Around 2,000 runners are setting off on this afternoon’s annual Raheny 5 mile road race as I write.
That’s “as I write” because I’m not one of those runners.
After yesterday’s visit to the physio confirmed that I have a slight injury in my right leg, it would have been foolish of me to race today and make my injury worse.
More out of hope than expectation, I had collected my race number (166) at the sponsor’s office in Raheny yesterday morning before heading to the physio. But even on my way to get my number I was fairly sure that I wouldn’t be at the starting line.
This is only the second time in ten years that I’ve missed a race I’ve entered due to injury. The other time was the 2009 Paris Marathon, when I ran on a sore calf muscle in training and did greater damage as a result. Collecting my pre-race goodie bag (in the days when the Paris Marathon gave out t-shirts before the race and not afterwards) was a real downer, and I headed to Lyon that weekend to avoid the pain of having to witness the race.
Missing this race doesn’t feel as bad as missing that marathon did. For one thing, a 5-mile race is less of a commitment, so it’s not as if months of hard training and focus has been in vain. Also, maybe I’m (finally) more mature and sensible about these things – there’ll be other races.
But most importantly, this 5-mile race wasn’t an end in itself. Is it worth injuring myself further today and jeopardise my training for a half or full marathon, or even force me out of running completely? Of course not.
So, number 166 was a DNS (did not start) at the Raheny 5-miler today. I’ll take that if it avoids me having to be a DNS or even the dreaded DNF (did not finish) in one of my target races later this year.