Franklin Lakes Half: Why I DNS-ed It

This post was supposed to be a race recap of the inaugural Franklin Lakes Half.

I was supposed to write about how much fun it was to run a race in my hometown, when I struggled through the mile in high school and briefly joined the track team only to remember I hated running.

I was supposed to write about how 3 miles used to be such an unattainable distance for me, but that today I ran it as a warm-up for a half so that I could get in a total of 16 miles for the day.

I was supposed to write about how I practiced my marathon goal pace for 13.1 miles.

I was supposed to write about how much fun it was for my parents to cheer me on in my hometown.

But life doesn’t always go the way it’s supposed to, does it??

Yesterday I came out to my parents’ and had a bit of a sore throat. Maybe I was just a little dehydrated, I thought. My nose was a little stuffy, but maybe it was just allergies.

I went to sleep before 10, hoping that all I needed was a good night’s rest.

I woke up this morning at 6, and my throat felt raw and dry, and I couldn’t stop sneezing. I thought maybe I just needed some water, and I’d feel better. I laid in bed debating with myself whether this was something I should push through, or something that would make me worse.

But I had a good week of running, and I was going to get to nearly 40 miles this week.

But it’s so close to the marathon.

But I really wanted to run this race.

Maybe I could skip the 3-mile warmup and just run the 13.1. Maybe I could start and then drop out if I really had to.

I probably could have completed the race still, but I knew that another 2.5 hours of running would be worse for my immune system (anything above 90 minutes compromises your immunity, not enhances it. Exercise also reduces your zinc levels, and zinc helps keep your immune systems strong, so I’m sucking on a zinc drop right now.)


I have a big Junior League presentation to the board tomorrow and a big meeting this week. I have a big goal on November 3 and several more weeks of peak training to get through.

It sucked and it was disappointing to sit out today’s race (especially when my mom and I had to drive across the race to get to CVS to pick up some vitamins and DayQuil), but I think it’s worth it in the long run.

Have you ever DNS-ed a race?

28 comments on “Franklin Lakes Half: Why I DNS-ed It

  1. Rebecca

    Thanks for posting! I had my first DNS today too-the Bronx 10 miler which starts right near my apartment. It’s one of my favorite races because I love 10 milers and because (duh) it starts right near my apartment. My knee has been bothering me and I decided yesterday that it wasn’t worth it to test it as the marathon is priority. This makes me feel so much better about my decision. It was really hard! Hope you feel better :).

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Rebecca: Sorry to hear you had a DNS today, too. It’s not easy, but it is certainly easier when it’s not your priority race. Hope your knee feels better, too!

  2. Adrienne J

    I’m sitting on my couch right now instead of showering like I would have if I had run 17 miles this morning with a chest cold. It was such a tough decision and I hate missing long runs but I know (or am hopeful) that it’ll help speed up my recovery for the MCM in a month! Good luck with the rest of your training. Glad to know I’m not the only one with troubles!

    1. Theodora Post author

      We just have to remind ourselves that all training plans are built to allow a little wiggle room for stuff like this. We’ll be okay 🙂 Feel better!!

  3. Meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles

    This was quite a big decision for you to make and I think you did the right thing! I hope you are feeling better. Be proud of yourself for thinking ahead. You def would have felt worse and your future self will totally thank you. Lately I have lost my racing itch and I do not know why. Instead of fighting it, I have been very relaxed about it and have not run a few of the races that I planned on running. I am not injured (knock on wood) and I know I can run them all in killer times but I just don’t feel like it right now. I am satisfied and thrilled to wake up each day and simply step outside my front door and run my heart out. And that right now, is enough for me. Will it change? Maybe. I am a Gemini so I can change my mind as often as I want when one least expects it lol.

    1. Theodora Post author

      And I think that’s just fine, too 🙂 None of us are professional runners, so if you’re not training for something and the races (or the idea of them) aren’t bringing you enjoyment right now, it’s totally fine and beats burning yourself out doing something you don’t want to do.

  4. Dori

    I’m sick too! What the hell? I’m also freaking about about race stuff… bad timing (but I guess better than on actual goal-race day). You absolutely made the right choice and your entire week will be better as a result.

    That article you linked to is very science-y.

  5. Becky @ Olives n Wine

    Oh no! I’m so sorry that you’re sick :/ You definitely made the correct decision to DNS, regardless of how crappy it felt to do so. I will be DNSing my marathon in 2 weekends which I am SUPER bummed about. My iron levels are super low and my doctor told me running extreme distances will only hinder the process of getting my levels back up. I’ll still be there to cheer everyone on but I won’t be doing the running!

  6. Kelly

    I did the same thing today. DNS the Rock n Roll Providence half due to a cold I have been fighting all week (it won). Been on a steady diet of zinc tabs, Dayquil, Nyquil and Emergen-C all week to no avail. Disappointed but I made the right call. Gutted out a 5 mile run instead and that was all I could muster.

  7. Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad

    It seems like everyone was sick this weekend, myself included. I wasn’t smart and still did my long run. In my defence the cold hadn’t fully taken hold yet but I think the run sure helped it along. Oh well. I DNSed a race once because of an injury. That one I knew in advance that I wasn’t going to be ble to do it. I would have been so mad if I woke up race morning sick. Since your goal race is still coming up you did the smart thing by not running. I’m so excited to see how you do in a few weeks. Your training seems great so far!

  8. laura

    this post could not have come at a better time! so sorry to hear you’re feeling sick. you made the right choice. I DNS’d the Bronx 10 miler today. I’ve been having a weird tightness in my ankle the past few days.. normally I’d push through and run, but I’m trying to be smart! granted I am not running the marathon this year and I’ve already “qualified” with my 9+1 for next year… I’m still bummed I missed a race that I was looking forward to. I felt like a bum all day 🙁 feel better!

  9. Caroline

    It sounds like you made a good decision, although I know it’s hard to decide to DNS. Sometimes to keep our big goals we have to give up the little ones. I hope you feel better quickly!!


    Ahh I hope you feel better!! I totally can relate to taking rest days right now since I only ran twice this week and had to cross train due to some shin pain. It’s so close to NYCM but you’re right it’s better to take off and rest and know you will be at the starting line.

  11. lisa fine

    Yup! Last fall I had a half marathon as well, and felt crummy. I’d had a cold for over a week, and was stuck with a bad cough and was kind of lightheaded. I even went to the doctor – who approved the race if I was up for it – to have myself cleared.

    And I skipped it. I felt run down, so instead walked a 5k they had that day. It wasn’t a big deal – it was a race, and there are always more races. Definitely better to keep our immune systems strong.

  12. Kristina

    Definitely! I think that I’ve DNS-ed two races because of an injury. It’s always a bitter pill to swallow, but in both cases, running would have only exacerbated the situation.

  13. Aubrie

    Cheers to you for listening to your body (and being realistic about your schedule this week)! I often feel that as runners and athletes, we put our miles and races first, and forget that we’re whole people, with a whole slew of responsibilities and commitments (and needs!). Thank you for your honesty in sharing, and reminding us all that it’s ok to put ourselves before our sports. Best of luck in your upcoming marathon!

  14. Ashley

    Ahh I am just catching up on blog posts! I am sorry to hear and hope you feel better asap!

    I DNS a few races due to minor injuries. Never bothered me too much b/c I always end up injured for much longer when I run through it instead of racing! Years ago, I made dumb exercise decisions. Helps that I am a bit wiser now!!

  15. Katie

    I DNS-ed the first year I got into running. It was a 5k in my hometown and my ankle had been bothering me, plus it was raining. I skipped the race and am now bummed because they haven’t been doing it lately. But it happens. Take care of yourself, I hope you’re feeling better now!

  16. Jenny

    From someone who should’ve DNS-ed yesterday and didn’t, I can tell you you made the right choice. I was really eager to run the Bronx 10-Miler, and ignored my sore throat/cold when I woke up on race morning, deciding to “tough it out” instead. I guess I felt tough pushing through it (a certain delirium exists when you’re sprinting through waves of hot and cold sweats), but I ended up in the NYRR medical tent and feel worse today. Definitely takes a stronger runner to choose common sense over stubbornness. Next time, I’m staying in bed!

    At least if you run that half next year, they’ll have worked out any organizational kinks/inaugural race mistakes.

    1. Theodora Post author

      Glad you’re okay though! <3

      And I did totally stalk the results of the half anyway to see where I would have placed relatively...

  17. Alison (Fueling for Fitness)

    Just before I ran my first marathon, I signed up for a ton of races to keep the run-love going. Unfortunately, I was so badly beaten up (physically and emotionally!), that I had to forgo a lot of races and sell / give away my bibs for multiple races after that. Now I’m very shy to sign up for races until closer to the actual race date – I know the fees are usually really high by then, but it’s easier for me to plan since I can never tell if I’ll be injury-free a few months from now…

    Glad you decided to sit it out though and rest. I think you would have been really miserable had you run it!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.