Monday, March 07, 2011

DNS x2

I can't recall which sound awoke me from my midnight slumber that Saturday - the thunderous boom of my wife's pregnant body hitting the hardwood floor at the bottom of the stairs, or the screaming that soon followed. Not that it mattered. The tsunami of fear coursing through me was beyond any nightmare, so it had to be real.

Christi had decided our narcotic-infused dog was in need of a pottie break, and being that her fear of cleaning pee stains is one of the few things more ominous than the delivery date of our second child less than two weeks away, she picked him up and felt her way down the dark stairs. But the ever-growing girth of that baby, combined with the jello-like weight of that pug, created enough vertigo to miss one crucial step, and in an instant she was at the bottom clutching her belly and ankle and shot-putting the dog across the room.

My first thought was for the baby, then for Christi, then for Ace the Pug, then...embarrassingly...for my 8am start time at the Steep Ravine 50k. My God, Scott, are you that selfish? The shame was quickly taken down a notch by the smidgen of pride felt from getting the priority correct. Christi's ankle was a mess, already swelling to the size of a softball, and we quickly got ice on it. Ace was fine - he had drunk-drivered the whole thing, being so relaxed he bounced off the hardwood floor and just curled up to keep sleeping. I thought we were in good shape, perhaps enough to entertain that 8am start time. But then Christi uttered the words no expecting parent wants to hear:

"The baby isn't moving."

I tried to calm her, but the vice grip of fear kept my sentences short and my eyes welling with worst case scenarios. We could barely look at each other, knowing our collective fear would be too great for either one of us to survive. Instead, we woke up Sophie and headed to the Emergency Room in the most painfully silent car ride i can remember.

An hour later, we all gave a sigh of relief. It turns out there are fewer safer places to be in accident than in the womb. Mommy's ankle was going to need some rest, but at least it wasn't broken. Sophie and i celebrated with pancakes at IHOP as the sun came up. Oh, yeah the race is starting...guess that's DNS #1. You know what, in the grand scheme of things, a race is a minor thing to sacrifice compared to what else could have happened today. Totally fine by me.

Then came yesterday at the Napa Valley Marathon, when i awoke in a pool of sweat, evidence that I had not completely shaken the minor flu bug from a few days earlier. Probably could run, but Christi and baby #2 are expecting me to be 100% for crewing for their big day today. That's DNS #2, a decision as easy to reach as the first one.

I can't believe it, but I'm actually proud of my little streak of DNS's. I'm glad my life is adventurous on its own to dethrone the race calendar, and remind me of the ever-needed perspective.

But let's hope they end soon. :-)


  1. Great post, and good luck today.


  2. I had to remember to close my own dropped jaw while reading this. Yikes. Glad it turned out OK!

  3. Whoa, scary but all ok...whew!
    Glad you NOT running Napa 8)

  4. Wow, that was scary till the story was read through...priorities, indeed. Best to family.

  5. Glad everyone is ok, pretty scary!

  6. I was sure glad to read all was fine in the end.
    Have a wonderful day, today!
    Congrats on the family, expansion!
    Now, we'll see if you can run with 2 boggies in sight...
    I have not been successful there with my 2 boys!

  7. Phillip Hamilton3/07/2011 12:53:00 PM

    If a DNS has to happen from something negative, DNS #2 is a far preferable scenario. Just think of how rested you'll be for all the sleepless nights to come...

  8. wow, that is scary. I'm glad everyone is ok.

  9. Hi Scott,
    So glad all is well with Christi and the baby,,,AND you!
    And, don't feel embarrassed--you;re just being human--and kudos to you for sharing those thoughts. We all need a reminder to put things that we take for granted into proper perspective. So, when the time is right, you will be back racing the trails/roads feeling rejuvenated with a renewed sense of gratefulness for the privilege of being able to have some "serious fun!" And you will probably have one of your "best" races ever, physically and spiritually.
    Run well, Ann

  10. Hello, I am a runner (in Australia) and just bought my first pair of Linebreak Calf Guards. I am only 160 centimetres tall, but did check out the proper sizing for the guards before ordering. They actually come up over my knees. Are you aware of anyone else having this problem? What did they do? Cheers, Leisa

  11. Scott, thank God Christi/Younger one inside/Ace are all fine. You yourself know that you can erase this DNS 2 by squeezing in another race in your calendar. But your mere presence in this time with Christi is definitely appreciated and you know that better than anyone. Hope everything goes well.. Bests for the same Scott....

  12. Hi Scott, I've been reading your blog for a long time now but have never commented until now. Great post! Very glad to hear that everyone is okay. Sometimes it's hard to keep our priorities straight when we're caught up in sport. You're setting an excellent example!


  13. Scott -- so glad you shared this. Also, I saw on fb the happy news of the delivery of Quinn -- congrats!! Chances are you'll have more DNS's and blown run plans in the year ahead ... and it sounds like you have a great attitude about it. For what it's worth, I found the transition to two kids much harder than the first baby. I don't want to scare you, but I recall being mad at my friends w/ two kids that they hadn't warned me the first 3 - 6 mos. were so hard and made having one baby seem so relatively easy. So go easy on yourself physically so you have the energy for parenting, and don't hesitate to ask for and accept help. Finally, I like to share my favorite bit of advice for getting through postpartum: "Do what works." :-)

  14. I'm glad your wife's OK! Laughing off the 2 DNS was a very healthy thing to do, running's good for ya, even when you're not doing it...

  15. There's nothing wrong with a DNS or DNF for that matter. Life can throw you some strange pitches and you have to adjust to the most adverse conditions. You have your priorities straight and that's most important. And there's nothing wrong about thinking of a race you're going to miss, especially when you consider the time you have trained for any event. Hope your wife's labor and delivery go smoothly (if there's such a thing) and without incident.
    Will McCarthy, Educator and Author

  16. It's hard to keep our priorities straight when we're caught up in sport...

  17. And there's nothing wrong about thinking of a race you're going to miss, especially when you consider the time you have trained for any event. Hope your wife's labor and delivery go smoothly and without incident.

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