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. 

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.51.38 AM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.50.20 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.50.43 AM

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


Follow Reach Your Peak:




Introducing Tuesdays With Tina!

Some of you who have been following me for awhile know that I run every race with my mom (maybe with the exception of 1 or 2 in the past few years).

I wanted to tell you our story, but also introduce my mom because she will be contributing some posts from time to time. Hence this post’s name! It won’t be every Tuesday, but check back on Tuesdays to see if she has written something ;)

Our Story

When I was a senior in college, I decided to start getting active and eating healthier. I gained about 10 lbs. from junior-senior year, mainly because I was eating out a lot more, and taking advantage of the buffet style eating in the dining halls.

My mom and I decided to start doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred, and would call each other to check in and talk about our progress.

In April of 2010, we decided to run our first 5K! I had ran cross country in high school, but this was my first organized race since that time (2006). It was my first public road race too. You can tell how much of noobs we were by this picture:

We got to the start line like, 20 minutes early because we wanted to be the first ones there. Little did we know, only the fast people go in the front! :-P

Isn’t it funny how you can look back at early race pictures and tell you were new to it based on your clothing and gear? We were wearing the race shirt, and I don’t even know what shorts and sneakers I was wearing.

We finished in around 29 minutes. After that, we started running more and more races. At this point, the thought of running a half-marathon or marathon had not even crossed our minds.

Remember Soffe shorts?

Around this time was when we got my dad more into active living too. He started running a couple races with us as well.

Then I told my mom we should run a half-marathon, and she thought I was crazy. Eventually I convinced her though, and the Long Branch Half Marathon was our first!

long branch half marathon

After that…I told my mom we should run a marathon. Then she really thought I was crazy. But I somehow convinced her to do that too. We decided to fundraise for the Christoper Reeve Foundation, and entered the New York City Marathon. Here’s my recap of our first NYC Marathon…we both couldn’t believe we did it!

nyc marathon 2011

There were a couple half-marathons in between as well. But yeah, 2011 was the year we truly fell in love with running. This past year, we ran the New York City Marathon again (<-recap), and using Hansons Marathon Method, PRed by 33 minutes! Here’s our video recap if you like those…I like to think it captures both us running, but the amazing spectators and spirit of the marathon!

What’s Next?

Currently, we haven’t really been running or training for anything. But we gotta get our butt in gear because we want to do the NYRR 9+1 program to get in for the 2015 NYC Marathon! We also have a half-marathon in July while we are away in Paraguay. I’d also like to break my 5K PR.

So what was the point of this post? I wanted to share with you all how special running is for me and my mom. We have gone through it all with running, and it’s amazing to have someone to motivate you, as well as someone to listen to you talk about running all the time ;)

I also wanted to introduce you guys to my mom. She has played an instrumental role in my fitness life, and I know she will have some great things to share with you as well.

So without further ado…say hello to my mom! Please leave a comment with any questions that you may have for her! She’s a mom, runner, lifter…she may be able to provide some insight and experience that I cant. The next post will be her words and not mine!

Do you exercise with loved ones?

If you’re a runner, when was your first race?

Did you ever wear soffe shorts? :-P


Follow Reach Your Peak: