An Entry About Not Starting, But Motivating


In Which I Get Letters After My Name

Last week I was entered into the Stadium Striders 10k Trail Run in Brighouse, and here’s my recap:

I didn’t go.

I was a DNS.

That’s right, for the first time EVER since I started running (June this year) I missed a race that I’d entered. I hope that the start didn’t get delayed while they waited for me to turn up. My phone was off so I don’t know how many hundreds of times they tried to call, and I must’ve missed them knocking on my door. I bet the whole day was a let down because I didn’t show.

I had good reason though, for the few days leading up to the run my legs were aching, and didn’t want to try run my first ever trail run with sore legs. I thought that I’d regret not going and that I’d be full of remorse, but I guess the little voice in my head knew it was for the best because it didn’t say anything. Instead, me and Sarah had a lie-in and watched Sunday Brunch (Madness were supposed to be on, but they weren’t. I think they must have been too upset about me not showing up for my run.)

On the plus side though, having missed a race seems to have motivated me on a bit more than I was previously motivated. I went out of the bike on Tuesday and rode the 5k route that I ran last week in 20:20, and then the day after I rode the same route again in 17:39. I keep reading about running and cycling and the thing I read the most is “It’s time in the saddle, not speed or distance that makes you better.” I think tomorrow I might just sit stationary on the bike for an hour or so and see how much better I get.

Also, back to motivation, I’m going to start running in the mornings instead of evenings. That way, I figure, I can run from home towards work (bit of a detour to make it into a 5k run) and finish at my gym which is pretty much next door to work. I can then shower and change before starting my day. If I feel up to it, I could maybe do a bit of weights too. Maybe.

My next scheduled run is the Gunpowder Plod on 5th November in York, and there’s no way I’m missing that’n!

36 thoughts on “An Entry About Not Starting, But Motivating

  1. “It’s time in the saddle, not speed or distance that makes you better.” I think tomorrow I might just sit stationary on the bike for an hour or so and see how much better I get. LOL… how’d that work on for you?

  2. I remember reading this last year and feeling inspired and understood. I happened upon it again today and just had to tell you how grateful I am that I you wrote this. I haven’t missed a race yet but I continue to “miss” lots of training runs for the half-marathon I signed up for in March. (Why I thought to train from Oct – February when it is cold and miserable with no light I have no idea…) However, when I get out and do it (when it is somewhat dry, a little bit of light and it is above freezing), I feel good and I feel like I can do it. There is a lot of pressure to just “suck it up and do it” but I find that I don’t run best that way and then I hate doing it and that just perpetuates the cycle of NOT running (which I don’t want.) Listening to your body and yourself about what you need to run can keep you running…thank you for the reminder today.

  3. I have only missed one ride I signed up for, and it was due to too much wine the night before. I was beyond mad at doing that to myself. However, knowing when you body should not go is a good thing, I applaud your decision. Don’t give put too much hope in stationary riding, it helps, but outside time in the saddle, in my opinion, Ives MUCH better results.

  4. That’s a great idea to run to work. If my gym was next door to work, I’d run. What a great way to start the morning!

  5. I left a comment and it disappeared. Or did it?

  6. Ha, your time in the saddle joke made me laugh out loud, which is quite an achievement because I’m really grumpy and hate jokes. Also, trail running should be easier on your legs and muscles than road running. At least, that’s what everybody says when they talk about Kenyans. And by everybody, I mean Scott Douglas. Don’t know who he is? Google, my friend. Google.

    • I’ll have a look into him, thank! I always get told that people get more injuries on trail runs, but never done one. There’s one in March that I might enter, depending on what Scott Douglas says.

  7. Thank you for “liking” my blog! It brought me to yours. 🙂 I was a DNS for my favorite race this year — the Midnight Special on NYEve in Whitehouse, Ohio. Starts at 11:45 p.m. For some reason, the idea of driving an hour through the rural backroads of Northwest Ohio didn’t appeal this year. Still got my shirt! BTW, I have always run in the morning…since 1976…because otherwise I’m pretty sure life would get in the way.

  8. Just reading your post today and a great laugh when reading you would sit on your bookée stationary for an hour and see how much better you would be!
    Thanks for that note! 🙂

  9. Your body knows what it can and can’t do, and you were wise to listen. I DNS’d on a 10K once because I woke up with a migraine. I took my medicine and it would have kicked in by racetime, but sometimes a migraine can make me sick. Why take the chance? I pulled the covers over my head and went back to sleep, and felt no guilt. There’s always the next race.

  10. what about running before work in the mornings? So not running to work…Then you don’t need t carry things…Must admit, i like to run “FREE”, if you know what i mean….credit card and phone and thats it…Its a bugger to get up at 5.30-6am for a run BUT once you get used of it, its great…quiet, silent and time to think…just an idea…

  11. Discretion, a wise man once said, is the better part of valor. It used to be that I’d do a run no matter what, because…well…it was on the schedule and I had to run, so there you go. I’d follow this even to my detriment, which led to injuries, boredom and burnout. Now – I’m a lot more likely to let myself off the hook when I’m not up to it – even if this includes missing out on races. I have made more than a few “donations” in the past 20-odd years I’ve been running. So, well done, you for paying attention and not doing something that could lead to injury.

  12. DNS = Did Nothing Stupid
    Trail runs are the best but they’re heaps harder than road running, so it was probably a very good move to DNS.
    Good luck next week for the Gunpowder

  13. As if the old lady in yesterday didn’t make me feel inadequate enough… I log into read some of your stuff and find that you’ll be running a 5K to the gym to workout. But I did find hope in the DNS. I have a tendency to overwork myself. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to listen to my knees when they squeak “stop.”

    Good luck on the morning runs! Be sure to write about how you feel the rest of day. I’m still getting back into the swing of things, and I’ve been afraid of the a.m. run. I’d like to be able to walk later in the day.

    • I was supposed to run 5k to the gym this morning for the first time, but the clocks went back an hour last night so used that extra hour to drink beer… Running home tonight after work though!

      Not attempted a morning run at all yet. I might try one tues/weds, because I’m off those days and then can see how easily I recover without dealing with pesky customers…

  14. Please let us know if sitting there works. It would be a life-changing technique.

  15. I’ve never regretted a race I DNS’d. I have regretted not listening to my body.
    You’re a smart one Hemingway!

  16. Sometimes you’ve just gotta listen to Captain Common Sense!

    I agree though. I wouldn’t want to miss the Gunpowder run!

  17. When you run from or to work, do you carry a change of clothes with you? I’ve thought about making my bike commute a run instead, but I don’t know if I want to carry my work clothes and such. A small backpack perhaps?

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