Started out good enough. Felt pretty strong. Started off fairly well. First mile was around 4:40. Then I slowly moved up into the 2nd tier pack. I tried to just keep picking people off as I didn't know what kind of shape I was in. At around 2miles I caught up with Chris Barnicle from Arkansas and we started working together moving up throughout the race. It really helped having someone else there to work off of and keep you going. I hit 3miles at right around 14:22, which was about 6 seconds faster than last year so I was pleased with that. Through mile 4 we made it up to a couple of the other Arkansas runners (Perkins, Hill, Cormier, I think). The 4mile split was 19:11 I believe, still several seconds up on last year so I knew I was on at least sub 30 pace. After mile four I started feeling it a little but hung on to the pack I was running with. At mile 5, I started feeling what I thought was a side stitch on my right side. I didn't think much of it at first and tried to start moving for the last mile. At around 5.5miles into the race, I got a pretty sudden and sharp pain in my right lower back and then the muscles started to tighten up there. Within another 50m the pain intensified and the muscles started to spasm. I had to slow to a jog, then to a walk, and then finally to the ground. Whatever it was, it hurt like hell. I layed there for what felt like a loooong time but was probably only a minute or two. At that point, I got up and tried to jog, but it hurt like hell to push off and even more so land on that right side. So I had to toss in the towel and DNF it.
I know people will think "Oh no, here we go again," or some other thing like that because things like this seem to happen to me a lot. Hell I'd lie if I hadn't had the same thoughts myself of what the heck is going on. But for whatever reason on that day my body just didn't hold up for the whole race. It sucks big time because I ran 5.5miles of a 6.2 mile race. It sucks to do that much of a hard race and not be able to have anything to show for it. Was it going to be a great race? No, but it would have been a solid race for me at this time since I'm not really training for any big CC race or anything. So that's why it sucks. I really have no idea what happened to my back. I've never felt something like that before. All I know is it hurt like hell and there was no way I could keep running. It hurt to walk afterwords and I couldn't even jog to cool down. Hopefully it gets better within the next couple of days. Today it feels pretty freaking tight and it hurts to stretch it out. It's actually kind of funny because I can barely bend down to touch my knees doing the hamstring stretch.
Anyways, gotta keep the head up and keep going.