Menu Close

What does DNS mean in racing?

What does DNS mean in racing

DNS Means “Did Not Start” in Racing

Many runners train 16 weeks or longer for long-distance races, so when would you decide not to start a race? In most cases, illness or injury is the reason runners do not start (DNS). 

After finishing strong at the Long Haul 100 furlongs trail race and winning the male division, I feel pain just above my left ankle. Running hard on uneven trail surfaces causes pain in my left medial (inner side) calf. 

The next day, because of this sore soleus muscle, I skip the 19.3-mile marathon pace training and take a rest day. 

Two Weeks to Marathon Race Day

Sunday, January 15, 2023, is two weeks to the Clearwater Running Festival Marathon. After resting on Sunday, I do an easy 30-minute zone 1 recovery run, and my left soleus feels fine. So, Tuesday, I run a 1:31:25 on the Planet Fitness treadmill to minimize the impact of running at a higher intensity. 

Heart Rate Steady State Run

During my treadmill training, I learned that holding my hands on the outside of a cold metal bottle lowers my body’s internal temperature and heart rate by 2 to 3 bpm. The effect occurs after holding the cold bottle for about 30 seconds—unfortunately, my internal temperature and heart rate increase soon after releasing the cold bottle.

After a 15-minute warmup, I maintain a heart rate of 138 – 145 bpm (80/20 Zone X) for 55 minutes. This effort is “the fastest pace you could sustain for 2 hours in race conditions.” Finally, the treadmill training ends with a 15-minute cooldown.

My Marathon Starting Goal

Running in Zone X, I set the treadmill to my marathon goal pace (sub-4 hours) at 9:05 minutes per mile. If I could sustain this pace over 26.2 miles, I would finish the marathon at 3:58:09.

After finishing this marathon pace workout, I feel soreness in my left soleus muscle. Continuing to train hard would prevent my soleus from healing. So, I decided to stop running and give my leg time to heal.

Consequently, I take four rest days. Then I go to John Chesnut Park on Sunday, January 22, 2023, for a long trail run. I complete 11.8 miles in 2:04:52. It’s only seven days until my marathon race! My goal is to start the marathon injury free to have the best chance of finishing in under four hours. So, next week I only plan to train as long as I feel no pain in my soleus.

Illness and My First DNS

Monday, January 23, 2023, I start coughing. I wear a face mask to work. Tuesday, I stay home, and my flu gets worse. Then I start taking over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicine (Day-Quill and Night-Quill). Wednesday, I’m feeling even worse and email my supervisor that I’m sick and will work from home.

I now have a sore throat from coughing, and it’s four days away from my marathon race. Will I recover or have my first DNS? My research shows it takes 7 to 10 days to recover from the common cold. On the other hand, I’m healthier than average, so I may recover faster.

It’s Thursday, January 26, and I’m not getting any better taking these OTC medicines. I work at home and feel tired all day. Then I visit Walgreens pharmacy searching for Chlor-Trimeton, an antihistamine allergy medicine that has helped me before. Unfortunately, I can’t find any.

When I arrive home, my genius wife tells me that the generic for Chlor-Trimeton is chlorpheniramine maleate, and these are the allergy pills I give our dog Romeo – so I take two.

A Rough Night

Laying in bed at night, I cough so hard my throat hurts. Then I roll out of bed and walk into the bathroom. I hack up white phlegm into the bathroom sink and rinse it down. Then, bending forward at the waist, I violently cough into the toilet and spit more white mucus.

Next, I take another dose of Night-Quill. I can’t lie down and sleep, so I sit in the massage chair. Fortunately, I can rest without coughing in this position.

Then, after an hour of sitting, I return to bed and lay down to sleep.

My DNS Medical Advice

Finally, the time has come, and my wife tells me to call the doctor. I speak with a nurse, and she advises me to go to the walk-in Diagnostic Clinic that opens at 10 AM. My wife drives me there, and I see Kelly E Sommers, APRN. 

She observes, “You look exhausted.”

“Yes,” I agree. 

Then I answered her questions, including: 

  • It started on Monday (5 days ago)
  • Coughing, sore throat, runny nose
  • White mucus, no fever

Kelly listened to my lungs using her stethoscope on my chest and back – all clear. She also listened to my heart for a few moments. Then inspected my ears. 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Kelly diagnosed me with a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Also, my left eardrum is infected, and my hearing is diminished. It’s hard for me to hear in my left ear. 

She prescribed two mediations:

  • Amoxicillin-Pot Clavulanate (antibiotic) 125mg, one tablet orally every 12 hours for seven days 
  • Benzonate (cough suppressant) 200mg 1 capsule orally three times per day for ten days

Finally, Kelly asks, “Do you have any plans this weekend?”

“Yeah, I plan to run a Marathon on Sunday,” I say.
Kelly advises, “I recommend you rest this weekend.”

Thus, her medical advice is to DNS the marathon.

Saturday Feeling Beter

wenty-four hours after taking antibiotics, I start feeling better. At 10:30 AM, I run my last marathon training. The plan is a five-minute warmup in zone 1 (110-124 bpm). Then fifteen minutes in zone 2 (124-138 bpm).

Since I have not run for six days, I feel fresh and decide to keep running. Instead of running twenty minutes, I run thirty-eight minutes and complete 3.7 miles. Can I run a marathon tomorrow?

Sunday DNS Cough-A-Thon

Unfortunately, early Sunday morning is the worst night of coughing. First, I sit down, but that does not help. Then, I put on my shoes and walk outside. At 3 AM, I’m wearing a hoodie over my head and circling the block.

In the first 30 minutes, my aerobic breathing starts to reduce my cough. Then, after 55 minutes of walking, my sinuses become clear. Finally, I return to bed and can sleep for a few hours.

Coughing myself out of bed, I go outside for another walk at 6:52 AM. Circling the block, I see a beautiful sunrise – glowing magenta clouds contrast with cyan-blue skies. I check my watch; it’s 7 AM.

I did not start (DNS) the 2023 Clearwater marathon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *