I love races: I enjoy training for them, pushing myself to my limits as I participate in them, and watching my running friends and coaching clients accomplish so much in their races. But, when a race isn’t right, I’m willing to admit it and not fake my way across the finish line.
A few friends have asked me about the Jack and Jill Marathon/Half Marathon and whether I still on running it at the end of this month. The easy answer: I’m not. I’m DNSing (Did Not Start).
(To catch up new readers: I started marathon training for the Jack and Jill Marathon in April, sprained my foot when I slipped on a hike, and then was off of running for a few weeks, which caused me to scrap this marathon and sign up for the California International Marathon in December).
My first actionable step when I learned my foot was sprained was to email the race directors and request a downgrade to the half marathon.
After some miscommunication from various representatives at the race, I was downgraded to the Jack and Jill half marathon. I was initially optimistic about my return from injury and thought I could possibly swing enough quality weeks in to try for another sub-1:40 half marathon.
But, while I did make a smooth recovery from my sprained foot (with the exception of a week off due to my hamstring acting weird, but it’s been no issue ever since!), I took it slow and easy. I’m not in prime shape for a half marathon. And if I’m not going to give what I perceive as my best, I’m not going to race.
I know several people who race for fun, and that’s great – but it’s not for me. My competitive side emerges the moment I toe that starting line. The fun in racing for me comes from the sense of accomplishment in running hard, not in simply finishing.
Honestly, I don’t care about a DNS appearing by my name in the race results or on my Athlinks profile. To me, this DNS symbolizes an ability to listen to my body, make prudent decisions, and not push myself when the time isn’t appropriate.
A DNS, in the grand scheme of life, is a blip on the radar. Even right now, I really don’t care about it one way or the other. I paid for this race months ago, so it’s not like I’m losing money now. With all of the turmoil in the world right now, I would be downright petty, pathetic, and narcissistic if I upset myself and dwelt over not running one particular race.
The race is a net downhill course on gravel, which translates to trashed legs and sore feet by the finish line. If this was my goal race, I would take no issue with the course profile, but I start training for the California International Marathon exactly one day after the Jack and Jill Half Marathon.
I prefer to begin my marathon training rested, eager, and strong, not in starting off in need of recovery.
Also, can I just say that deep down, I’m lazy? The thought of waking up early, driving 90 minutes or so to the start line, and timing my nutrition, and then running the farthest I would have run since April sounds like too much work for a weekend. I’d rather sleep in to rest up before I begin the demanding 18 weeks of marathon training, go hiking now that both Ryan and I are finally healed from foot injuries, and relax.
California International Marathon is going to be a breakthrough marathon for me. I sense it and, even more than that, I believe so – and that belief in oneself and one’s training is what possess the power to turn a race into a personal best.
Linking up with Thinking Out Loud!
Have you ever DNS’ed a race? How did you feel about it?
What’s a lazy habit or desire you currently have?
Sometimes lazy behavior is beneficial – most of us are type A runners who will just go and go if we don’t give into our lazy desires.