Thursday, August 6, 2015

A response to the "commitment" bloggers

We haven't done a Thursday Thoughts post for a while now but after reading a few blog posts yesterday it got me thinking. We do not link up with the Word of the day posts hosted by Deb Runs, but we do read them. Yesterday's word was "Commitment". Many of the bloggers wrote about what commitment means to them, many focused on running and racing but some focused on commitment in all facets of life in general. 

One blogger mentioned that some people take a commitment very lightly and  are quick to dismiss it just like that.  I agree and would like to add that just because I made a commitment to MYSELF doesn't make it any less of a commitment than if I made it to someone else.  Hear me out....  I am often asked to do things with other people.  Sometimes I do but sometimes I don't because of the things that I have committed to.  Perhaps it was a commitment to getting an article done ahead of deadline so I don't have to worry about it over the weekend or perhaps it is going to physical therapy and the gym 4 days a week even when my schedule conflicts with something my friends or family want to do, or maybe it's getting X amount of miles in when you are following a training scheduled. It's very easy for the other person to say skip the gym today or only do half the number of scheduled miles and come home early.  Now if I said I had to do certain tasks for my job because I am committed to doing so, I think that would come across more acceptable. I think it's often easy for others to not understand our personal commitments because it's not like anyone is making us do it. We are only accountable to ourselves. But then again we are our biggest critics. If we don't follow through we feel bad. I know I do.

Another blogger asked if we always ended up running the races we sign up for or do we make excuses not to do it (bad weather, had a rough night, the cat is sick...etc). Essentially she asked if we ever had a DNS ( Did not start).   Since most of the races we run are destination races, we ALWAYS run them because if we didn't, well then that would be a waste of trip, right?  But then I remembered that YES there was a race that I DNS. It was Big Sur. Remember that?  I was severely injured at the time but I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity.
Lacey at the beginning of Big Sur missing her sister.

 Lacey ran it once already and this time she was going to run it with me. I knew it was hilly and thought perhaps I could walk it just to get through but once I found out what the time limit was, I knew there would be no way. I erred on the side of caution and yes, I DNS. I thought having a DNS would be better than a DNF.  It's funny how I feel a DNF would be a permanent scar on my fictitious running report card...lol.  In that case I didn't feel bad not having run. I thought it was best for my overall health and recovery.  Lacey went on to run Big Sur for the second time and a year later we ran a marathon together at Disney so it all ended up working out.

Has there ever been a time when you could justify not following through with a commitment you had made? M

Thank you to all the Bloggers who linked up with Deb Runs. You have helped inspire this post.



22 comments:

  1. I DNS the hot chocolate 15K last year here in ATL. I was sick and had the princess half 2 ish weeks after. I was so worried that being out in the cold was the worst thing I could do if I wanted to be ready for Disney. I'm glad I listened to my body, but am still so bummed that I missed out on that race!

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    1. I'm sure the Disney race was worth missing the hot chocolate for!

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  2. I have chosen a lower distance because I wasn't feeling that great during a race before. I have also skipped out on runs, which used to cause me serious anxiety, when I've had a nagging pain, ache, etc. I think it's okay to not commit if it's for a reason you value, (i.e. health, love, life, etc.)

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  3. I have DNS'd one race...I had a broken foot. I think injury is a perfectly legit excuse to DNS. But not running something because you don't feel like it? Whether or not you've committed to another person, you've committed to yourself. Plus, races are really expensive!

    I deferred another race; it was a destination race. It was also a bucket list race. But we had some big problems with my teenage son, and I couldn't leave him home with my husband while I was running a race. Seemed kind of selfish, right? But I won't lie, I agonized over this decision. And I was really angry at my son. Luckily the RD let me defer until next year.

    Great post and you should link it to DebRuns!

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  4. I have skipped about 2 races in my life. Only 5Ks though. I'm too cheap to skip a race I had to pay more money for haha.

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  5. Commitment is a good one! There has to be an extreme reason for why I would back out of a commitment. I just don't like doing it, never have. At the end of the day my word is all I have; whether it's for a race or something more important.

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  6. I DNS'd two marathons (Philly and Twin Cities) in 2011 due to hip injury. Was that lack of commitment? Hell no. It's hard to DNS but sometimes it's exactly the right thing to do. Bummed for you missing Big Sur. That one's still on my bucket list...

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  7. I'm the same way about making commitments to myself. But I took a DNS once. It was a 5k put on by my running group & in my mind not a "real" race. It was raining hard all morning, and I just knew it would be miserable to run in. I don't feel guilty at all!

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  8. I definitely agree about commitments to yourself. I try to take them as seriously as I would commitments to other people. I had a couple DNS last year, one due to the flu and one due to hurting my foot. They were both smaller local 5ks so I wasn't too worried about them. I would have a hard time with a DNS for a destination race because, like you said, it would feel like a waste of all that money spend on the trip.

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  9. DNSed Philly Marathon. I had run Chicago marathon with the flu 6 weeks ago (the commitment) and I never recovered enough to stop coughing :(

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  10. I do try real hard not to let "myself" talk "myself" out of training runs. It just so happened this morning my alarm didn't go off, I still had time to run just not as long. I thought how easy it would be to just skip it, would be a perfect excuse but No! I then thought of my upcoming marathon training an this happened to mentally prepare me for things that are out of my control! Great post and so glad it inspired you! I love Deb's Wednesday Word. You should link up for sure! :)

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  11. I'll never forget the morning that I woke up & knew my back pain was so severe, I couldn't do the half marathon I had trained for... I was devastated... it was not taken lightly that I couldn't get to the start line.
    ... while family was like, "its just a race", I was totally heart broken. Runners take this thing seriously.

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  12. I have not had a DNS that was my fault yet. I have had a few events canceled due to weather and my last fun race was cut short by a lightning storm, but so far even if injured I at least got to participate. Maybe not the level of competition (with myself) I wanted but still fun.
    All that said, there have been a few events I wanted to do but decided I would do walk up registration if the conditions were favorable, but that morning I still felt too sick, etc...

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  13. Excellent thoughts! Sometimes life just happens (injury, etc..) and something we wanted and planned to do become out of our control. I tore my hip flexor years back and couldn't run a New Hampshire marathon I signed up for. Sure I still took the trip didn't want all the $$$$ spent to go down the drain:) iI remember being bummed about it, but looking back it was the smartest choice I could have made to DNS. I guess something we have to remember its okay to allow exceptions to our commitments. Well at least when it comes to our own health and safety. With everything else especially when your commitment involves promises to others I am a HUGE believer in always keeping those if they are within my control to do so!

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  14. Great commentary! I have had a few races that I stubbornly ran, but that I SHOULD have DNS'd due to dangerous weather conditions or injury. (One of those races ended up sidelining me for a few months afterwards!) I think what it comes down to is that while commitment is great, it's also good to know your limits, too. There is very much such a thing as overdoing it!!!

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  15. I don't have any DNS, but I did change distance on a looped course because I realized I'd PR at the shorter distance. ;) Also, you're right that missing an event to finish work is deemed more acceptable than missing for a workout or PT. Before running I would think, "oh it's just one day off" if someone gave me the exercise excuse, but now I know some people NEED that time to stay balanced! Great post!

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  16. There have definitely been times when I wanted to DNS but I always sucked it up and got to the starting line. I have never had a good enough reason not to!

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  17. hmmmm that's a good question and I'd have to take some time to think about that. I do think that I have a better time following through on commitments when they are TO someone else other than myself. I need to work on that!

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  18. Great post. Really makes you think. I haven't had any DNS but can totally relate to the it feeling better than DNF, at least in the injury case like you. I do have plenty of DNS when it comes to training runs, but like you said, I would never do that for work, so why do I let me do it to myself. Definitely another way to look at it to help my motivation and determination. Thank you.

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  19. Great post. Really makes you think. I haven't had any DNS but can totally relate to the it feeling better than DNF, at least in the injury case like you. I do have plenty of DNS when it comes to training runs, but like you said, I would never do that for work, so why do I let me do it to myself. Definitely another way to look at it to help my motivation and determination. Thank you.

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  20. I'm a true believer in "life happens". I think we all do our best to keep commitments whether with ourselves or to others. But each moment in life is an opportunity to learn or grow and sometimes you have to make tough decisions. I've never DNF'd a race but have DNS a few. Whether injured, sick or just not feeling it. If you make a habit of breaking commitments, obviously that's an underlying issue but to beat yourself up over something isn't worth it. Just do the best you can

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.