Thoughts On One Final DNS of 2014

Well, I’m guessing by the title you’ve already figured out that I didn’t end up running the Ted Corbitt 15K on Saturday. I suppose I got greedy by signing up. I should have just run the Richmond Half Marathon and ended the year there.

I struggled with whether or not I should run this race for the greater part of the last two weeks; since this muscle spasm started. Two weeks ago I ran 7 miles and felt great.

If you didn't take a picture of your Garmin, did the run really happen?

If you didn’t take a picture of your Garmin, did the run really happen?

Late that night, maybe from carrying something to too heavy (still unclear), my back started spasming again. I woke up the next morning, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, to run a 5K in Riverside Park with Abby and immediately knew that wasn’t happening. Yet another DNS (did not start) this year. How was that possible? I had been feeling great since Richmond. Maybe even better than I had felt all year. I went back to Flywheel and felt stronger than I had in months. I was all set to return to Refine Method on that Monday but knew that wasn’t happening either.

What went wrong? I had been doing everything right. I allowed my body ample recovery time after Richmond. I kept up with my strength and PT exercises, and stretching remained a priority. In the end, the muscle imbalances and weaknesses I’ve dealt with this year, no thanks to broken wing, are taking longer than expected to correct and are still lingering around. Can someone tell them they are no longer welcome? Thanks.

Two weeks ago, after resting for a few days, I was finally feeling good enough for a short, slow run. That Thursday, I ran 4.5 glorious miles in Central Park and felt pretty good post-run.

Seriously nothing better than sunrise over the reservoir!

There is seriously nothing better than the sunrise over the reservoir!

By 4pm that afternoon, I felt awful. After 6 days of rest, no running, and not feeling significantly better, I decided it was time to head back to PT. Again. After two days of PT, and riding the stationary bike (read: the most boring thing ever invented), the muscle spasm had greatly improved.

The night before the 15K, I wavered back and forth on what the right choice was with Ashley, Allison, and Coach. I used the heating pad, did my PT exercises, and went to bed undecided.

iPhonePhotos 3026

Tusk and wine make everything better!

I woke up on race morning still not knowing whether or not I would, or should, run the race with my friends. I loved this race last year.

What's better than running in the snow with some of your favorite people!?!

What’s better than running in the snow with some of your favorite people!?!

I had been looking forward to Allison visiting and running it with her since we signed up months ago.

Miss this girl every day. Also, I was so much skinnier and fit last year. Stupid #brokenwing.

I miss this girl every single day. Also, I was so much skinnier and fit last year. Stupid #brokenwing.

I put on my running shoes and ran up and down the hallway in my pajamas to see how my back felt. It felt okay. Good even. In my gut, I think I knew what the right choice was all along; even though it wasn’t what my heart wanted. I guess I simply wasn’t ready to say it out loud. I’m skipping another race with my friends again. I’m DNS-ing. Again. Ultimately, I decided that being smart that day, and listening to my body, would give me the best possible chance of starting 2015 off on the right foot. Sure, running probably would’ve felt fine during the race. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth the huge setback it would have probably led to and another week of feeling awful and in pain. I want to go back to spin. I want to finally make my triumphant return to Refine Method and get strong again. I want to run healthy. On Saturday, these dreams for a strong, healthy 2015 won over 9.3 miles with my friends. Here’s to a strong 2015; full of injury-free running and maybe even a few shiny, new PRs!

Tell Me.

Have you ever DNS’d more races than you ran in a year?

Would you have skipped the race or taken your chances?

Do you think it’s “better” to DNS or DNF? (DNS=did not start; DNF=did not finish for my non-running friends)

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7 thoughts on “Thoughts On One Final DNS of 2014

  1. Back spasms are awful. Sorry to hear. A lot of rest is needed to recover from them. Sometimes swimming helps Bc it is low impact and can help strengthen the back… Bird-dogs too. Are you also on muscle relaxants? And what PT exercises are you doing?

  2. This year I had to drop out of four half marathons and a marathon that I had registered for (thanks to injury then not enough time to train after I recovered). I ran one marathon and five half marathons, plus a few shorter races. So I ran more than I DNS’d (barely). I do think it’s better to DNS than start, injure yourself further, and DNF.

  3. DNF is way worse than DNS. DNS meand you realized you it wasn’t your day, DNF means you thought it was your day and it turned out that it wasn’t. You made the right choice. There will always be races to run!

  4. I think it’s always better to play it safe when you’re dealing with an injury/ issue. I think of it this way – in the long run, would those 9.3 miles really be worth possibly setting your self back in recovery or doing more damage??

    It must be so frustrating not knowing what is causing the spasms, but hopefully between PT and taking it easy you’ll be back out there feeling good in time for 2015!

  5. You know I feel your pain (literally and figuratively)! It’s been two months since I’ve run more than 3 miles without pain, and it SUCKS. But you’re being smart about it – why push it if you aren’t feeling 100%, just to possibly make your recovery time even longer? You had a serious accident last year and your body is unfortunately going to take a long time to recover. Even though your wing is healed, the rest of your body has to catch back up to where it was before too. One step at a time – I know you’ll get there! #getstrong2015

  6. Pingback: The Long and Winding Road | Once in a Mile

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