Women's Running

Do Not Fear The DNF

*DNF stands for did not finish.

For all of those of you who fear not finishing a race, I’m here to tell you that YOU WON’T DIE if you don’t.

In fact, you may be able to continue living your life just as you were before your DNF. Yep, totally possible and probable.

I’ve DNF-ed races on purpose because I needed and wanted a supported long run. I’ve also DNF-ed a few because I didn’t make a certain cutoff. I admit that those times stung hard. It was especially difficult being pulled off a course because I was too slow—a huge blow to the ego, especially after I had trained for a particular race. I may have even cried once or twice. But you know what? I got over those times real quick, because there was always something else on my race calendar to look forward to.

To me, there’s no use in perseverating about what could have been, but it’s always useful to reflect on the past. Yet still, some people believe that DNF-ing is akin to committing an act of moral turpitude. It is not. Here’s why:

Don’t let a DNF ruin your life. Cry, yell, punch the wall and then run on. There are races to do!