DNF, in racing parlance, stands for Did Not Finish. When I first learned these words, I decided that I would never allow them to apply to me. I’ve registered for races in the past, and been unable to take them on once the time came, but I’ve never started anything I didn’t finish, no matter how painful.
I’ve been running on my treadmill in the basement all winter, slowly rebounding from the torn muscle in my calf, and the assault I did on the muscle by climbing the steepest hill in the world far too soon after the initial injury. I was feeling good, I was upping my mileage, and plowing through all five seasons of Alias. Then it started to get nice outside, and I kept seeing all these superfit assholes romping like gazelles through my neighborhood. My romping may not be gazellelike, but it’s a romp, which is always fun.
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny with a projected high of 50 degrees. I promptly threw on my outdoor gear to go for a quick four miles before heading out to Historic Concord, MA to visit Louisa May Alcott. I didn’t even get across the street. I jogged in place a bit, and took a leap up onto the sidewalk then felt that familiar snap in my right calf followed by an intense amount of pain, and hobbled back home. At least it wasn’t a long walk back.
I still went to Concord, and gimped my way through the afternoon because I refuse to postpone historical tourism just because climbing stairs is a bit time-consuming, then came home, propped my leg up on a bag of frozen mixed veg, and pouted for the rest of the night.
Now, it’s five days later, and I just walked five, pain-free miles at a pretty good speed. I also have a half marathon coming up March 21st–11 days away. I don’t know if I’ll be able to run, I’m going to wait until I can go down stairs painlessly before taking that on, but I can walk faster than most people run. Dare I try it? Is that just a hollow victory/way to potentially hurt myself more? Or is it a respectable way to earn my medal?