Race Quandary

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?


11 thoughts on “Race Quandary

  1. I’d definitely sit it out, for all the reasons you listed. We’re just getting to prime running and racing season, and you don’t want to mess it all up over one 10 mile race. Yes, wasting money sucks, but you need to take care yourself first.

    • Very good points. Actually, between the time I drafted this post and when it went live, I pretty much decided against doing the race. I’d rather have the day to hang and see family and *not* injure myself running a distance I’m unprepared for!

    • Truth. Like my dad said when I was talking this over with him – the race fee is likely cheaper than whatever hospital/PT bills I might have to pay if I hurt myself!

  2. Sounds like you should DNS this one. I just got an email about a different 10 miler that’s in June…the New England Running Company 10 Miler….do that one instead! I’m 95% sure I’m gonna do it; just need to pull the trigger (aka: click the register button).

    • Looks like the DNS is going to happen. Thanks for the tip about the other 10 miler! I’d be so, so tempted to sign up (especially if you’re running it!) if it weren’t the same day as the half marathon I signed up for šŸ˜¦ Boo bad timing!

  3. Well if I were you, I would run. I would use it as a training run and do the best that I could considering all that you have spelled out. But since I’m not you, you really have to do what you feel is best for you and your body. The hard part about DNS is beating yourself up…. Don’t!!! I’m sort of in the same predicament. I have a race later today (5 miler) and a half on Sunday and my right leg is a little tender (think I pulled something earlier in the week)… I was totally going to DNS. But I’m putting my big girl panties on and just going to listen to my body during the 5 mile run and right now she’s saying slow, nice and easy. I really want to PR for my half so I’m not going to do anything to mess that up (fingers crossed). Good luck with your decision. Oh and we never run by ourselves during a race…. We are surrounded by a sea of runners!!!!

    • Thanks SY! Props for putting on your big girl panties and just getting it done… I don’t seem to own a pair of those right now! šŸ˜‰ I hope your races went well, and thanks for the reminder that we never run alone!

      • Hey Dgobs!!!! It’s okay if you don’t own any big girl panties šŸ™‚ you know your body better than anybody and have to do what’s best for you….I didn’t have good races….my hamstring was killing me so it made for a very tough 5 miler and half marathon :(…..so I didn’t run not once this week and may take off next week…..just taking a big ol’ rest break šŸ™‚

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