipped over on the hill – sorry, my fingers were too cold to shift and I got stuck in too high of a gear! You should have seen me the rest of the ride after that it was way worse – hence the DNF.

I – once again – am left humbled by the idea that the human body has limits – and armed with this experience – next time it’s 48 and raining on a course with lots of descents – I’ll know how to prepare and won’t make the same mistakes twice! I seriously never thought I’d DNF a race. As any of you who have DNFd understand, that’s an experience to learn from, in itself.

(Gosh, it really takes time to amass experiences like this and learn and improve, huh? More humble pie, for me – and respect to those who have been at it for a long time!)

Nice work out there, DC Tri.

ellenwex's ravatar ellenwex    JOINED: 11/16/09    POSTS: 71
RE: DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/07/12 3:42 PM

Update to say that Erin was 1/7 for a win in the 25-29 AG!

nelsb7p0's ravatar nelsb7p0    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 441
RE: DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/07/12 5:38 PM

Ellen - Congrats on a valiant effort and hope your doing well! Believe me, that was probably the most miserable race I've done due to bad weather conditions. The fact that I couldn't feel my fingers to open my GU's and shift, in addition to not feel my feet until 3 miles into the run probably puts it ahead of the miserable heat of Gen. Smallwood, Rocketts, and EagleMan.

I had several scenarios going through my head on the first lap of the bike (with the rain and ~50' temps), among other things if I'd be able to thwart off hypothermia since I was only wearing a tri kit with arm warmers. I was actually considering just asking one of the Cadets volunteering on the course for their jacket, then decided I was going to stop and stuff newspaper in my jersey, but the rain finally let up and I thawed out before having to resort to that.

I went into the med tent to warm up under the heaters after the run and the medic told they had several cases of hypothermia.

I'll post a race report in the next few days.


ebougie's ravatar ebougie    JOINED: 9/1/11    POSTS: 15
RE: DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/07/12 5:45 PM

Thanks Ellen! What a crazy weather day! My feet might never recover...Special shoutout to Holli and Abby for the awesome cheering section!


jorlie's ravatar jorlie    JOINED: 11/19/10    POSTS: 57
RE: DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/08/12 6:29 AM

Wow-tough weather conditions out there. I'd also like take this opportunity to pass along a great tip for those cold weather conditions.....

Get some bubble wrap sheet and fold in two, so you create a double layer. Then, cut it roughly the size of your torso. When in T1, just stuff your bubble wrap between torso and tri top/jersey. I've also used this in training rides, when they are early enough and I know it will warmup substantially throughout the day. The bubble wrap acts as a great insulator, as well as wind stopper. As the temps or you warmup, you could just toss the bubble wrap at an aid station on in your back pocket.

I'm doing B2B 1/2 in 2 weeks and I hope I don't have to resort to the bubble wrap, but you bet it will be in my gear bag.

Happy offseason to all!!!

dhops's ravatar dhops    JOINED: 7/12/12    POSTS: 125
RE: DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/08/12 10:17 AM

Ellen, thank you for your honesty and candor. We all have bad days and it's so nice you're willing to share your story with us. You'll crush it on the next one!

ballstoncyclist's ravatar ballstoncyclist    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 496
RE: DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/08/12 3:07 PM

Nice RR Ellen. I got cold just reading it. It's running season now brrrrr

dsdiver09's ravatar dsdiver09    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 20
RE: DNF is better than DNS but not as good as: FINISHER
POSTED: 10/10/12 3:17 PM

Ellen, thanks for the props in your post! I agree, that race took more mental fortitude than I have ever required of myself before. I think I was even hallucinating from the cold on the first 20 miles of the bike. When I started crying for joy when I got a wrapper open at mile 28, I knew things had hit rock bottom. LOL

Thanks for the camaraderie and encouragement in T2 though, and I consider even showing up on a day like that a HUGE success, so congrats on that!

Brady and Erin, you looked like rock stars flying by on the bike on loop 2. Are you sure you were cold? You could've fooled me, haha! GREAT JOB!

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