A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The race that wasn't.

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Yesterday, I was supposed to run the Bird in Hand Half Marathon. I registered many months ago for the lowest registration price of $80.I rarely spend that much money on a race but I heard so many good things about it.

As race day approached, I had absolutely zero motivation to run it. I had been sick for a solid week, I wasn't getting any sleep, and my lower back was aching. I had no idea how my back would feel for 13 miles on the ROAD (ugh). I am not one to run through pain, even if it is pain that can be run through. I don't want something minor to turn into something major. 

So I had three solid reasons not to run. But I felt guilty about spending $80 on the registration and making the commitment. Plus, what if I started the race and ended up feeling fine?

The night before the race, I thought about my options. Go, don't go, run/walk... But I honestly did not feel like running it at all! I didn't feel like driving an hour and going through all the stress of race day to end up not feeling great during the race. Life's to short to run 13 miles when you're sick, tired, and have an achy back. I set my alarm, but had every intention of just going back to bed if I was super tired in the morning.

Unfortunately, I woke up well before my alarm (4:45), and even though I was very tired, my eyes were wide awake. I figured I may as well just go to the race and see what happened. I was up anyway.

As I approached Bird In Hand (yes, that's the name of the town!) it started to rain. And my back hurt... just from SITTING in the car. I was not feeling good about this. When I got to the race, it was cold and rainy. We had to park in a huge field and I was scared my car was going to get stuck in the mud. (It didn't.) I sat in the car for awhile, not feeling good about the whole situation. I had hoped to be able to stretch and foam roll but I couldn't do that in a muddy field!

I stayed in my car until Ana texted me that she was there so I could meet her and get my bib. (She was nice enough to pick my packet up the night before.) 8 minutes before the race, I still didn't know if I was going to run it...

I wandered around and looked for some safety pins for my bib. I was hoping I wouldn't be able to find any and then I wouldn't be able to run the race. "Oh no, I can't pin my bib on, guess I can't run!" But of course I found pins and was able to put my bib on.

3 minutes.

I went in the port o john to have a last minute pee.

2 minutes.

I walked to the corrals and slid in around the 9 minute per mile place.

1 minute.


My stomach grumbled. I was hungry. That was the last straw. Who was I kidding? I didn't want to run this race, no one was making me run it, why did I even drive there in the first place? 

I walked back to my car. I heard everyone cheer as the race started. I took my bib off because I was embarrassed. I was scared someone would say, "Hey, the race is back that way!" When I got back to my car I shoved my $80 bib under my seat and drove home.

I felt VERY, very sad. And tired. I couldn't think of the last time I felt so bad. I wanted to cry but I didn't. What a crappy, shitty morning.

I have DNS'ed many races, but not lately, because I have learned not to register for them ahead of time. But normally when I DNS, I am sure of the decision several days before race day, and I don't have this back and forth, wondering whether I should run or not. Normally, the decision is very clear and easy to make. 

I've NEVER freaking lined up at the starting line and then just walked away.

Have you ever gone to a race and then decided not to run it?


  1. Wow that was a gutsy decision to make on race day, while in the coral even. Good for you! No one should voluntarily be miserable. I bet you felt much better once you got home to your own house and Paul and the kitties.

    There have been plenty of races that I didn't feel like running when I got there, but by the time I crossed the finish line I'm glad I did.

    1. I did feel a lot better as the day went on.

      Generally, I think people do feel good after they finish a race. This time it was just different.

  2. We have to listen to our guts and our hearts... and I know if you felt like this wasn't a race to run, then it was a good decision to decide not to. I've run races that I wasn't excited about and it SUCKS. I'm sorry this was a tough decision and left you feeling sad. You're right, though - no one is making you run any race. We're not professionals! It sounds to me like you made the right choice and I'm happy you did!

    1. Thanks Ali! I do wish I had more clarity the night before... that just wasn't meant to be. Oh well, I do think I ended up making the right decision, it just took me long enough. :)

  3. I did that this past spring. My friend Steph and I signed up to run a spring half marathon close to home. We got there and it started to pour. We looked at each other and left. I don't know why we didn't run it. I kicked myself for a few weeks after but you know what? I don't care. I just wish we hadn't signed up at all.

    1. I'm sure it just wasn't meant to be! I know I will now be more careful about signing up for things so far in advance. Sometimes it's not worth it.

  4. I was feeling rather blah and tired Saturday, and I didn't force anything. Thankfully I felt better later in the morning to do my run. I just had no motivation and gave myself the time to warm up. It's tough when it's a race. I also figured if I felt so tired, it wouldn't be a good run.

    1. That's good you didn't put pressure on yourself and just allowed the day to progress to see how you felt.

  5. Just catching up on my blogs... it's good you didn't put yourself through the race if you had that many doubts. Especially after being sick - you'd probably just end up more sick! There's always another race when you feel like it. Why risk it. good choice!