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March 23 2013 / Emily

Shame: My First DNS

I have been slacking lately.  Big time.  Well except for the whole buying-a-house thing I’m currently in the middle of.  That’s consuming time and so much mental energy.  I haven’t run in a week.  I’m keeping the purse strings tight as I try to maximize my down-payment and that means it is finally happening… my first DNS.  That’s “did not start” in race lingo.  And I am so ashamed.

It was a month and only two (slacking!) blog posts ago when I wished my blog a happy birthday and was excited to announce my next ultra.  Well, I only just now replied to the comments (slacking!) congratulating me on the race.  I guess it was all just some big talk.  I registered for the race back on February 6, but still had not gotten around to buying my plane tickets or getting a hotel (slacking!).  I won’t say that I’m completely confident that I could run 44.4 miles all in one fell swoop, but that isn’t the intimidating part of the trip for me.  It is the at least $700 that it would cost for transportation and lodging, then of course I’d spend more on food and entertainment.  I’m a month away from closing on a house (knock on wood the inspection goes well!) and that money has better purposes right now.  Like buying a sparkly new washer and dryer.

Once I realized the trip was looking unlikely, I let my training just collapse (slacking!).  I was going to run a 50k last weekend as a training run, but it would have been close to $100 in entry fees and gasoline, so I thought I’d just do it by myself.  Ha!  I guess I don’t have the mental fortitude to run for like 6 hours by myself.  Saturday, I went out and between starting late and needing to sign contracts in midday, I only managed 14 miles (slacking!).  Sunday I convinced myself there was a little pain in my leg and it would be better to just rest (slacking!).  Now I haven’t exercised in a week (!) and I’m surprisingly okay with it (!).  I know I need to get back at it soon because any little bit of fitness I have is just draining away.  I still have the Tar Heel 10 Miler on the horizon next month (already paid for, and at a discount!).

But really… the money is contributing equally to my DNS with the solo nature of the whole trip.  Maybe it is just mental but the mind is a powerful weapon.  I haven’t done much travel alone.  Last real solo trip I can think of is a week in New Zealand and a few days in Fiji on the way home from my study abroad semester in Australia in 2004.  Shouldn’t a long weekend in Kansas City be easy compared to that?  I actually think being in a different country where my accent immediately points out my outsider status would help me as the solo traveler.  If I’m sitting alone in a bar in Kansas City, people would probably just look at me and be like “poor girl has no friends, how sad.”

Yes, I worry entirely too much about what people think of me.  And I’m letting this DNS say way more than it should.  I’m about to buy a house by myself to start my real official Single Old Maid Independent Woman life, and I should be able to take a Single Old Maid Independent Woman vacation.  But I can’t, and I’m not, and I’m using money as a totally reasonable excuse.

Maybe (probably not… slacking!) I’ll try to go out and run a zillion miles to prove that it really is just the money.  Not the fear.

In the meantime, I’ll wear my DNS as a scarlet letter.



Leave a Comment
  1. hinsone / Mar 23 2013 3:14 PM

    I can totally relate to this on two different levels, first after bailing on the Pilot Mountain Payback I know exactly how you feel, even though I had very good reasons to skip that race, injury concerns, course concerns, travel concerns (even though it’s close). I felt bad for missing it but I would have felt worse if I had forced myself to go through with it. That also caused a “landslide” to my race schedule as now the half marathons planned for March and April were “pointless” since they wouldn’t count for the 6 in 6 months for two moon status so what was the point right?

    I also totally get you on the “life happens” side as well. I currently planning and trying to organize a cross country move to the west coast that involves driving my beat up little car for 4 days straight across the middle of the country. All of my extra money is going towards that and I can’t justify any kind of travel expenses for an out of town race. I did the St Leo’s 10K since it’s here in town and I’m looking at the Hope for Hospice 10K for the same reason, but the Tar Heel 10-miler is likely out for me (and moving to Oregon I won’t get another chance to do it) as well as the Tobacco Road Marathon (which has passed) and the Kings Mountain Half I had on my schedule. I just can’t spend money when I have 3 nights in a hotel, 8 tanks of gas and food to pay for in two months.

    Don’t let it get you down. I’m sure you’ll get back into the swing of things. I hope I do too, this “funk” is no fun, even though I realize it serves a greater purpose.

    • Emily / Mar 23 2013 5:00 PM

      Thanks Eric. And whoa, you’re moving to Oregon? That’s a damn good reason to save money! I’m only moving 2 miles. 🙂 It certainly sometimes is the right decision to skip a race, but it’s hard for me to accept I can’t do everything. Good luck getting all your plans worked out too.

  2. 980patrick / Mar 23 2013 3:22 PM

    Intersting piece of writing. The main thing is to keep on running. Any run long or short never disappoints. The 50k would have been a good taste of ultras and 100 dolllars proably not make a great deal of difference to your deposit. Understandably things and life are not so simple and you had other reasons. Keep up the writing and the running.

    • Emily / Mar 23 2013 5:02 PM

      Thanks for reading, and for your comment. I’ll get back to the running! I ran my first 50k in January, so the training run would not have been my first ultra. I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m back to the races. 🙂

  3. derscott / Mar 23 2013 8:40 PM

    It’s not slacking if it was the right decision, and it sounds like it was the right decision. Don’t sweat it!

    • Emily / Mar 28 2013 1:20 PM

      thanks. I just hate when I can’t follow through on every plan!

  4. Darrel Wells / Mar 25 2013 12:57 PM

    Don’t let running, or another singular aspect of your life, become too all-important. You’re moving forward in your life, and you are WAY too young to fret (for very long, anyway) about missing one race, or several. Just like the Braves say every fall, “there’s always next year!”.


    • Emily / Mar 28 2013 1:21 PM

      Thanks Darrel. There is indeed always next year. And whether I should or not, I fret far too much and too often about most things.


  1. 2013 Annual Recap | run. eat. nap. drink.

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