I saw this T-shirt shop a while back, and I really appreciate the sentiment on this one.
As I mentioned, I have a DNF in the 2002 Tour des Lacs bike ride. I also have a DNF on my first marathon attempt. I was originally training for the Vancouver Marathon in May of 2006. I started getting injuries a few months out, and it was clear I would not be ready. I postponed my attempt for a month and signed up for the North Olympic Discovery Marathon. I had missed quite a bit of my scheduled runs, so I still was not fully trained. My longest run was 14 miles and that ended with me walking in pain (birth of my IT band problems). Anyway, I was going to give it a shot. I didn't want to have another entry fee go to waste, and I didn't know what would happen unless I tried. I also had two friends running the half marathon.
It was a great day for a run - Clear but not too warm. I decided to take a walk break after each mile, hoping to keep the IT issue at bay. I had bought IT straps a couple of weeks earlier and they seemed to help, but for some reason I didn't wear them at the start. I put them on when I started to feel pain around mile 8. I hit the halfway mark at about 2:20, so I wasn't far off my target pace. By mile 14 though, both knees were really hurting and the walk breaks became longer and longer. I stumbled along to mile 18 before calling it quits. I called the wife and she came to pick me up. I probably could have walked it in, but the half marathoners had long since finished and were waiting, and walking wasn't really what I had planned on. I also had a few big biking events coming soon and I didn't want to do any more damage.
I had a quick breakdown in the car with the wife. Finishing was a bit suspect with my injuries, but I was still pretty disappointed. I pulled it together and met the half marathoners at the finish line and celebrated their success. It helped to be around friends and fellow runners. It also helped that I already had the next goal planned.
I have another bike event coming soon, and it is the first in a while where I'm not sure if I will get an official finish. There is a time limit so that adds to the pressure. My bib number is 499 and there are 500 participants. I hope that isn't an omen of my finishing position.