My First DNS – Long Branch Half Marathon

Welp…I had my first DNS (did not start) this weekend. I was all registered to run the Long Branch Half Marathon (part of the New Jersey Marathon) with my mom yesterday, but it just did not pan out as planned. This might be a long one…

I started feeling sick last Tuesday, and each day I felt progressively worse. On Thursday I came down with a fever, though it went away in about an hour or so. I tried to convince myself I would feel better by Sunday. Usually I am quick to recover from colds…I came down with a cold before NYC Marathon in 2013 and ended up being fine by race day. 

Well, Saturday I woke up feeling achy, congested and just awful in general. Have you ever gotten a sore throat from that post-nasal drip? Yeah I’ve had that all week. I finally went to the doctor Saturday morning because I had no clue what was going on that I felt so crappy. I was feeling really upset Saturday morning because I knew that my chances of running Sunday were slim.

When I walked into the doctor’s office and he asked me to explain what was wrong, it all came bubbling up. What did Cady Heron call it in Mean Girls? Word vomit? It was like word/emotion vomit. I’m embarassed to say I cried a bit while explaining my symptoms and that I was upset because I had registered for a half marathon and now would probably not run. I’m pretty sure he probably thought I was crazy lol. He prescribed me antibiotics and told me I could run if I felt better. 

I was really, really hoping I’d magically be better by Sunday but I wasn’t. I woke up in the middle of the night and threw up, probably because of the antibiotics (he had warned me it could cause nausea), and that’s when I knew I wouldn’t be able to run. I got up at 4 am (because I was still going to go cheer on my mom no matter what), and figured I’d make a last minute decision. Well, my body was still achy, my throat was still sore, my nose was like a faucet, and I had thrown up a few hours ago. So I decided not to run.

Guys, it was such a hard decision. 1) I really wanted to run this race with my mom. It was where we ran our first half marathon together. 2) We had our shirts made and everything (did I jinx myself by putting the race on the shirt before I ran it? Probably). And 3) these races aren’t cheap! I felt like I was throwing money down the drain. My mom and sister both told me to not worry about the money…health is more important. I know that…but still.

PS – Here are the shirts my mom and I made to wear. I can’t believe we’ve been running together since 2010! (2011 was the year we upped our distances from 5k to half and full marathons).


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

I posted in the Sweat Pink group online and got a bunch of stories and words of encouragement. I know many have gone through this but I just needed to hear from other runners, especially because I don’t have many runner friends in real life that I can vent to. Someone really gave me perspective and basically commented that in the grand scheme of things, I am lucky to even have the opportunity to run a half marathon or multiple half marathons, especially with my mom. I know that we have many more races to run together.

The fact that I couldn’t run didn’t stop me from cheering like crazy for everyone! I was at mile 5.5ish waiting for my mom and in the meantime had my “I don’t even know you but I’m proud of you” sign and was cheering my face off. Probably didn’t do my throat any favors ;)

I got a lot of compliments from runners on my sign…good to know you all like it! Will definitely be my go-to race sign. 

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I saw my mom at 5.5ish, 10ish and right before the finish. It was cool to be a spectator for once and see it from the other side. I loved cheering for her with my sister and seeing how happy and strong she looked. It really is a blessing that we are able to run all these races together, and this set back just makes me more ready and excited to begin marathon training with her.

Here we are post-race, and her getting her medal at the finish!

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I suppose there were a few pros to not running:

  • I can continue my training without having to take a week off from running.
  • I can keep building up my weekly mileage and work on speed for my 10k on May 30th.
  • I can go up and down the stairs no problem :)

I know that if I had tried to run there was a good chance I wouldn’t have finished, but it still doesn’t hurt any less. I’ll get over it…”on to the next one” right?

Have you ever had a DNS? Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated!

Anyone else ever cry at the doctor’s office over not being able to run? No? Just me? #runnerprobs


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  1. I am so sorry you were not able to run :( How awesome that you run with your mom and I LOVE your shirts!!!!
    Stephanie recently posted…Sand Season Has Begun!My Profile

  2. I think it is amazing that you went to cheer on everyone else! :)
    Margo recently posted…Brooklyn Fit Chick Vlog 111: Fit Bottomed Pets, The BMI of The Rock & “Motivational Blaster” GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Sorry you couldn’t go! It’s so awesome you cheered your mom on. You are so blessed to have a mother that stays active with you! I hope that will be my daughter and I one day.
    Ivanna recently posted…Skirt Sports 13er, New Fitness Gear and A Free Race Entry GiveawayMy Profile

  4. I had to drop out of a few races the past year due to injury it is hard and disappointing but there is always another one and you will crush it!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Pickled Veggies-Meatless MondayMy Profile

  5. first, those shirts are adorable! second, so sorry you got so sick. It’s hard to hear but there will be other races, but I understand the disappointment. I had to defer my first marathon a year ago because of foot injury and adjusted my plans for a goal race earlier this year after getting strep. It never gets any easier to stomach but soon you’ll be feeling better and this will be all behind you!

  6. Really, that sucks…a lot. I would have been pissed. But, your health is SOOO much more important! I’m so glad you didn’t run, but at least you still got to support your momma! Life is pretty shitty sometimes, but we’ve gotta do what’s best for us in that moment.
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Black & White PancakesMy Profile

  7. The almost full year i had to take off due to my foot injury involved a LOT of DNS – like big fun events I’d been planning for…including Ragnar Trail Tahoe. BOO! But you did the smart thing and you’ll get ‘em next race. :-)
    Coach Henness recently posted…Mocha Coconut FrappéMy Profile

  8. I love those shirts! I’m so sorry you weren’t able to run. I’ve had a couple DNS due to injury and they really do suck.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Motivate Me Monday: 4/27My Profile

  9. So sorry to hear that you weren’t able to run as planned. But yay for getting out there and cheering your mom on!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Weekly Training Log – Week of April 20thMy Profile

  10. Oh Patty I’m so sorry. I know how torn you were in making the call on this. Deciding on a DNS is never easy. I’ve had a few due to injury (Twin Cities marathon and Philly Marathon) and there’s still a bit of a sore spot there. I love that you were out supporting your mom. Priceless. Feel better!
    Marcia recently posted…Wait What Just Happened? My First TriMy Profile

  11. Ugh. I had my first every DNS last spring. I broke my foot and was in the boot. I was mad. I was trained. I was ready. So I went to the race with Marcia ^^^^ and spectated. Best thing I could have done. It was a blast. Interesting, I was waiting for the runners to come in and sat on the sidelines with other folks. A woman next to me was crying, because she was supposed to run with her mom and was hurt. I felt badly for her.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Bringing my own sunshineMy Profile

  12. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get to run the race. I know how disappointing it is. You’ve put in the training and invested emotionally and physically – not to mention financially! It’s totally normal to be upset but in the bigger scheme of things you made the right decision for your health. Congrats to your mom and I’m glad that you were able to go cheer her on!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Top 5 Running MomentsMy Profile

  13. bummer! but i have to say, i think a DNS is better than a DNF (and less painful!). i’m sorry you were sick but you did the right thing for your body. as someone who has had to pull out of a marathon at mile 17, trust me on that!
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Rock Your Core – Final Week!My Profile

  14. How awesome that you actually go to watch your mom – that would be such an awesome experience!! I’m sorry you DNS but it’s probably for the best you didn’t push it!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Homemade Hummus Recipe | Sundried TomatoMy Profile

  15. Love the shirts and the fact that you get to enjoy races with your mom. I’ve had one DNS and it was such a tough decision but I knew it was the right decision. I just kept telling myself there’s more races to run.
    jill conyers recently posted…#ROCKYOURCORE Final WeekMy Profile

  16. Sorry you couldn’t run the race. Congrats to your Mom for finishing and it was great of you to get out and cheer. The tees are awesome.
    GinaB @ Mirror Watching recently posted…Decision Day Has ComeMy Profile

  17. So sorry you culdnt run but if you were that sick it was definitely better that you didn’t. Your shirts were very cute, it is so nice that you and your mom do all these races together!
    Toni @runninglovingliving recently posted…When a run feels amazingMy Profile

  18. So sad that you couldn’t run, but I hope your feeling better now! I’m sure you’re gonna kill your upcoming races though :D
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted…Pina Colada Parfait with chia seed coconut milk ‘yogurt’My Profile

  19. ): sorry you had to DNS (but way to be supportive and have a great sign!) You made the better decision than mine (running TYS10K anyways) and ended up needing to take a couple days off due to the pain after the race…
    Carmy recently posted…RACE REPORT: TYS10K, TorontoMy Profile

  20. I have had several DNS due to injury. It is always such a bummer but usually the best decision. I am sorry you did not get to run with your mom! I love that you run together and I loved the cute shirts that you made to wear together!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…I’m going to be running a 5K soon!My Profile

  21. Small world! I am from NJ too. :-) Sorry you were not able to run, but always put your health first. You’ll get another opportunity.
    Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment recently posted…Trader Joe’s HaulMy Profile


  1. […] make this decision, especially since I’ve only not ran a race I already registered for once (Long Branch Half Marathon”recap” here) but here’s the […]

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