My First DNS?

Saucony Guide 7 |

After almost 18 weeks of early mornings, countless tempos, speed sessions at the track and three 20 milers, I am looking at my first DNS.

Did not start.

Technically the race hasn’t started yet – it’s Sunday, October 19th.

But I know that I am not going to be there at least for the full marathon. My Achilles is getting better. But my newest pain is from a lumbosacral segment dysfunction – a fancy term for a sprained lower back (L5 and SI). I think this happened at some point during our hike last weekend. There were multiple times where I twisted and turned in weird directions to catch either of the kids from tumbling down the mountain or tripping. In addition, I was probably compensating for my bum Achilles with every step.

As of Sunday night (when I’m writing this), I have not run at all. I tried on Thursday but I took two steps and was in so much pain from my back. In fact, it hurt to even walk at times. And forget about standing on my right leg. Yowch!

So even if by some divine intervention, I feel 100% better by marathon day, I will still take a DNS. I can’t risk the what if’s. I’ve got Hawaii in 9 weeks. And there’s something else that is coming up after that. I need to be healthy. I can’t take the risk of injuring myself even more.

Baystate was supposed to be my goal marathon. The state that I’m in right now, I am nowhere close to goal marathon shape. It pains me to “waste” all those weeks of training but I know it’s for the best. As shitty as it is.

My priority right now is taking care of my back first and foremost. I have never had back pain like this. It freaks me out. To not even be able to walk without wincing in pain at times, is scary. You don’t mess with your back!

My treatment plan is in motion. I met with a sports chiropractor on Saturday. I haven’t been to a chiropractor in 18 years and have been hesitant about going again. It’s a silly reason but I went with a chiropractor just because it was the easiest to get into. If I went to a PT, I’d have to jump threw hoops because of my insurance and the referrals needed. That would take more time.

At my initial assessment, she adjusted me, did ultrasound and Graston on my Achilles as well as muscle stimulation on both areas. Saturday afternoon I was hurting. I hobbled just to walk a 1/4 mile home from the park with my kids. But Sunday was better. Not nearly as much pain and I was even able to do yoga with no problem. Which felt simply marvelous.

I had emailed the race directors about possibly deferring my entry to next year. Not possible but I may be able to drop down to the half at bib pick up. As I get closer to the weekend, I’ll make that decision. As of right now, it’s a NO.

My fingers and toes are crossed that this is the right course to lead me back to running. I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again –

I just want to run!

Have you ever had a DNS?

61 comments on “My First DNS?

  1. Oh Angela I’m so sorry to read this!!! You have been working so hard for this marathon! It is a smart decision but I know it is so hard to make! I had a DNS this past March when I hurt my back doing kettlebells. I was bummed but I knew that if I pushed it it would have made it worse. Sending hugs your way!

  2. The very first marathon I signed up for was a DNS (Buffalo in NY). I got through most of my training and also got injured…so frustrating! And the back- I had a similar experience picking up my daughter a few weeks ago and tweaked something… thankfully, it felt better the next day but I realized my days of carrying her around are over, I think!
    So sorry about the DNS… you’re definitely doing the right thing. With other things coming ahead, you can miss one race. There will be more!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Ready for a rematchMy Profile

  3. so sorry for your DNS. I had two last year. It stung a bit. I was also training for a full on the 19th but pulled my gluteal muscle quite badly…. Feels great now but I didn’t want to risk it. I did downgrade to the half. There are more races…. Hang in there!!!
    Jen recently posted..Long Run NecessitiesMy Profile

  4. I totally feel ya right now. I have a half this weekend and I am on injured reserves with a inconclusive stress fracture. I have been pool running like no other but I know in my heart that there is NO way I need to even attempt it. I am hoping to be back for my late November half but if the Dr says no, I will have my second DNS on the books. I have worked so hard in the horrible KS heat all summer but these things happen and I am just trying to stay positive. Keep you chin up and hoping you can at least do the half!

  5. oh so sorry for you. It’s tough to have trained so long for something and then not be able to do it. It’s better to DNS than risk hurting yourself further and being out longer. Take care of yourself
    Deborah recently posted..“Souper” Foods SoupMy Profile

  6. I am so sorry you are not able to run. I know first hand how tough this is. Two years ago after months of training I found myself one week before NYC staring at my yard minus 20 trees and no power. You know know the rest of that story. Last year I was sitting in a hospital room painfully watching my mom slip away. She died two days before the NYC marathon. This year I have trained harder than ever. For her. We runners are a tough bunch. You are making the right choice. I truly hope you are completely healed and ready fir Hawaii!! Hang in there!

    1. Oh Noel!!! I know you will do phenomenal this year at NYC. You mom will be right there with you pushing and cheering you on. It sounds like she has one seriously tough daughter!

  7. I’ve definitely been in your shoes and I’ve also been in the shoes of someone who shouldn’t race but did. Which makes me say you are doing the right thing. And honestly, I’d bag the half, too, if I were you. At this point just focus all your energies on healing and being where you want to be in December and the spring. Finally, you are STILL in great shapeโ€ฆyou haven’t lost that much, and you have a fabulous base to work from moving forward. Let that piece of the stress equation go!
    misszippy1 recently posted..Friday FiveMy Profile

    1. Last night when I wrote about maybe running the 1/2, I was still holding on to the idea of running. But I know that even running the half isn’t a good idea. I just need to forget about Baystate entirely. It’s not happening and that’s ok.

  8. I am so sorry for you! Injury is so frustrating, I hope you feel 100% soon. Hawaii is a big trip you are so right to save yourself for it so you can enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Karen recently posted..AttitudeMy Profile

  9. So sorry to hear this, but you have the right mind set – have to take care of it now and heal up. You can always try for a goal marathon next year and you don’t want to not be able to run in Hawaii I’m sure! Hope the visits to the chiropractor help.

    1. Just saw what your “after Hawaii” marathon was on a delicious brand’s blog. Congrats ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh Angela. I’m so so sorry to hear this! I can’t even imagine how frustrating this is because you’ve put so much energy into your training. But I do think that you’re being smart, especially with Hawaii coming up and it’s so much more important to take the time to get healthy now and for the long term. If you need to complain or need anything, please know that you can always text/email me!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Grokker + You = #BeABetterYouMy Profile

  11. So sorry that you are facing a DNS. I hope you don’t really feel like all of the early mornings and training has been wasted because it has made you stronger! It seems like every time you race or do speed work lately you are getting faster!!!
    Hopefully by taking care of yourself now you will be ready for a good race (and lots of fun!!!) in Hawaii!
    Kim recently posted..Unconditional LoveMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much Kim! This training cycle was definitely full of highs and lows. I do think I gained strength, speed and courage to push. It definitely wasn’t a waste in that respect.

    1. Thanks Amanda! Being smart isn’t easy all the time. It took the back pain problem for me to finally realize that Baystate wasn’t happening. If it was just my Achilles, I might still be contemplating it. #stubbornrunner

  12. Oh Angela. I’m so sorry. That is truly awful. I’ve never had a DNS but I have had horrible back pain. It started after I had the boys and I’ve “thrown it out” twice times. I’m extra careful now, do more strengthening, etc. and have had great help from my physical therapist.
    Allie recently posted..Goals Are Like Dreams – Everybody’s Got One!My Profile

    1. Those kids are really a pain in the back. And the butt. And everywhere else. A friend of mine, who has twin boys, developed horrible back pain when her kids were born too. She thinks something happened in labor. It still bothers her 14 years later!

  13. I was hoping I would never have a DNS against my name, but earlier this year I had my first DNS. I was sick as a dog with tonsillitis that entering my spartan event would have put me in hospital.
    Even though I was devo, it was the right decision.
    You are entitled to be bummed. You’ve put weeks and weeks of training in, and the race is the pay off. But at the end of the day, if you are injured you want to heal, and if that means a dns so be it. It is what it is. Better to have a dns than end up in hospital with a dnf.
    Matilda recently posted..Running is my TriumphMy Profile

  14. Oh no, so sorry to hear that Angela, BUT there is still time. The days just before a race are the days that you can miss without really losing anything, but I know it is stress. Most important is that you have to find a way to switch off to make sure your body is recovering, and is healing. Do all those little things, get all those recovery foods, and trust that everything is going to work out how it was meant to. I have been there many times, and I have DNS, some of the biggest races of my life, and it was hard, but necessary. You will be fine, I know it. Whether it is this weekend, or a weekend in a few months, you will get back to where you were, and you will Find your Strong ๐Ÿ™‚
    Tina Muir recently posted..Meatless Monday- Homemade Whole Wheat BreadMy Profile

  15. I’m so sorry to hear about this Angela. You’re making the right decision. If I learned anything this past year it’s I needed to not run/run less to run better. I am at that point where my comeback is feeling strong and really, all I want to do is run ๐Ÿ™‚
    jill conyers recently posted..Looking Back to Move ForwardMy Profile

  16. So sorry friend. Not much else I can say to make you feel better. I’ll keep you in my prayers. I did see a very very exciting upcoming event that you are participating in (which I won’t mention because I am not sure you have)- I basically squealed when I saw your pic. Exciting times ahead!
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats recently posted..Stitch Fix Reviews 6 & 7My Profile

  17. So sorry to hear of your pain. I just found your blog and like you, am having a DNS this Sunday. It’s a half that my husband and I have trained for and ran last year. Unfortunately, I have hamstring tendinopathy and it’s a tough one to heal. The initial disappointment brought me to tears but now I’m at the point of just wanting out of the pain and excited to cheer on my husband. Please take the time to heal and rest. One race is a glitch on the radar. A year from now you will be so glad that you did.

  18. So Sorry you are in pain and struggling like this. I have only had one DNS, from this summer actually but it was a choice I made for different reason and not injury so I won’t compare the two. I hope that you are able to heal quickly and feel better soon! Making the decision isn’t easy but you are wise to put priorities in order.
    Laura @losingrace recently posted..Scarecrow 5k RecapMy Profile

  19. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear. I’ve had 2 DNS’s, but not from injury…

    On the eve of my first half marathon 4 years ago, my HUSBAND threw his back out so bad he spent 36 hours in the hospital. Our suitcases were packed in the car and everything. The second one was the 2012 NYC Marathon; it was supposed to be my first marathon, but of course Hurricane Sandy had other plans. I opted for a small race in rural western PA. I’m excited to say that after 4 years (I got into the 2012 NYC race doing the 9+1 program in 2011) that I finally get to run NYC in two weeks.

    As far as wasted training, I know it feels like it, but no training we do is ever wasted. You are stronger from the training and will be a better candidate for healing. The foundational miles you put on your feet will help you with the Stonyfield/Boston race. My friends Megan and Bethany are also on your team…you will have a blast! Sending you healing vibes!!

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