I Did Not Start… by choice

I am linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy SliceMCM Mama runs and Patty at My no guilt life for Tuesdays on the run where today’s topic is DNS (Did Not Start) and DNF (Did Not Finish).



I am lucky enough not to have a DNF, however, I have two DNSs on the books. I admit that it was purely by laziness choice, and for no other reason than the fact that I didn’t want to get up and run in the rain. Period. Yes,  I take full responsibility for this choice.

But let’s back up a little…

It all started with my first 20K race back in October 2012. I had been running for several years, but not doing much racing. I had never run a race longer than 10K, and had never run further than 13K. My brother in law ran the Paris 20K every year, and because I felt I was in pretty good physical condition, I figured I would join him.

Except it was cold, mid forties. OK, I can manage that.

Windy?  Well a bit of wind never stopped anyone.

But did I mention pouring rain ?

It was seriously the worse race experience ever.


Firstly we had to wait for the race to start. In the rain. For over an hour.

Then I ran my 20K.

  • …It was so cold that my joints stiffened, so starting at about kilometer 12 I was in a lot of pain. But I kept running. In the cold rain. In pain.
  • …through the wet streets of Paris,
  • …through the puddles you can not avoid when you are running in a crowd,
  • …over the slippery cobblestones,
  • …through the mud of the Boulogne forrest,
  • …wiping the rain off my glasses,
  • ….wearing a garbage bag trying to stay a bit dry,
  • …with my joints getting stiffer with every kilometer,
  • …with cold, wet feet.

You get the picture. I finished in 2 hours and 15 minutes, but then it took me 45 minutes to exit the race area. Another 45 minutes in the cold wind. Where it continued to rain. That is four hours total, bearing the elements of fall weather in Paris.

The experience was awful and it took me (or I should say my knees) 6 months to recover.

Which is why I HATE running in the rain. Then I did it again. Once I had recovered, physically and mentally, I did another race with my brother in law, only 11K. This time in the April rain.

Leaving the house :

Rain before a race

Rain before a race

But this was a small race where I could sit in the car waiting for it to start. Finally, it didn’t rain the whole time and I am even smiling in my drowned rat look after the race:


But if I have to admit it, I only ran the above race because I wanted to save face in front of my BIL.

When I race I do it for my enjoyment. Not to be miserable, not to get injured. And this is why I DNS two races. Guilt free. Because it was raining and I didn’t want to relive my 20K experience.

At all.

That’s it.

Have you ever backed out of a race because of the weather ?

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Comments: 18

  1. Marcia December 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm Reply

    I totally get this Karen! I think my experience with heat made me almost DNF a subsequent hot marathon. It’s like post traumatic stress. Cold, miserable rain is no fun at all. Thanks for linking up!
    Marcia recently posted…The Agony of a DNS or DNFMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 15, 2015 at 8:29 pm Reply

      the experience might not have been so bad if I hadn’t been injured. My knees hurt for months….

  2. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets December 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm Reply

    That really makes sense to DNS for that reason. Standing in the rain and wind for over an hour is such a miserable experience! If I trained for months for a particular race and the weather sucked that day, I’d still go through with it just out of principle!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…DNS a Race? 8 Tips for Moving OnMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 15, 2015 at 8:30 pm Reply

      If it was a big race, that I trained for, I would go through with it. I DNS small races that I was going to do for the fun of it.

  3. lacey@fairytalesandfitness December 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm Reply

    I have never DNS due to the weather. There was plenty of times I thought about it. Like you said we do it bc we enjoy it, but also I feel like I paid the money so unless I am injured I’m going to do it.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Training for my 50KMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 15, 2015 at 8:30 pm Reply

      The races here in France, especially the small ones I DNS, were less than 10 dollars, so no guilt from my side !

  4. Patty December 15, 2015 at 4:34 pm Reply

    “When I race I do it for my enjoyment. Not to be miserable, not to get injured. And this is why I DNS two races. Guilt free. Because it was raining and I didn’t want to relive my 20K experience.”

    THIS! All of this. I’m totally with you. I am the Goldilocks of runners- I freely admit. Pouring rain in the cold would be a big NO from me too. Guilt free. 😉
    Patty recently posted…That Hurts: DNS | Tuesdays on the RunMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 15, 2015 at 8:31 pm Reply

      Glad I am not the only one ! I am just praying the weather for my marathon is decent. Because I will run it, no matter the weather. And April weather can be iffy…

  5. Paula December 15, 2015 at 6:46 pm Reply

    I’m not at the point yet where I would be comfortable with a DNS or a DNF. I think you DNS for all the right reasons, and if you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it! I admire that it was all guilt free, as it should be. Sometimes I think we put too much pressure on ourselves, (“I signed up for it, gotta do it, gotta do it’), but I like that you recognize it as fun, again, as it should be. 😀
    Paula recently posted…Weekly WrapMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 15, 2015 at 8:32 pm Reply

      Agree, sometimes we put was too much pressure on ourselves !

  6. karen December 16, 2015 at 12:20 am Reply

    A cold down pour is the worse. I ran my first Tacky Light Run in 2013 which was just a 6K in pouring rain, it was about 36 degrees it was tough, I only did it because it was such a short run. My shoes filled up with water it was coming down so hard. It will make me think twice about doing a longer run for sure. I agree we race for fun, we on not have to expose ourselves to something we know will feel miserable.
    karen recently posted…Tacky Light RunMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 16, 2015 at 6:56 am Reply

      36 degrees would have been even worse. Ugh.

  7. Melanie @ Happy Being Healthy December 16, 2015 at 1:24 am Reply

    I DO NOT love running in the rain or snow either! I ran a half marathon last May and it rained the entire time. It wasn’t too bad while I was running, but when I stopped running, I was freeeeezing! My poor husband ran a full marathon in the pouring rain once too. I would hate that!
    Melanie @ Happy Being Healthy recently posted…A Wonderful Weekend + some Fun Things!My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 16, 2015 at 6:56 am Reply

      I have gotten used to being wet, but when we are talking pouring rain AND cold, it is the worse combination.

  8. HoHo Runs December 16, 2015 at 1:55 am Reply

    You started me thinking. Of the 36 half marathons I’ve run, it’s only rained at 2. And I don’t think I’ve run in the rain at the other 110+ races I’ve run. Isn’t that hard to believe? It would be very hard to run in the rain with glasses!
    HoHo Runs recently posted…DNS? Oh, yes!My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 16, 2015 at 6:58 am Reply

      What about the heat ? Could the heat be as bad as the cold, pouring rain ?

  9. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner December 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm Reply

    I had one of those pouring down buckets races a few years back it’s rough!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…My Year Of Running 2015My Profile

  10. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home December 17, 2015 at 4:42 am Reply

    I’ve never DNSd because of weather, but there are certain races I don’t sign up for because of the conditions that time of year…winter half marathons–no thank you. And summer halfs, altho I may change that this summer. We’ll see…
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…‘Tis the season to be stressed out…My Profile

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