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Do you dropout of the marathon when you are having a bad day? (Read 215 times)

    It boggles my mind when I hear someone say they dropped out of a race because it was not going their way.

     

    I've never dropped from a marathon but have DNF'd a couple of ultras.

    My goals are usually stated as a Plan A, Plan B and Bail Out Plan.

    Since Bail Out Plan is typically "just finish", I finish.

     

    I've found it helps to have realistic expectations, based on training, course, weather, etc going into a race.

    "Famous last words"  ~Bhearn

    darkwave


    Mother of Cats

      I think it's OK to drop out of a marathon in some circumstances, though not ideal.

       

      I don't think not being on track to meet one's goal is a good reason to drop out, with the exception of an OTQ or similar, where you have a very limited window in which to hit that time.  If that's the case, and you're not on track, then best to pull yourself so you can take another shot within the window.  Boston Qualifying isn't quite the same - if you don't make it this year, you can make it next year.

       

      Excepting the OTQ thing, I don't like dropping out of a race because you're not having your best day.  We don't get to practice the marathon very much, and we learn things every time we run it.    A race in which you miss your goal is not a wasted day - what you learn helps you in the next race.  Dropping out means that you miss out on that knowledge.

       

      I've also noted that dropping out of a marathon tends to send people into a bad mental spiral, and they then frequently are head cases in their next few races.  Not universally, but it does happen, especially if the DNF wasn't due to an undeniable injury or interruption.  Finishing the damn race avoids that issue.

       

      If you are going to drop, dropping out earlier is better - the less hard things were when you DNF'd, the less it will set you back mentally.  And the more likely that you can take another swing at the distance.  Once you're past mile 20 of a marathon, I believe one should not drop out unless there are extraordinary circumstances - bone protruding from leg, lightning strikes on course, you find out at mile 25 that they misdirected you and you have another 3 miles to go, etc. (that last one happened to a friend).

       

      There's no gain in terms of quick recovery from dropping that late in the race, and the mental cost can be huge.

      Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

       

      And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

      paul2432


        I think it's OK to drop out of a marathon in some circumstances, though not ideal.

         

        I don't think not being on track to meet one's goal is a good reason to drop out, with the exception of an OTQ or similar, where you have a very limited window in which to hit that time.  If that's the case, and you're not on track, then best to pull yourself so you can take another shot within the window.  Boston Qualifying isn't quite the same - if you don't make it this year, you can make it next year.

         

        Excepting the OTQ thing, I don't like dropping out of a race because you're not having your best day.  We don't get to practice the marathon very much, and we learn things every time we run it.    A race in which you miss your goal is not a wasted day - what you learn helps you in the next race.  Dropping out means that you miss out on that knowledge.

         

        I've also noted that dropping out of a marathon tends to send people into a bad mental spiral, and they then frequently are head cases in their next few races.  Not universally, but it does happen, especially if the DNF wasn't due to an undeniable injury or interruption.  Finishing the damn race avoids that issue.

         

        If you are going to drop, dropping out earlier is better - the less hard things were when you DNF'd, the less it will set you back mentally.  And the more likely that you can take another swing at the distance.  Once you're past mile 20 of a marathon, I believe one should not drop out unless there are extraordinary circumstances - bone protruding from leg, lightning strikes on course, you find out at mile 25 that they misdirected you and you have another 3 miles to go, etc. (that last one happened to a friend).

         

        There's no gain in terms of quick recovery from dropping that late in the race, and the mental cost can be huge.

         

        I really like this post.  Everything to do with practical reasons to drop or not, and no judgement.

         

        I think the idea that dropping is somehow a character defect or shows lack of integrity is completely ludicrous.  We do this for fun.  If someone wants to drop then that is there prerogative and they will get no negative judgement from me.

        AmoresPerros


        Options,Account, Forums

          To extend my list:

           

          - Making a qualifying time (e.g., OTQ) is not going to happen

           

          - Making a qualifying distance (e.g., Worlds 24 hr team) is not going to happen

           

          * Drop to help out at an aid station

           

          * Drop to help out someone in potential (or real) distress

           

           

          (I've dropped for the latter two reasons.)

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

          runnerclay


          Consistently Slow

            WTG

             

            To extend my list:

             

            - Making a qualifying time (e.g., OTQ) is not going to happen

             

            - Making a qualifying distance (e.g., Worlds 24 hr team) is not going to happen

             

            * Drop to help out at an aid station

             

            * Drop to help out someone in potential (or real) distress

             

             

            (I've dropped for the latter two reasons.)

            Run until the trail runs out.

             SCHEDULE 2016--

             The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

            unsolicited chatter

            http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

            runnerclay


            Consistently Slow

              Boston 2012 my one and only. Finished 90 minutes over BQ. I was injured and the heat did not help.

              In 21 years running marathons, I haven't dropped out of any  started, and I've battled though some horrible death arches through the last miles of a few. There are a couple I should have dropped out of for heat-related reasons. Boston 2012 (86* at start) f'ed me up for months because of the effort just to finish, and was probably the trigger for a major injury two months after the race. But my mistake was starting -- I should have taken the deferral.

              These days, I would not hesitate at all to drop out if I thought it jeopardize health or if during the race, something happened such that I couldn't give best effort the rest of the way. At 70 now, I must take advantage of all opportunities to run well, and I'm not going to put that at risk for future races by slogging it out in heat, with an injury, or if I get sick. I'd probably include misadventures like going way of course in that category too (I don't know how you ultra-runners tolerate getting off course and adding a bunch of miles!)

              I've also advised runners I coach to drop out if they're getting exhausted and would risk missing a lot of training time by continuing.

              Run until the trail runs out.

               SCHEDULE 2016--

               The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

              unsolicited chatter

              http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

              runnerclay


              Consistently Slow

                I have dropped stopped at 2 timed events. 1 for knee pain. The other because of lack of sleep.I was running a needed state the next day and had a 3 hour drive ahead of me.

                 I've never dropped from a marathon but have DNF'd a couple of ultras.

                My goals are usually stated as a Plan A, Plan B and Bail Out Plan.

                Since Bail Out Plan is typically "just finish", I finish.

                 

                I've found it helps to have realistic expectations, based on training, course, weather, etc going into a race.

                Run until the trail runs out.

                 SCHEDULE 2016--

                 The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                unsolicited chatter

                http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                runnerclay


                Consistently Slow

                  50k races cheaper by the mile. My #1 goal is to beat the sweeper / clock.

                   

                  I drop out if I'm injured, but not if I'm not hitting my primary goal. I'm not a fast runner; a back-of-the-packer who often finishes close to the race's cutoff time. I always say my participation helps pay for your prize money. So, please don't begrudge me my slower pace. I can see why a fast runner would DNF for finding themselves falling short. Personally, I'll finish, even if it's only for personal satisfaction.

                  Run until the trail runs out.

                   SCHEDULE 2016--

                   The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                  unsolicited chatter

                  http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                  Fredford66


                  Running Musician

                    I think it's OK to drop out of a marathon in some circumstances, though not ideal.

                     

                    I don't think not being on track to meet one's goal is a good reason to drop out, with the exception of an OTQ or similar, where you have a very limited window in which to hit that time.  If that's the case, and you're not on track, then best to pull yourself so you can take another shot within the window.  Boston Qualifying isn't quite the same - if you don't make it this year, you can make it next year.

                     

                    Excepting the OTQ thing, I don't like dropping out of a race because you're not having your best day.  We don't get to practice the marathon very much, and we learn things every time we run it.    A race in which you miss your goal is not a wasted day - what you learn helps you in the next race.  Dropping out means that you miss out on that knowledge.

                     

                    I've also noted that dropping out of a marathon tends to send people into a bad mental spiral, and they then frequently are head cases in their next few races.  Not universally, but it does happen, especially if the DNF wasn't due to an undeniable injury or interruption.  Finishing the damn race avoids that issue.

                     

                    If you are going to drop, dropping out earlier is better - the less hard things were when you DNF'd, the less it will set you back mentally.  And the more likely that you can take another swing at the distance.  Once you're past mile 20 of a marathon, I believe one should not drop out unless there are extraordinary circumstances - bone protruding from leg, lightning strikes on course, you find out at mile 25 that they misdirected you and you have another 3 miles to go, etc. (that last one happened to a friend).

                     

                    There's no gain in terms of quick recovery from dropping that late in the race, and the mental cost can be huge.

                    There's a lot of good stuff here and I especially like the parts I put into bold, thank you Darkwave.

                     

                    I came to running late in life and my build is far from ideal for a runner.  I'm in no danger of winning anything,  except maybe an AG award in a very small field, and BQ isn't likely ever to happen either.  At best I run in 1 marathon per year and the training takes up such a large portion of my scarce free time that it would break my heart not to drop out for anything other than a serious health reason.

                     

                    I'm not boggled by the attitudes expressed at the start of this thread, but I can't relate to them either.

                    5k 24:03 (1/19); 4M 32:37 (2/18); 5M 41:36 (11/18); 10k 52:27 (3/19)
                    10M 1:30:20 (11/18); Half 1:58:47 (5/19); Full 4:47:04 (4/17)

                    Upcoming race(s): 5k Pizza Run, Westfield 7/24
                    DavePNW


                       

                       

                      Excepting the OTQ thing, I don't like dropping out of a race because you're not having your best day.  We don't get to practice the marathon very much, and we learn things every time we run it.    A race in which you miss your goal is not a wasted day - what you learn helps you in the next race.  Dropping out means that you miss out on that knowledge.

                       

                       

                       

                      Just to pile on the appreciation for this comment. In addition to the practice - every marathon is a good story. I enjoy reading marathon race reports because running a marathon is never boring. (Other than to everyone else I know IRL.) Dropping out means you miss out on that story as well. And there are people here who have run dozens of marathons or more; I have not (11 so far), so each one is still a pretty big deal. For me, "just finishing" is never a goal, but it's still an accomplishment.

                      Dave

                      runnerclay


                      Consistently Slow

                         

                        Just to pile on the appreciation for this comment. In addition to the practice - every marathon is a good story. I enjoy reading marathon race reports because running a marathon is never boring. (Other than to everyone else I know IRL.) Dropping out means you miss out on that story as well. And there are people here who have run dozens of marathons or more; I have not (11 so far), so each one is still a pretty big deal. For me, "just finishing" is never a goal, but it's still an accomplishment.

                         

                        I have finished 114 M / U races. Finishing more than a few of them was an  amazing accomplishment.

                        Run until the trail runs out.

                         SCHEDULE 2016--

                         The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                        unsolicited chatter

                        http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                        Cyberic


                          A little late, but I am not surprised that some people will drop out of races if they're not having a good day. Depends on what you're racing for.

                          I am not a hot shot runner. I will never step on a podium, ok, maybe in a microscopic local race I could, but I mean stepping on the podium is not why I race. In fact, during my first year of running, I didn't see the point of entering a race if I had no chance of winning it. I had a GPS watch to measure my distance and my time, why pay for that?

                           

                          I now race to officially assess my fitness level. On a given day, for a given distance, I did this time. Officially on record. Although I would not drop out because I'd be ashamed of what people might say if I had a nice day, I can see myself not willing to go through that kind of effort for a shitty result.

                           

                          So although I have never dropped out of a race, I could see myself doing it in some circumstances, and therefore am not surprised or shocked that some people do it.

                          Smile some during every run you go on


                          Feeling the growl again

                             

                            Ummm, maybe you should’ve run your own race rather than blame others.

                            Aren't you the Monday morning quarterback.  Please describe to me the experience of running a sub-2:22 marathon completely on your own?  Or any relevant experience at trying to run such a time?  Otherwise I don't really give a damn about your opinion.  I see you have a marathon PR of 2:51, which means you have zero experience beyond have I would have considered an easy training pace run at age 36.  My last marathon was an overall win, a tactical 2:46, far beyond my prime.  You have no experience in truly racing a competitive marathon.

                             

                            Similar to situations where runners are trying to run WR times and are provided pacers who don't deliver and it jacks the race, we had national quality runners trusted to hold a pace and they blew it.  Yeah we could all have run solo races but the point is running as a coordinated group the likelihood of any individual runner qualifying was amplified, each running solo it was decreased.  And the pacers trusted to coordinate this screwed the pooch and those of us trusting them paid the price.  I dropped off the suicidal effort relatively early but over-trained with minimal margin for error already too late.  

                             

                            Perhaps someone who characterizes themselves as an "elite jogger" should throttle themselves from critiquing the strategy of someone who dedicated 4000+ miles a year to excelling at this sport and trying to quality for the marathon trials on top of demanding professional concerns.  Or perhaps I was mistaken in re-engaging in this site.  I was following the advice of my paid coach, who was an Olympian.  But apparently you know better??

                            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                             

                            I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills

                             

                            JMac11


                              ITT: Very sensitive people. You ran a 2:22, not a 2:02. Relax, we are all just joggers.

                              5K: 17:51 (5/18)  |  10K: 35:59 (3/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                               

                              Next Race: Brooklyn Half (5/18/19) 


                              Elite Jogger

                                ITT: Very sensitive people. You ran a 2:22, not a 2:02. Relax, we are all just joggers.

                                 

                                His PR is 2:28 if you click on his name. But yeah, he’s very sensitive for a wannabe elite.

                                5k - 17:53 (2019)   10k - 37:53 (2018)   Half - 1:23:18 (2019)   Full - 2:50:43 (2019)

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