DNF (Did not finish!)

Well given that my last two posts described running personal bests it seems only fair that this one should describe total failure. I’ve had two months of overeating and minimal exercise so you reap what you sow. I’ve been volunteering at my beloved Edinburgh parkrun but last Saturday their volunteer rota was full so I thought I would check out the new parkrun on the block – Portobello parkrun just over 6 miles from home. I told myself I would run it gently as I am out of condition. It is a scenic parkrun – three laps of a pretty park with pond,river and nice views of Arthur’s Seat – the hill that dominates the Edinburgh skyline. It was a pleasant morning with a gentle breeze. There was a happy relaxed atmosphere pre-race with lots of visiting runners who were in Edinburgh for the popular Edinburgh Marathon Festival. What could possibly go wrong?

Well quite a lot if you were stupid me. I went off far too fast and even though I knew I was going too fast I kept chasing people instead of dropping back. As we approached the end of the first lap the famous running quote from George Sheehan came into my head : “Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit.” Now as most runners will know this happens at least once every time you run and part of learning to run is saying “no” to that voice. But to my shame I gave in and pulled up after one lap. So an inglorious dnf (did not finish) for me and lots of negative thoughts afterwards.


9 thoughts on “DNF (Did not finish!)

  1. I’m so sorry to hear that but I expect it happens to every runner from time to time. Thankfully, in your case, it’s a rare event. I hope it hasn’t put you off trying the Portobello run again.

    • Thanks Lorna. It hasn’t happened for a while so hopefully you’re right. I will definitely go back to Portobello when I’m fitter and try and complete the course next time!

  2. Ah, so you quit before you had to, eh? I can feel your pain, I do that from time to time as well. When my mental Kung Fu is weak, bad things happen. Buck up brother. You can’t get back into shape in a day but you can start today. If we take our lumps and put in the miles, we never have to feel like you do right now, again. If that seems harsh, I apologize. I know it sucks, I have to live by it.

    • Thanks Jim. You’re absolutely right. I hate quitting during a race and fortunately it is not frequently that I do so. But it has given me the encouragement to start training again and I needed that. As soon as you stop training and stop eating carefully it’s frightening how quickly the fitness and endurance goes.

  3. Agh, but at least you know why, David, and that is a great weapon against it happening again! It makes your successes that much greater too. So don’t give up and focus on the next success!

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