DNF… This Morning’s Run

As someone who doesn’t race very often (though, coincidentally, I have a race coming up next weekend – stay tuned!), I’m not typically faced with the daunting question that most runners find themselves contemplating at one point or another during their fruitful careers.

Should I quit? Is this singular run really worth it?

Even during the Manhattan Half Marathon two years ago, Noah and I completed 13.1 miles in blizzard-like snow. Not once during that run did we consider stopping; we had simply trained for too long to not finish the race. And so we trudged on, icicles forming on our eyelashes and pins and needles forming in our toes.

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This morning, Noah and I went out for our requisite weekend run. As a couple, it’s something we’ve done together since we started dating, and mind you, running was never something that connected us — it’s just a happy little activity we both somewhat enjoy. While my weekday runs are solo, by the time Saturday and Sunday come along, we typically lace up and head out as one.

With rain and sub-freezing temperatures, the weather was questionable, to say the least, when we woke up on Sunday morning. But my weather app claimed that it wouldn’t start raining for another hour or more, and so we figured that we could at least squeeze a few miles in.

Rain gear clad, we set off around 10:30AM for Central Park. We then stopped around 10:43 (roughly), taking shelter in the public atrium on 57th and 5th.

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It was barely a mile, and I had hardly broken a sweat, but with frozen toes, brain freeze, wet shirts (so much for the rain jacket!) and countless close calls in which we barely avoided slipping on the sidewalk and breaking our faces (or at least a wrist), we called it quits. Some runs are simply not worth it, and given the treachery of our tracks, this was one of those instances.

While we had planned to run through Central Park, instead, we stopped at Nike Town, swung by a bakery to pick up a cake-tasting package for our wedding…

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…and grocery shopped at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods. While it wasn’t the run — or workout — I had planned on, by the time we got home two hours later, I could at least say that we crossed a few errands off of our list, all while walking around the city in the freezing, wet cold.

Not every run is what you plan it’s going to be; that’s something I learned a long time ago, and without that mentality, I might not be the runner that I am today. Some runs are perfect; the sun shines high and your feet feel light. Others are challenging; your body feels fine, but the weather is less than fab. And some runs, like the run we took today, are simply miserable and seem to have no point (that don’t involve a potential fracture or tears). Those runs are the ones I am definitely okay skipping. Those runs are the runs that make all the others so much more amazing.

Today was my first DNF of any run (not counting those due to injury). In less than 15 minutes, we totally gave up, and so here I am on a couch in pajamas, watching Michigan basketball, listening to the rain on my air conditioner, eating eggs…

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…and staring at the tub of homemade snickerdoodles sitting in front of me. This project was probably the best part of my weekend — both the baking…

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(When in mom’s house, use all her ingredients!)

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(If these don’t make you think of the SNL shweddy balls skit, I don’t know what does.)

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(Waiting is such sweet sorrow.)

…and the bingeing.

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While some runs aren’t ideal, we can at least find perfection in other aspects of our day. And, if you ask me, these snickerdoodles more than made up for a messy morning run.

When’s the last time you quit your morning run? Was it during a race or on a random excursion, and more importantly, what made you stop?

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3 thoughts on “DNF… This Morning’s Run

  1. One of my resolutions for the new year was to get in shape, so I’ve been making myself run. I’m starting out just jogging for a few blocks, but man I thought 40 degree weather was bad…it feels like I’m breathing in ice daggers!

    • As a runner who started her journey in Michigan, I can promise you that it gets easier! The first few times running in colder weather are tough, but you’re tough too — and your lungs WILL adjust. Just give it time, and don’t force it. These days, I prefer cooler weather to sweltering summer days. 🙂

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