DNF vs DNS vs Kill Yourself Trying?

For everyone that competes on a semi-regular basis; that first DNF (did not finish) is always on the cards; it is waiting in the wind like an inevitable pride killer.

As the old saying goes: ‘Finishing dead last is better than DNF, and DNF is better than DNS’. I think this is a great expression, which gives an order of merit to these otherwise difficult outcomes, but surely sometimes there are reasonable scenarios where DNF and DNS are actually the more sensible options…

It’s psychological turmoil, running in a race and having to come to terms with the idea of pulling out, and one which I have now experienced twice inside three weeks.