Before blogging, I used to write them. And this one showed up in my “Memories” today. You know, that newish feature of Facebook that shows you stuff you posted on this day in years past. Well, apparently eight years ago today I was on sabbatical in Australia being shown who’s the boss by hills. (Some things never change!)
My First DNF
This weekend was the Brindabella Challenge, a two stage bike race event. I did really well yesterday in the evening event, a 20 min + 3 lap crit, coming in 4th. Yippee. But this morning’s hot, hilly 57 km road race did me in. It was a handicap event so my group got a substantial head start but about 15 km in on a very steep hill (9-10% grade) I got dropped. The fun part of the handicapping was that I then spent some time on the back of E, D, and C (again getting dropped on the hills again). But by the end there wasn’t a hope of catching a ride with A and B. Just a loud whoosh and some yelling “stay left” as they flew by. I made it to the top of the last big hill but all that was left was a steep descent with a turn around at the bottom. At the point I decided to take off my race number and wrist band and ride back. There was a group of drop outs and we actually rode back together. A really nice woman said “I say we give the race to them.” That was probably the hardest 2 hour ride of my life. I think at this stage in my training and racing I still need a real break, more than 8 hours sleep between races. And I need to get leaner and stronger to handle these hills at race pace.
For the unfamiliar, DNF stands for “Did Not Finish”–equivalent to the academic INC, although unlike grad school there is no way to make up a grad of DNF and have it changed to something else.
Have you ever DNF’ed? How’d do it feel? Tell us your story. I know it’s better than DNS, Did Not Start!
Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist! Co-founder of Fit Is a Feminist Issue, co-author of Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey (launching in April 2018, published by Greystone Books.
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