Yesterday I had a DNF. For those who don't understand the terminology it stands for 'Did Not Finish' - the runner's equivalent of the 'no return' at golf. It happened in Livingston, at the 3rd and final East District Cross Country meeting. I didn't feel too great in the morning, but did a reasonable warm up and felt ok as I lined up on the start line. After about 45 seconds of running down the hill, I knew something wasn't right. I just had no strength in my legs at all, and felt a bit light headed. I persevered for most of the first lap, watching more and more people come past me and not being able to do anything about it, but as we got to yet another hill I realised it just wasn't going to be my day. I stopped and stepped off the course. A DNF. My first for many years, but a DNF nevertheless. All very disappointing.
I came home and felt completely shattered, falling asleep on the chair as I tried to watch the Newcastle v Bolton match. So what was the problem? Probably a combination of quite a few things: I suspect I'm carrying a bit of a bug; I made a complete hash of my pre-race eating (didn't have enough); and I was tired after a very busy week at work. In hindsight I shouldn't have gone to the race at all, but it is always easy to be wise after the event.
I didn't do any running today, taking the dog for a long walk instead, and I'll probably leave it a couple of days before running again. Better to be cautious now than to risk greater problems further down the line, I think.