Readers, I’ve written here before about how I don’t like to DNS (Did Not Start) races but that it’s something that tends to happen.
Last June I wrote about all the races I’d had to DNS thus far in my running career (6 at that point), and ended the post saying that I hoped to keep my DNS count “to a minimum” going forward. Well, I managed not to DNS any more in 2014, but as for this year, things haven’t been going entirely as planned.
I had to DNS my first race of 2015 due to injury (though I did get to volunteer that day as a race marshal, which was fun).
A few posts ago I mentioned how I’d have to DNS 2 out of 3 of this year’s Tour de Worcester races due to unavoidable schedule conflicts, one of which was my recent trip to Philadelphia to visit family and friends. (A good reason to DNS, in my opinion, but still an unfortunate DNS.)
And, well… now for my quandry: to DNS, or not to DNS, my 10-mile race this Sunday.
First, the reasons to not DNS:
1) I really don’t like DNS’ing, and have already missed 2 races so far this year.
2) I already paid… combined with the money I paid for the 2 other races I’ve missed, the amount of money I’ve wasted makes me a sad panda.
3) I’ve never run a 10-mile race, so it would be an automatic PR, which is always nice.
4) The race is in a town I’ve never visited before, so not only would I get to check another town off my list, but I’d also get to explore a new-to-me place in my home state.
And the reason to DNS:
1) I’m not prepared to run 10 miles. My training got derailed when I injured my ribs, and my longest distance since my half last October has been 5 miles. Part of me thinks I could still do it if I take it easy, but I’m wary of increasing my mileage too quickly… it didn’t agree with me during half marathon training so I’m guessing it would continue to not agree with me now!
2) Related to the above reason, I ran one of my worst runs this past Sunday. After standing for nearly 6 hours straight at the Marathon Expo, I felt a little like I’d been hit by a Mack truck the next morning. Couple that leaden feeling with a dodgy stomach from a well-intentioned but ultimately bad breakfast, and you have me practically limping 2.5 miles before waving the Shammies off so I could walk the remaining 2.5 miles home alone. Aside from the janky stomach, my right knee, ankle, shin, and hip all bothered me at some point during the run, making me nervous enough to not want to push myself. Running 10 miles on Sunday would be pushing myself, and therefore I feel nervous about it. Like one of my wise Shammies said, it’s the beginning of the season – I don’t want to injure myself now!
3) I’d be running it alone. My friend K convinced me to sign up for this race with her, but she has since succumbed to injury herself and will not be running. The only other Shammie I know who is registered for it just ran the Boston Marathon so I kind of doubt she’ll be banging out a 10-miler a mere 6 days later. If this were a race nearby I wouldn’t mind so much, but it’s a bit of a hike, I don’t know where I’m going, and I could really use the moral support of someone else running it with me. I miss Colin.
4) Related, my Number 1 Fan (Drew) wouldn’t be joining me like he usually does, since the race is the morning after his birthday and he (fairly) reserves the right for a lie-in that day. Since the race starts at 9am, he’s already told me I’d be on my own.
5) If I don’t run this race, my folks might visit that morning to help us attack some mutant hosta in our garden. I’d much rather spend time with them than run 10 miles, to be perfectly honest!
I have a few races coming up (after this 10-miler) that I’m really looking forward to, including one that I had to DNS last year, and a nagging voice in the back of my mind keeps telling me to skip the 10-miler so that I can be healthy for them. But is that my Blerch talking? Should I shush it and run anyway?
If you were me, what would you do? Suck it up and do the race, or sit this one out?
Ever experienced a similar race quandary?
Who’s racing this coming weekend?