In September 2010 the Brian Honan 5k was my first ever race. I was living in Allston (a different neighborhood of Boston where the race is held) at the time and saw a sign for the race while I was out for a run. I decided that if I was going to be running anyway, I should run for something.
I was so proud to have finished that race because it was also the longest I had ever run up to that point (my longest training run for it had been just under three miles).
For the next two years I was not able to run the race for various reasons (not the least of which was other races). When I realized that this year’s race didn’t conflict with any others and that I would be in town for it, I was excited to sign up.
As the race got closer and closer and my running became less and less frequent, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to give my all on race day. Two days ago I started to wonder if it was even worth it to head out to Allston (where there is no parking the day of the race because the Allston fair coincides with it) just to run 3 miles.
Last night I made the decision to go to sleep without setting an alarm and see how I felt this morning. When I woke up far too late to make it to Allston on time I realized that my heart just hadn’t been in the race. For that reason, I’m gladly accepting my first Did Not Start for the race.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a tendency to not give my all in training and then just hope for the best on race day. Usually the repercussions aren’t all that terrible (aside from not hitting as many PRs as I really should be able to). I want to eliminate that habit (both because it isn’t helping my fitness level or running ability and because it could lead to serious injury) and I think one way of doing that is providing repercussions for myself. The largest such self-imposed repercussion is not allowing myself to even start the race.
Don’t get me wrong, I still intend on running those three miles today because my concerns about this race aren’t about the distance. Instead of taking the bus then a train (or two trains) into Allston to do so, I’ll be lacing up my running shoes and going for a run down to the Charlestown Navy Yard and back. A more relaxed pace than the race and more about getting in a training run and getting back to consistent running than about finishing a race.
There was a time when I felt like I needed to run for something to be able to keep doing it. Now I’m realizing I need to run just for the sake of my health again. We’re getting back to basics here and I think I like it.
Have you ever received a DNS for a race?