DNSing Like a Boss

*DNS = Did Not Start (as in a race)

dnsDespite Oprah’s excitement up there, I am not proud of the number of DNSs I’ve racked up so far this year. It’s especially painful given that I added 2 more to my tally in the last week alone. So. Lame.

I wrote a post last June about all the races I had DNSed at that point (a total of 6, spread out between 2013 and 2014). 2015 is just about half over, and I’ve DNSed 5. Five. Almost the same number in 6 months as I managed in the two previous years combined. Yikes!

So how did this happen?? I could blame them all on the injuries that have been plaguing me since the winter (foot, ribs, knee, etc.) but if I’m honest, they weren’t all due to injury. Let’s investigate, shall we?

1. Run Your Hangover Off 5-Miler, January 1

Volunteering as a road guard

I opted out of this race due to a dodgy foot that may have been a case of peroneal tendonitis. This was my one purely injury-based DNS, and I ended up volunteering at this race instead. (I wrote about it here.)

2. Jay Lyons Road Race, April 12


No injury this time; rather, the race fell on a weekend that also happened to be the most convenient weekend to go to Pennsylvania to visit my brother and some friends. I wasn’t *too* bummed about missing the race, having completed the Tour de Worcester last year, and PA was fun. Totally worth the DNS.

3. North Shore 10-Miler, April 26


I wrestled with this one, readers. Wrestled hard. And publicly. My Shammies buddy K roped me into signing up for this race with her, but then she got injured and had to back out. I hadn’t trained properly for that distance because of my freak rib injury, and was worried that I’d hurt myself if I went for it anyway. So in the end I decided to spend the day wrestling mutant hosta with my folks, and in the end was glad I had skipped the race in the name of family time, garden maintenance, and injury prevention.

4. Berna’s Great Legs 5K, July 9

Berna Finley (source)

Berna Finley (source)

Earlier this year, my friend Julie told me that she wanted to run 10 5Ks in 2015 and invited me to run some with her. At the time, I was chomping at the bit to get running again after one of my many injuries, and began searching for fun races we could run together. Berna’s Great Legs was one of them – a women-only run for a good cause in a city I have yet to run in (Lowell). And then I hurt my knee. And then Julie hurt her knee. And then I was super jet-lagged and super busy after coming back from California. And then I tweaked my knee again after joining the Shammies at the track to run gently while they did a speed workout. And then Julie didn’t bring her running clothes to work and wasn’t sure she’d be able to make the weeknight race in time. It was a perfect storm of unfortunate things that led to yet another DNS. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

5. Run for the Hills trail run, July 11

And yet another race I was quite looking forward to… a trail 5K in Hamilton, another town I’ve yet to run in, and I was signed up with Drew. My knee still wasn’t feeling great on Friday night, and Drew played a late soccer game and wasn’t entirely enthusiastic about getting up at 6:30 the next day to run a trail race that neither of us had trained for. So, yeah. We opted to have a lie-in the next day, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t glorious.


There are the 5 DNSs I’ve collected so far this year, and I know for sure that I’ll have to miss yet another race I’m already registered for, due to upcoming vacation plans. Even though I feel like missing the above races was for the best in each case given the circumstances, it’s reeeeeally painful to think about how I was pre-registered for each race, and therefore paid for each one without getting to run. That’s way more money than I should be wasting on what amounts to nothing. It’s really not cool.

So, at this point, not counting the one race I know I’ll DNS, I have one remaining race that I’m pre-registered for in 2015. I am going to do my dangedest to make sure I run that one (an 80s-themed run at the beach… too fun to miss!), but otherwise I’m going to cool my jets with these race registrations. What I need to do is focus on getting my knee back to 100%, and then come back gradually. A few injured Shammies and I have been discussing starting up Couch to 5K so that we can ease back into running safely, and even if we don’t do it together, I think I’m going to go that route anyway. I’m sick of injuring myself, and I’m sure you’re sick of reading my whining! 🙂

Has anyone else DNSed this much, or am I seriously a special snowflake?

What race do you really regret missing, if you’ve ever had to miss one?
I’m still really bummed that I didn’t get to take part in the Poppy Run in London a few years back, even if that DNS wasn’t my fault!

Did you race this weekend (you know, unlike me)? How did it go?


12 thoughts on “DNSing Like a Boss

  1. I would probably have a DNS or few if I didn’t register for things so late. I have a race in 2 weeks that I still haven’t registered for. Which is a good thing since I am changing the distance I had originally planned on running. I haven’t even registered for my goal race in October. I’d rather pay a higher price and register so late. However I have missed out on some races due to this. They have sold out before I could register.

    • I’m totally the opposite… I’m ridiculous about signing up wicked early, partly so that I don’t miss out if it sells out, and partly because I’m a sucker for all the “be one of the first 100 to sign up and get a free hat!” stuff. Plus the early bird rates are usually cheaper. But I feel like any money I may have saved by signing up early has gone out the window by now! I need to take a page from the Slacker manual and tone it down a little 🙂

  2. I DNS’d a couple last fall cause of my foot, and one this spring because I was sort of sick and the weather sucked. That’s why registering early for races is such a double-edged sword. I think Couch to 5k is a great idea–that’s how I got started running, and I really liked it. A slow start may be just what you need to get back to running healthy.

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