This was not the post I was hoping to write today. I had planned my blog posts for the month of December and today was supposed to be my recap of the Jingle All The Way 15K. Well, the Jingle All The Way did not happen for me last Sunday as I made the decision to DNS (Did not show). While not an easy choice for me to make, I now realize it was the correct one. I am sharing a few things to consider should you ever be in the same position and need to make the decision on whether to DNS.
Quick back story-I had been building my mileage back up and feeling better than I had in months with my running. I was easily able to add on each week without feeling tired or sore. All of the sudden, my shin/calf started to ache. I panicked, mostly because I have had a stress fracture in that area before. I took a few days off and felt better only to have shin pain again after a longer run. I iced, rolled & stretched which did help but not completely. As the race day neared, I was still having minor soreness. After going back and forth a few times, I decided 2 days before to pull the plug on the race.
Making The Decision To DNS
Take Emotion Out of The Equation
No question, the hardest part for me. After a fantastic few weeks of running back in October, I signed up for the 15K and even roped a few of my friends into signing up as well. How was I going to skip the race now? Not to mention, I had purchased super cute holiday running attire that I’ve been waiting to wear. So stay tuned for goofy photos of me running around town in my holiday pants.
Putting FOMO aside, ask yourself honestly “Will my life be any different if I do or do not run this race”? I tend to wrap up so much emotion into races that you would think I am in the Olympic trials or something.
Know Your Body
Most runners know the difference between feeling a little sore and knowing that you are injured. We usually know when our bodies are begging for an extra day off to recover. We also know that giving ourselves that extra time off usually does the trick. We also know when we are really injured and need to see a Doctor. Sometimes we have to go with our gut feeling and trust it.
Is It Worth It?
Assess the risk vs reward. Is this your goal race of the year? Will racing make or break your running career? I am guessing for most of us reading this today, the answer to that question is no. Could running this race cause you to miss your goal race?
As hard as it was emotionally not to join my friends for the 15K last weekend, I know I made the right decision for me at the time. I’ve promised myself that I will make attempt to make smart decisions about training and racing so that I don’t end up with another serious injury. I already feel much better after a few extra rest days and had no pain at all after running yesterday.
Tell me-have you ever DNS for a race? How did you feel about it?