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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