Goofy Challenge – “Try” is the best I can do.

I went for a run this morning.  It didn’t go well.

My last run was 6 miles this past Saturday.  I walked crying from mile 4.5-6 because the pain in my knee was so bad.  After several days of rest, foam rolling and icing I decided to go on a short test run this morning to see how my knee was doing.  I used 2 minute run/ 30 second walk intervals in hopes that the frequent walks breaks would decrease the stress on my knee and keep the pain at bay.

No such luck.  By mile 2.5 the pain was back and I walked the last half mile home.

This weekend I’m supposed to run the Goofy Challenge – a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday – and I don’t know what I am going to do.  Honestly, if I could cancel my whole trip down to Florida and not lose all the money I would.

But I can’t.  I’m going to be in Florida.  My friends will be running.  My husband will be running.

I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing.

So far all I know is I will START at least one of the races.

I love the Walt Disney World Marathon.  This would be my 5th year doing it and more importantly, the first year Jason is doing it with me and I was really looking forward to running through all 4 parks with him.

The way I see it right now I have 2 options:

Option A – I start the half marathon on Saturday and see how that goes.  I may have to walk most/ all of it.  I may not finish.  But regardless it should give me a good idea of how attempting double that distance would go (or not go for that matter).

Option B – Not run on Saturday and hope that the extra day of rest would benefit me going into the full marathon on Sunday.  I’m not sure there’s much logic here, my knee hurt me at 2.5 miles today so I’m not really sure that an extra day of rest is going to help at all in attempting 26.2 miles.  But, even if I only make it through half the race, at least I’ll have gotten to experience half the race with Jason.

That leads me to my next point – DNF’ing or “Do Not Finish”.

I’ve never DNF’d a race, and it’s not so much that I mind DNF’ing, many a smart runner has DNF’d when they realize it’s not in their best interest to continue running, the issue is more that I’m not so sure I’m a “smart runner”.

I’m kind of stubborn and I’m worried that if I start the race I’m going to try to finish the race.

I think the only way it makes sense for me to even start either of these races is to promise myself to stop running/ walking/ participating in the race the minute it even crosses my mind that continuing may do more harm in the long term.  Or if there are tears involved.  Or limping.  (And considering all 3 of those things happened during my 6 mile run last Saturday I’d say I need to come to terms with this deal with myself soon.)

I know a wise little green dude one said “do or do not, there is no try”, but I think in this situation “try” may be the best I can do.

Jason and I leave for Florida tomorrow afternoon, so like I said, I’ll be in Florida and I’ll be at both races for sure, I’m just not sure if it’ll be as a participant or a spectator.

Have you ever DNS or DNF’d a race?
How did you decide what was the right thing to do?

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33 thoughts on “Goofy Challenge – “Try” is the best I can do.

  1. So sorry, Danielle!! You’re the one to make the call, but in a similar situation last year I DNS’d the WDW Marathon.

    Here’s another option: can you walk the half without injuring your knee? Just a thought.

    Here’s wishing you the best possible outcome

    • Fortunately I can walk completely pain free so that’s exactly what I’m thinking, see if I can walk the half within the time limit and then go from there. Thanks for your good wishes!

  2. You’ll make the right decision in due time. Rest, ice, do whatever it takes to get that knee comfortable. Ibuprofen should help, too. Take four before the race, and another four half way through. Best of luck!

  3. Sorry Danielle, only you know how much you can take. Walk if you must, to run would only cause more damage/pain to your knee. Is it worth it? Good luck no matter what you decide.

    • You hit the nail on the head, it’s a “fun race” that I really have been looking forward to! I think any other race I’d have a much easier time deciding to sit it out!

  4. Danielle, You are an amazing woman, runner, yoga master, and know that you have much love and support for whatever you can do! Good luck!

  5. I am soooo sorry. This absolutely SUCKS, but it sounds like you have the right attitude about the whole thing. I’m as stubborn as they come, and I know I would do the exact same thing — all you can do is try, right? IF you were to DNF (or DNS) it’s obviously due to legitimate medical/physical reasons, and there is absolutely NO shame in that. I am keeping every one of my fingers and toes crossed that your knee holds up and you can enjoy this experience with Jason. Wishing the best for you this weekend!!!

  6. I did not start a 5k when I was first getting into running, it was raining and wasn’t my “A” race, so I decided not to risk an injury. I’ve had knee pain so I understand the frustration. The “easy” answer is to pick a race and stick to it! I’m not sure what activities you have planned for prior to the race, so do what works best for you and let go of all the rest.

  7. I would say that since even attempting to do the Full Marathon would risk seriously injuring you knee just do the half and do what you can. Is there a cut off time? Any chance you could just walk most of if and run what you can?

    • Yes, there is a cutoff time for both races, I think it’s a 16 min/ mile pace, but I start in a fairly early corral so it gives me a bit more time. I’m confident I could walk the half in the allotted time (and fortunately I have NO pain when I walk!), so I may try that and see how it goes before I decide on the full.

  8. Sorry your knee is causing you so much trouble. I second the ideal of just walking the half and then having shorter run intervals for the full. Maybe change you goals to just finish as pain free as possible so you can enjoy the experience with your husband.

  9. Danielle this really stinks, but being smart is the most important thing for the long term health of your knee. Pushing through one race is not going to help you if you are in pain, but like you, I would be stubborn and try to finish regardless. Hey, I am the idiot who ran Boston after food poisoning., Looking forward to seeing you and hoping you come to a decision that will be best for you.

    • Haha, I would have done the same in Boston – there’s no way you can miss that race! I have no pain at all when walking so I’m leaning towards seeing what I can do walking with maybe a few short run intervals and seeing how that goes.

      Can’t wait to see you!

  10. Your knee sounds exactly like what I was going through before the ’14 WDW. The most I did for training was walking 8 miles, then I walked the whole half. Should I have done it? No, but I was too stubborn to care. Once the race was over, I found I was enjoying my vacation a lot more.

    • So you were able to keep the pace to finish the half in under the time limit?? Fortunately my knee doesn’t hurt AT ALL when I walk so I think I’d be ok doing that (fingers crossed!).

  11. I’m so sorry Danielle, that is such a sucky situation to be in. I think the good news is that the runDisney races are so walker/run-walker friendly, and there’s such a sense of community and support amongst all the race participants. While it will be a different race experience than you were expecting/hoping for, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that your knee cooperates enough to let you enjoy these races!

    • Thank you so much Becca, it is very helpful that these are such walker friendly races, I won’t feel too alone or out of place if I do end up walking! Fingers crossed that works out and I can get to at least one finish line!

  12. I know by now you are probably already there but I hope all goes well. It really sucks to have injuries. I had to back down from my first half and run the 5k instead. I also ran a 10k on an ankle that turned out the be sprained and, although I finished the race, I didn’t run again for a month. Listen to your body. Maybe you can do intervals and still complete the races. Good luck!

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