Saturday, March 12, 2016

#DidNotStart

Today marks my first DNS - did not start - in a race. It's a little bittersweet. I was planning to run the Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon with Jen, Lynn, & Marian. It was especially exciting because it was Lynn & Marian's first half! I couldn't wait to be there to support them and experience it through their eyes.

Jen, Marian, & Lynn at the start - such happy anticipation!
photo courtesy of Marian

I signed up about a month ago to surprise them. I wasn't training for a half, but I was training for a ten-miler so I figured I could pull it off. And then I got sick. It was 10 days before the race, I had just gotten back from a business trip to California, and I woke up with one of those "...sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever..." colds that the NyQuil commercials made famous back in the 80s.

A week before the race I was still optimistic about the half marathon. Three days before the race, still fairly sick, I started considering the range of options:

  • Run the half marathon with Lynn: this was my original plan when I registered & it seemed unlikely
  • Run the half marathon with Jen: Jen runs a little slower than Lynn and it might be easier for me to keep up with her
  • Run the 5k: I'd still be running a race, and be there to celebrate with them at the finish
  • Cheer at the finish line: I wouldn't be going in with them in the morning, but I could sleep a little later, and would still be there to celebrate with them at the finish
  • Stay home and rest: no running, no in-person celebrating, just rest for my weary body

Thursday we headed to the expo. At this point I knew the half marathon was out of reach - I could run it untrained and healthy, or well-trained and sick, but untrained and sick was a recipe for ending up much sicker. I was planning on the 5k instead; it seemed like a good compromise.

Jen, sporting the most hilarious expo purchase!
photo courtesy of Jen

Thursday night Freddy got sick and I was up washing sheets and cleaning up the mess. The sheer exhaustion I felt on Friday, on top of still being sick, made it clear that I wasn't going to be running or even spectating for the race. I allowed myself a short pity party, and then focused on other ways I could be there for my friends.

We texted about the course, what time to meet at the metro, what to wear, what to eat and when to eat it. I felt helpful! It always makes me happy to feel helpful. The next morning (after 10.5 hours of sleep!) I got up about 15 minutes before they started running. I pulled up the RnR runner tracking and entered their names. I saw them start at 8:18. 

What a breath-taking sunrise!
photo courtesy of Lynn

Lynn sent me her Garmin live-tracking information and I was able to vicariously run the whole race with her. Jen sent me her live-tracking information about six miles in and I "ran" with her too. She even texted with me a little bit while she was running which helped me feel like I was there cheering for her. I saw when each of them finished. I bought them finisher t-shirts at the online store. We texted back and forth after the race.

Lynn's livetracking data. Why is mile 4 missing?
She had to run back to find her sunglasses and confused the GPS!


I can't wait to hear the full details of their races. I am so proud of all of them, and so disappointed to have not been there in person. But I am so grateful for the technology that made it possible for me to be there virtually, running vicariously, and cheering for my awesome friends. You go girls! 

6 comments:

  1. It's never fun to have to miss a race! I hope you are all feeling better and I hope I get to see you at CB!

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    1. Thank you Deborah! Definitely looking forward to CB :)

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  2. It sounds like you made the right call. The sky was amazing on Saturday morning. Hope to see you at Cherry Blossom!

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    1. Maybe we'll have an equally breathtaking sky for Cherry Blossom :)

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  3. Ugh never fun to miss a race but I m glad you were still able to cheer on your friends!

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    1. Thank you Lauren! Technology really is amazing :)

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