An Unregretable DNS

Last weekend I ran the Historic Fairview 5k.  I did pretty well but physically something was off.  In all honesty I just felt tired and my legs felt heavy.  The rest of the day I was more tired than usual after a race.  During work on Sunday I felt decent but when I got home, I began to feel sick.  Around 7, I got a migraine and was extremely congested.

I went to bed at 8:15.  I woke up on Memorial Day feeling more tired and sick.  I realized I had a head cold.  I was tired, groggy and sneezing more than talking.

Should I run?  Should I not run? 

One of my favorite races last year was on Memorial Day. It’s a local 5k where they give out wooden awards.  The course is in a beautiful woodsy location and normally shaded. I had a lot of fun last year.

From last year.
From last year.

I knew I liked the race so much I actually signed up for it last week. Normally I try not to sign up for many races until absolutely necessary. This is such a great race that I was sure I wanted to run.

On Monday morning I woke up feeling exhausted and sick. I debated if I would “sweat it out” and run anyways. I was signed up and I knew I would finish the race. Maybe (in the .01% chance) I would surprise myself…the glimmer of hope!

The question became: Should I run while exhausted and probably getting over a head cold? Heck, my legs didn’t even feel great either!

…But Liz and I were planning to warm up before the together.

…But I knew the course was flat, fast and fun.

…But I had already payed for the race.

Ultimately there were no updates on my social media accounts. There were no races to be run and I texted Liz and said I had to bail out on the race.

Did it stink and was it a hard decision?

It was a much harder decision than I would like to admit. There is no benefit of running a 5k that I didn’t feel anywhere close to good. I could finish the race…but I would be more miserable and probably would have delayed healing.

It was a 20 dollar 1 hour nap. While I’m glad it wasn’t a bigger race, I don’t have any regrets about not showing up. I’m lucky it wasn’t a race I was training longer for or even a race that I had traveled too. Even if it was, my health is always the most important to me.

The final thing I thought about was how fortunate I am that my life, career and well being doesn’t revolve around running.  I am not an elite athlete and my race choices are not analyzed.  Unlike Hall, no one cares if LOLZ decides to race that day or not (only I really care).  I’m not all over flotrack because I skipped a race (and thank goodness of that).

Just like running in general, a DNS or DNF doesn’t define you. 

It’s always more important to put your health and well being in front of hobbies and events. Running is life long if you allow it to be.

Question for you: Do you race when sick?