Saturday, September 26, 2009


Since you can't finish what you don't start, I am putting "DNS" (rather than "DNF") in the log books for the Help Make A Difference triathlon. At the last minute, I decided to pull out of the race. The day began at 4:30am when I decided to get up. I tossed and turned all through night, hoping that the rain would clear out for the race. Chad woke me up around midnight or so when he got back from studying to let me know that there was flash flooding going on in our county...great! When I woke up on Saturday morning, I looked outside and all I saw was heavy rain. I decided to go ahead and get ready and head to the race site, hoping that the weather would clear through the morning.

I packed my bags and loaded my bike, and headed to Danville. I knew that the race probably would not be canceled due to the weather, but I kept struggling over the decision: to race or not to race...that was the question. Before I left the house at 6:15, I woke Chad up and told him that the weather looked horrible, but I was going to go to the race site to check things out. He planned to leave the house at 7:15 to head to the race site, but I told him that I would call him once I got there to let him know if I was going to race or not.

My drive to Danville was really stressful - it was dark, pouring rain, foggy, and I was pretty much hugging the steering wheel. Once I got to the race site, I rain into the gym/wellness center that was serving as race HQ. As I ran inside I noticed that there were only 2 bikes set up in the transition area. By this point, I had pretty much talked myself out of doing the race.

I've only ridden my bike twice in the rain, and it wasn't very fun at all - I had no confidence and I went so slowly around curves and on downhills, trying to avoid crashing. Plus, we are in this sucky "in between buckets" stage of our medical insurance where we have to pay 100% out of pocket for all medical expenses, so the idea of riding on dark, water-logged, foggy roads with 100 other people in a downpour didn't seem like the smartest choice to me. I held out a small hope that they might decide to cut out the bike portion of the race due to the flash flood warnings and have a swim/run duathlon, which would have been awesome, but alas that didn't happen.

I hated to make the decision, but I just knew that it wasn't worth the risk of crashing and/or getting sick from racing in such dismal weather. I called Chad to tell him that I was headed home, and I know that he was relieved. He was really afraid that I'd break my neck out on the course! Three of my friends planned to come to the race, but I told them on Friday to not come if it was raining - I thought it would be miserable for them to have to stand out in the rain for two hours! So even though I knew they probably weren't coming to the race, I called my friend Sarah to let her know I wasn't going to be racing, just in case they had decided to come. To my shock, they said they were about half-way to Danville! I couldn't believe that they were willing to come out in the terrible weather to support me. I shouldn't have been surprised, because they are just the kind of great friends who would do anything for you, but I was still pretty surprised. Since they were already on their way to Danville, we decided to meet for breakfast instead. Having breakfast with good friends in a warm coffee shop definitely beat racing out in the rain!! Kelly, Sarah, Amberly (and kiddos Morgan and Cora) - thank you for coming out to support me, even though I am a quitter!

So, I only got to do one triathlon this season but that's ok. I have two (maybe three) more running races this month that I'm going to focus on, and then I'm going to take it easy and just run, bike and swim for fun through the rest of the year. I'm already starting to line up my 2010 running/triathlon calendar!

Here are some things I found yesterday afternoon about this crazy weather we've been having - the report from the meterologist came at 7:59am, 1 minute before the race start! Luckily today is sunny and things are finally starting to dry out!

How Heavy Is The Rain?

By: Meteorologist Tom Ackerman
Posted: Sep 26, 2009 7:41 AM
Updated: Sep 26, 2009 7:59 AM

1.84" in one hour at the Somerset Pulaski County airport. That's an almost 2" per hour rainfall rate! 2.31" in 2 hours from the Kentucky Mesonet site near Winchester. Flash flooding is almost certain close to torrential rain like this... use extreme caution if you're out and about this morning.

1 comment:

Sarah Jackson said...

Meredith - we would ALWAYS stand in the rain for you. Truth be told, that morning was the best morning I've had in a LOOONG time. It was so fun to be out in the dark, dreary morning with my warm and cozy friends. Thanks for not calling until the last second!!
We'll catch you flying by, running by, or lapping by another time.