You trained hard, you picked up your bib and then come race day, you never get to the starting line. This is what it’s like to DNS a race.
Welcome to another great Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up where Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, linking up and grab the button to proudly display on your blog/in your posts!
Today’s post was supposed to be a recap of the Syracuse Half Marathon, and well…I’m not quite sure where to begin writing this recap because I don’t have a race to recap. If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that the Syracuse Half will forever go down in history as my first DNS (did not start).
I have so many mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I know skipping the race was the right thing to do, on the other hand the runner in me can’t believe I couldn’t just suck it up and earn that medal.
I suppose the best place to begin is the beginning.
I debated whether or not I wanted to share this on the blog, but I decided sharing this, like the details of my IBS, may end up being helpful for someone else. Fair warning, this post may not be for the squeamish or those of the male persuasion.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here on the blog, but I have a bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand Disease. Basically, my blood doesn’t clot as quickly as it should, so if I get a cut, it will bleed more before stopping. It hasn’t really been a big issue for me beyond the occasional long nosebleed and the fact that I bruise easily. I can’t take any blood thinners (so no Ibuprofen or Asprin), and I’m on the pill to help regulate my periods. Every now and then I get breakthrough bleeding or a slightly heavier flow (like I said, this post is not for the squeamish), but nothing I can’t manage. Of course, I wear a medical bracelet in case I ever get into an accident or need a big surgery.
Now that you have that background, let’s get back to the “recap”.
It all started on Thursday afternoon. I had to rush to the bathroom to take care of what I thought was just some breakthrough spotting. It was a bit more than I usually experience, but I pushed my worries aside.
On Friday, Will and I headed up to Syracuse. I spent the day meeting up with old college friends, but every 2 hours, I had to rush to a restroom to change my tampon. The amount of bleeding I was having started to concern me, especially because I had just had my period (usually, breakthrough bleeding happens if you miss pills – which I hadn’t – or are simply closer to your next period).
Saturday, things didn’t get any better. Will was urging me not to run the race, but I really didn’t want to do that. I called my OB/GYN and spoke to the doctor on call. She didn’t seem too concerned, but told me to come in Monday morning. She also told me I probably shouldn’t run. Ugh, what do doctors know?
Annmarie picked me up later that afternoon and we headed to Fleet Feet to pick up our packets. I got my number and eyed the medal I’d be hopefully receiving the next day. We then stopped to look the course map and chatted with a few other runners about the concerning weather. The polar vortex was coming and the forecast was calling for 20 degree temps, snow and up to 50mph winds. That didn’t sound fun, but as this email from the Syracuse Half Marathon organizers put it – bragging rights.
We took a few pictures in the fun photobooth…
… went out for a nice carb-loading dinner at Yum Yum’s Gluten Free Bakery and then settled in at the hotel to watch the Syracuse Men’s Basketball Team in the Final Four game (they lost – BOO!).
I admitted to Annmarie that I was nervous about running the race. With the weather in mind, I figured I’d be running slower than my normal pace, so I was predicting a finish beyond the 2:00 mark. I knew that I’d have to change my tampon every two hours, so unless I changed it RIGHT before crossing the starting line, I’d most likely have to stop mid-race. I don’t mind stopping to pee, but that sort of stop is a whole different ball game, especially in a porta potty on a freezing cold, windy day. I was also concerned about the amount of blood I’d lost. Would I have the energy to run? I was also starting to experience a constant dull pain in my pelvis. Was that in my head?
Despite all of my fears, I laid out flat Nicole, set my alarm or an early wake up and went to bed.
I was tossing and turning all night. I had to get up twice to change my tampon (very not normal) and was just worrying about the race and the weather and my health. When my alarm finally went off, my gut was telling me not to run. I was still bleeding, I was still having a constant dull pain, Will didn’t want me to run and the doc had told me not to run – so I finally made the call to pull out of the race.
It was hard. I felt like I was ditching Annmarie. I felt like I was throwing away my money. I felt like I was letting myself down. Was I being silly? Could I suck it up and run and finish the race and be fine? Maybe – but deep down, something was telling me to sit this one out, so, begrudgingly, I did.
Annmarie got bundled up and headed to the race without me. I headed back to bed, but couldn’t go back to sleep. When Will woke up, I told him I was bummed I missed the race, but I was also starting to really worry about my health.
I showered, got dressed and anxiously awaited Annmarie’s return.
When she came back, I knew for sure skipping the race was the right decision. She said it was miserable and dangerous. That at times she couldn’t see. Her feet were soaked with cold, icy water – I’d tell you more, but you’re much better off reading her recap.
She told me it was good that I missed it, which gave me a little relief. It certainly didn’t look all that fun.
I packed up all my unused race gear and stared at the bib that never crossed the starting line. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, so it came back to NYC with me.
I didn’t end up running the #syracusehalf today. I’ve been dealing with some health issues over the past few days and was trying to convince myself I’d be ok for this race, but when I woke up this morning my gut was telling me it would be a bad idea to run. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the fact that this bib won’t be put to use. I know not running was the right decision, but my 1st DNS is hard to swallow. ???? Have you ever had to make a game time decision to not run. How did you deal with it? * * * #raceday #dns #runnerproblems #runchat #runnersofig #instarunner #run #runcuse #sweatpink #girlsgonesporty #fitfluential #fitfam #bgbcommunity #fitblogger #13point1
It’s been a few days now and I’ve accepted the fact that Syracuse was a DNS. I know it was the right decision, and like many of you mentioned to me on instagram, better to listen to your body and get a DNS, than push yourself and get a DNF. Thank you all for all your kind words.
As for my health, I went to my OB/GYN first thing Monday morning. I wasn’t able to see my usual doctor, but another doc was able to see me. She sent me for blood work and a sonogram.
All I know right now is that they saw something in the sonogram – they think it is either a blood clot or a polyp. I have to go back in once my bleeding stops for another test that should be more conclusive, and we’ll go from there. My doctor doesn’t seem too concerned, so I suppose I shouldn’t be either, but it’s hard not knowing exactly what it is and what it means. I, of course, went to Mr. Google and go freaked out by some of the things he was telling me.
Note to all: Do not Google your symptoms. EVER. For anything.
I know, easier said than done, but when it comes to your health, no good can come from Google.
I’m also on an exercise hiatus, which is very tough. The doc told me I can exercise if I feel up to it but to really listen to my body, and right now, I don’t know that I should be expending a lot of energy lifting heavy and running hard. I know taking care of my body is priority #1, but it’s really hard to not be able to do the things I love. I’m hoping I can do some light exercise soon, but meanwhile, I’m feeling pretty down on energy and mood. Debby Downer vibes to the max.
Thanks for bearing with me for this long post. If any of you have experience with dealing with either a DNS or any of these feminine-related issues, I’d love to hear your stories and words of advice.
And of course, I won’t leave you without the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up. If you’re new around here, you can check out the full rules here. Add your posts below and share all your goodies with #WildWorkoutWednesday.
Have you ever had a DNS?
Ladies – have any of you experience clots or polyps?