Story Index:

IRONMAN Wisconsin, My Cinderella Story
09/20/2018

IRONMAN Boulder, Coming in Hot
09/20/2018

IRONMAN Texas: Everything's Bigger in Texas (except the Ironman bike course)
05/01/2018

Uphill Both Ways (Oceanside Race Report)
04/16/2018

The Things We Deserve
03/06/2018

When Life Gives You Lemons... IM 70.3 Santa Cruz and IM 70.3 Boulder (sort of)
09/23/2017

The DNF Strikes Back
07/11/2017

Oops, I Did An IM
06/16/2017

IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa
05/22/2017

IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3
05/19/2017

December in the Desert: HITS Palm Springs 70.3
12/07/2016

The Coolest Prize I've Ever Won
10/26/2016

Running With the Big Dogs
07/23/2016

The Inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon
07/04/2016

Early Season Ups & Downs
06/28/2016

XTERRA Real Granite Bay
04/11/2016

Urbanathlon, Where You Been All My Life?!
11/25/2015

The Top 17 Reasons You Should Have Been at Scott Tinley's
10/21/2015

Rock & Roll Half Marathon
10/04/2015

Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
09/23/2015

This Seems Like a lot of Work for a Free Banana
09/01/2015

Sometimes the Best Race is the One I Didn't Win
08/03/2015

Tales of a Swim Meet Rookie
08/01/2015

Victory at the California International Triathlon
06/30/2015

Wildflower Will Show You What You're Made Of
05/07/2015

Mama Didn't Raise No Quitter
04/22/2015

HITS Napa Half, 5 (Plus) Hours of Fun
04/17/2015

Off-Roading: My Trail Run Debut
04/04/2015

Lake Tahoe Marathon Weekend
09/16/2014

Farewell to Madison
09/09/2014

Being Comfortable With Discomfort
08/18/2014

Wildflower 2012, Team Goodell
06/09/2012

USA Triathlon National Championships
10/02/2011

How About a Road Race?
08/06/2011

Tri-Ing for Children
07/25/2011

The Women's Sprint Triathlon - Where it All Began
07/12/2011

Defending the Title in Pleasant Prairie
06/27/2011

Capitol View Triathlon
06/13/2011

Tri Club Party in Madison
04/10/2011

Be A Better Runner
03/28/2011

Hello, Felt
03/20/2011

I'm Going With You
01/03/2011

2009 Triathlon World Championships
09/12/2009

Kim completes her first Half-Ironman
06/10/2008

Kim Visits Home for Wildflower Triathlon
05/16/2008

Kim Blazes Chicago Triathlon
08/27/2007

More Triathlons for Kim
06/15/2006

Kim in Chicago Triathlon
08/31/2005

Kim graduates from Willamette
06/17/2002

Kim returns from Europe
02/02/2001

Kim Travels Europe
11/24/2000
The DNF Strikes Back



Last month I was supposed to drop out of the Ironman. But I thumbed my nose at the plan to DNF and then guess what happened at my next race?

The DNF gods went ahead and took the sacrifice I owed them.

July 9th was the Boulder Peak Olympic, a race with a long history of big time pro champions, and famous for its brutal climb up Olde Stage Road.

And I didn't finish it.

While perhaps an unremarkable turn of events in the world of competitive racing, this was unique for me, in that it was my first time.

I've completed more than 80 triathlons. If you add to that total all the 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, trail races, bike races, aquathons, etc - I've cruised through that glorious finish arch (or over that chalk line on the pavement) well over 200 times.

If you add to that total all the times I've climbed up on the starting blocks at a swim meet and reliably completed the 50, 100, 200, 1500 yard race ... OK maybe swim meets don't really count, because who DNFs a race that's only a minute long? (I mean, besides Mateo, the hero of the Ygnacio Valley High School swim team, who, on the historic day the phrase "WTF?!" was invented, swam 75 yards of a 100 yard race, and just got out at the other end of the pool. Something I've never seen happen before or since).

My point is, for over two decades, I've had a 100% success rate when it comes to finishing races. I'm obsessed with the irresistible pull of the finish line, perhaps to a fault.

I had observed a long time ago, with some bewilderment, that pros had an unusually high rate of DNF, despite their obviously superior level of capability. Was it vanity? "If I'm not the winner, I don't want to play!" Was it decadence? "Races? I've got a million of them, who cares?" Or were they perhaps going so insanely hard that they reached that point where limbs start flying off their bodies and they lay broken on the side of the road while age groupers trotted past?

I simply couldn't conceive of what possible reason there would be for surrender.

(I'm sure there's a lot to unpack there, because this mentality doesn't stop at racing for me ... )

It seemed I was incapable of separating the concepts of "unfinished" and "failure."

In light of this, Sunday's race was a major breakthrough for me.

I was well prepared and appropriately pumped for the Boulder Peak. Even with half the population of Boulder badasses out on pregnancy leave, the roster had still filled out with some top names. Kaisa Sali had gone 5th at Kona last year. Paula Findlay was a 2012 Olympian. Alicia Kaye was a name I remember from the magazines back when I was still racing on an aluminum commuter bike. I wasn't going to be able to fight them for the podium, but I hoped that in the presence of greatness, I could perform to the best of my abilities and show some definite improvements in my own racing.

As the sun rose over the Boulder Reservoir, we lined up on the beach: eleven strong, confident women. There was some sort of glitch with the playing of the National Anthem, and while we waited in the awkward silence, Paula filled in with her national anthem, "O, Canadaaa! ... " Haha, nice cover. She seems fun, I'd totally hang out with her. (But I guess I'd have to catch her first).




Posted by Kimberly 07/11/2017
FreeStyle Journal 19.03.21
©2003-2011 by Dan Goodell

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