Saturday, March 12, 2016


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! 


  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!

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

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

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

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

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