Some people do it all. They work full time, high pressure jobs. They raise families. They train 15+ hrs a week, and race like pros. Well, I'm not one of them. I cannot do it all, and therefore will be marking my second DNS of the season this weekend.
I knew my June was crazy. Rev3 Wisconsin Dells would be the third (long) weekend in a row I'd be out of town. The first was a conference, so that had some stress. Then my best friend's wedding, complete with MOH duties. Yeah, stressful. And then this. Add to it that work has never been crazier (mostly good crazy, but crazy). Bad sleep. A cold I'm just getting over. Bad eating. Sick cat. Bad training. Bad news about my aunt. Disastrous house. Emotional breakdown on 28th birthday. Yes- not my week.
It came to the tipping point this morning. I was woken up by my dog hacking up a lung in her crate. Not only have my travels gotten the best of me, but I was sure she had kennel cough. Which would be her second bout of it in about six months. Winning. Then at lunch came a text that a friend who was in town to look for an apartment was in the hospital. Come on people, I can't take this. Then when I got home from not the best day of work at the hospital (apparently I went to school for 3 years to get a DPT to be competent at spoon feeding patients and changing diapers), I was crippled by anxiety. I had a finite time window to 1) get dog to boarding (kennel cough false alarm or my emotions scared it out of her); 2) get my bike to the bike shop to get the 11-28 cassette installed so I wouldn't be stuck at the bottom of the hills in the Dells; and 3) pick up rental car. I seriously didn't know where to start, and I realized I just couldn't do it.
So good for those people who aren't crippled by things like this. I applaud you but I'm not you. I am inches from a breakdown (or maybe already in one) and need to take care of me. None of these things are really that bad, and I know I could handle them. But at what cost? And why?
I was originally very excited for this race. Then came the hip. Then came bad training. And then came stress that put this race at the bottom of my priorities. I'm sure it would be fun and you always learn from racing, but I think a DNS is the best thing for me. Training-wise especially, I can get way more out of a weekend of training not bogged down by travel and all that stress then I would by traveling to go there. I always hate losing the registration fee, but really I'm saving money by not renting a car, having a hotel room, or boarding the dog. And I'm saving my sanity. Instead of being stressed out all weekend about a race I don't care much about, I can get my life in order. I can clean. I can get some work done. I can train. I can sleep. I can (gasp) have fun? Relax?
DNS is never an easy decision, and I hope I'm not making a pattern of it. But it is important to have perspective. When I was training for my first marathon or first Olympic or first HIM, a DNS seemed like the worse thing in the world. Now it seems like a huge relief. For better or for worse, that's where I am right now. Not superwoman, and that is ok.