Three little letters that make every runner cringe.

The only thing as bad as a DNS is a DNF.

Did not start. Did not finish.

I’ve had one DNS in my life and it still makes me crazy. Last Thanksgiving I was supposed to run the Turkey Trot 5 Mile Flier, just like I do every year. However, leading up to Thanksgiving Day last year I was horribly sick. I remember going to packet pickup and feeling miserable. Despite this, I was determined to run the race.

My husband met me at packet pickup, knowing I was sick. He brought me hot tea and Vitamin C tablets. We even went to Traverse City Whiskey Company to try to cure me with some whiskey. (A trick my grandmother does – and hey, she’s 89-years-old and living independently. Clearly she’s doing something right.) We went home and rested for the remainder of the evening.

The next day when the alarm went off to get ready for the Turkey Trot, I could hardly speak. I was drained and miserable, yet still determined to run. My belief has always been that running makes me feel better when I’m sick (and usually it does!) My husband, however, had other beliefs. He informed me that I was way too sick to run a race that day. He feared not only the race, but standing in the cold before starting and getting chilled after the race. I spent quality time arguing with him, which inevitably wore me out even more. I eventually conceded, knowing we had plans to go downstate for the weekend and I’d need energy for that.

DNS - Run Leelanau
My husband and I at the Turkey Trot in a previous year, NOT last year. Last year I was trapped in bed.

Thanksgiving Day is the day when the largest number of people in the United States runs. I love being a part of that. It was so hard to miss out and lie there knowing the race was going on without me.

At the time I am writing this, Thanksgiving Day is a week away. Currently, I feel great – no sniffles, sore throat, or cough to speak of (everyone knock on wood right now!) Once again, my husband and I are signed up to run the Turkey Trot 5 Mile Flier. I can finally get that DNS out of my head with the successful completion of this race.

And for the record, I still think I should have raced last year’s Turkey Trot.

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