DNF Phoenix

1 hour and 9 minutes.
6.7 miles.

Those are the numbers on my Garmin. The numbers that marked the end of my marathon day.

I tripped.
I fell.
I need stitches in my chin.

I am waiting in the finish area for my mom to finish. I don’t want to ruin her race. Then I have to get to a hospital.

I have never felt lower than I do right now.


  1. Jill…Please don’t knock yourself down like that!!! SHIT HAPPENS!!! There are so many other races in your future! You fell-and you injured yourself-it has happened to the elite althletes at some time or another and it will happen to each and everyone one of us!!!!! Don’t make yourself miserable! I know it really SUCKS not to finish! But I bet you have had a great time with your mom!!! You will run phoenix again…and probably better and faster than you would have run it today!!! Please please don’t do this to yourself!!! Sometimes shit happens that you have no control over!!! I’m a big fan of things happen for a reason!!! Keep you head high and smile!! PLEASE!!!! SMILE…please!!!!

  2. I agree with Penny, but…man! What a letdown. You were all pumped with adrenaline and prepared for a marathon, and instead you had to stop. Of COURSE you feel bummed.

    I hope the stitches went well and that you heal quickly!

  3. Oh no Jill! I’m so sorry. I agree with Penny, try to remember that it wasn’t your fault, things happen that are beyond our control. The marathon is a beast, there are no guarantees, even for the most prepared runners. Get that chin fixed up and hold your head high. You trained for a marathon and if you ask me that is WAY harder than actually running it. Maybe there is a back-up marathon you can run in the next few weeks after the stitches come out. Let me know if you need anything, I’m right here in town.

  4. Oh Jill! I was hoping it wasn’t true! I cyber-stalked you and looked up the results. I was hoping it was a chip issue. I hope you are ok. I know how disappointed you are. But I do agree with Alissa, getting to the start line in the shape you are in is a HUGE accomplishment. I agree with Penny that shit happens.

    Hey… if you can find a transfer on Craigslist or Runnersworld, you are welcome to stay with me and run the Carlsbad Marathon. It is a week from today. I think you have my e-mail… let me know if this is something you want to consider.

  5. Oh no! I’m so sorry…I’ve been following your blog, and how hard you’ve trained. Lisa is right, there are other marathons, but it sucks big time.

    Feel free to borrow the headline from my post yesterday if you want. I completely know how you feel right now.

  6. Penny: Thank you, my mom said the same thing to me when she saw me after her race, “Shit Happens!” I’m actually starting to smile some, because it does make for an interesting story.

    Chris: Thanks for your support. Overall I am physically okay from the fall. It was hard to decide which was hurt more, my spirit or my body. But I guess they’ll both recover.

    Bethany: The stitches went well… after having to sit in the exam room for a few hours. That might have been harder than a marathon, listening to the emergency room sounds around me and just waiting. Thanks for your support, you’re wonderful.

    Alissa: Well, it was great to meet you and I’m glad you didn’t have to deal with a face plant! And you’re right about even the most prepared runners can have bad runs, look at Deena Kastor in the Olympics this year. She’s so positive on her site about coming back from that, and my injury is nothing compared to hers.

    Lisa: I’m flattered you cyber-stalked me! My husband was thinking it was a chip issue too, and when I finally could call him he was pretty concerned. A transfer into the Carlsbad race would be awesome, but I think it’s a bit too soon now. I’m supposed to go get stitches out next weekend. (And I was actually contemplating doing the half at Carlsbad earlier, but decided that might be a bit insane after Phoenix!)

    aka Alice: You title totally describes my experience today! I just need to keep remembering, there will be others… Thanks for your support and encouragement!

  7. Jill, I am really, really sorry. I do agree with Penny though, there is very likely a reason for why this happened today, it just may take a little bit of time to figure out why.

    i’m glad to hear that you are starting to smile (although my guess is it may hurt with those stitches?!) . There are so many races ahead of you, which you will rock, no doubt. Maybe next time you write a race report on a marathon, it’ll be to say that you blew away 4 hours, or you qualified for Boston?!

  8. (from Robyn)
    Mom asked me to check your blog while I was playing on her computer to see how you did (and reminded me NOT to text you last night to tell you good luck, so sorry about that last one). I didn’t even want to read your post aloud! I’m so sorry about what happened (as is my mother). We hope you are feeling better and we are proud of you and the 7 miles you DID accomplish! You’re awesome! Feel better soon!!

  9. I wish I could have caught you or something. The race was not the same without you. I hope your doing better.
    And I know that Jill will Run Again

  10. Aw, Jill, as Forrest Gump coined, “Shit happens”. I’m so sorry. You trained so hard, but as Penny said, there will be others. There’s always another race, but I know that doesn’t really help at a time like this. I’m just thankful you’re okay and something worse didn’t happen. Smile, pick yourself up, dust off the crap and lace up those shoes. You will run again. sending you a hug!

    And you know, at least you didn’t land face first into a pile of shit… of course, that would have made a better story… hmmm.

  11. Hi Jill,

    That certainly wasn’t what I was expecting to read, but I can empathize. I fell at mile 11 during the Spirit of Survival half marathon. I got up, inspected the inside of my knee and flagged down a car for a ride to the finish. The EMTs patched me up enough for the trip to the hospital for stitches. It was embarrassing, but everyone was very nice. In the end, I got a better story than I would have if I finished the race. A scar on the knee is less traumatic than one on the chin. I hope you are OK, and that it won’t leave a scar. I’m sorry that it turned out this way, but I’m glad to hear that you are feeling better.


  12. OH CRAP!! So Sorry.

    I don’t have any words of wisdom to offer. I feel BAD for you. You trained your heart out for it, you deserved a PR. There will be other races, I promise! And you will be faster!

  13. I am so sorry. But you are an awesome runner. So you didn’t finish, so what. I agree with Penny, it does happen. Just remember that you are an amazing runner and you work damn hard. There will be other races. Hey maybe run San Antonio again. There are plenty of races during the summer. But remember that you are a bad-ass because not many people can do this!!!

  14. Let me know how you’re doing. I have to say, it was a really scary moment when Chuck called out to me to tell me what happened. I hope you received the air-kiss I blew to you πŸ™‚ I truly didn’t know what to do. Do I stop to be with her? Does she want anyone with her right now? (I know I wouldn’t) Do I continue on to endure my own torture? πŸ˜‰

    I’ve been thinking of you! I understand how you must feel. Please take care and work to figure out what happened (referring to your post on GV…)

  15. i am so sorry to hear! i hope you are doing better and pain-free. keep your head up, everyone has a bad race! i know you’ll come back from this even stronger for an even bigger pr!

  16. Don’t feel bad, your tripping and getting stiches make for a much better DNF story than my GI distress that had me drop out after 13 miles.

  17. sorry about your race day accident….that must be very disheartening for you….hope your chin is feeling better and you are continuing to run!

  18. […] My plan was 12 miles. After about 8 miles I was pretty grumpy and uncomfortable. I lifted my shirt to wipe some sweat from my face and was greeted with blood streaks. Turns out, my nose had started to bleed! At least I didn’t look quite as bloodied and crazy as I did after my Phoenix DNF. […]

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