Reflections on a Did Not Start (DNS)

Runners are familiar with the dreaded DNF, but I began 2014 with my first ever DNS (Did Not Start) yesterday when I decided not to run the NJ Trail Series 50K at the Watchung Reservation in north-central New Jersey. It’s ironic because last month I wrote Don’t Take Your Health For Granted. In that post I questioned myself, whether I am sincere when I say that I don’t take my health for granted. Now that I’m nursing an injury that sidelined me, I’m digging a little deeper.

How about everyday activities, like swinging your feet over side of bed in morning and walking to the kitchen or bathroom, watching a ball game on television without being in pain, having the eyesight to read, going to the kitchen for a cup of coffee without the aid of a walker. The race is almost ludicrous when considering everyday activities that are a struggle for so many. Be thankful for the little things!

Coincidentally the day I chose to sit out the race was the first day I was pain-free in almost three weeks. So I see an orthopedic doctor tomorrow and continue to mend. The best part? I found another 50K at the NJ Ultra Festival in March.  Time to get healthy to run another day, only this time I’ll be thankful every step of the way!

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About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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15 Responses to Reflections on a Did Not Start (DNS)

  1. Sophie33 says:

    I also think you need to wait until you are apin-free for a long time & then slowly go back at it again! xxx

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  2. It’s a shame about the race, but you know you are doing the right thing and your attitude is fantastic. We always say that there’s another race, and you have found it already! 😉 As always, you’re a real inspiration. Above all, my last year of running has taught me that I need to run WITH my body, not AGAINST it. Like so many others, I run because I love it and because it’s good for me. I know that I am stating the obvious when I say that running to physical destruction (in the form or injury, distress, or physical meltdown) is not good for us, but in the heat of the moment even intelligent runners can be surprisingly thick that way – myself included. My motto since my DNF is that there’s no glory in stupidity. Get well soon and good luck!

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      FullMoonRunner, you are so wise. I’ve been around the block more than a few times and you are the first one I saw write to “run with your body, not against it.” And I’m a self-professed knucklehead, so it’s good to hear there is no glory in stupidity. So thanks, I needed that! Stay well, run strong and have an incredible year! Jim

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  3. Jim, be patient and you’ll be fine. Think of all of the writing you can get done now.

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      I’m banging away on the keyboard, Andy. The only hangup is that I usually go for a run when my brain stops. I have to learn to be more patient, not one of my strong points. Thanks, and run well my friend! jim

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  4. aaronwest says:

    You have the right perspective and made the right decision. Those everyday activities are easy to take for granted. Rest up and heal up.

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  5. LB says:

    YAY! I was hoping this was your decision!! So glad you had a pain free day for validation of making the right decision.

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      Well the ortho doctor cancelled my appointment for today, but I’m feeling a definite difference the last three days, so maybe a good sign. I’m optimistic, and am finding I have more of a support system than I realized. Thanks so much, LB. jim

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  6. Bummer about the DNS . . . but I love your perspective on it! I’ll be sending you good thoughts for March!

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  7. Don’t sweat it. You know what’s worse than a DNS, or DNF? A DNR. Did Not Register. And you might as well take advantage of a couple more months to prepare.

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      I’m with you on this one, Chuck. Now, regarding that DNR, I tell people to register for races as a way of keeping something out in front of you, so there is always something on the horizon to shoot for. Doesn’t have to be a marathon, can be a 5K, or cycle tour. Regardless, it will help keep focus. Thanks, and good luck! jim

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