The time I . . .

. . . left my water bottle in the garage

As a slower runner who has “run” into empty water stations, I had always carried my own water with me, in one form or another, for a half marathon. Most shorter races don’t seem to have as much trouble keeping water stations stocked, or I can get by without it.

In 2014, heading out to the Redding Road Race, I had my water bottle filled and had put it in the car. Or so I thought.

Until we got there, and I realized I didn’t have it. Redding is a relatively small town and the race was relatively small, too, as was the race expo. Not a hand held water bottle in sight.

It was the first time I relied on water stations in a race, and thankfully, this is a super well organized race. I decided that I could rely on water stations in halfs.

Until the Shipyard Maine half, of course, which was an unusually hot day, and they ran out of cups at one station and water at another. So now I’ll rely on water stations unless it’s unusually hot — lesson learned.

Today we’re talking race mishaps, and I’ve had a few.

The time I thought I knew where the start was

I ran my first 10k in 2011. At that point we’d only lived here for 2 years. I knew how to get to the place the race was held, and I thought I knew where the start was, too. But as I was walking, and walking, and walking, I realized it obviously wasn’t in the direction I was going.

I ended up sprinting to the start line and just making the start.

The time the chip was wrong

And that would be my very first half. Who thinks to check the information on the timing chip (the kind that you tie to your shoelace)? Thankfully, Mr. Judy is who!

Yes, the information on my bib was correct, but I had someone else’s timing chip. This was also 2011, by the way, not that many races actually use that sort of timing chip anymore, but you do “run” into it now and again even today.

I guess I had a lot to learn!

Yeah, it was that cold

The time it was colder there than it was back home

And that would also be RnR Vegas — the first time, not the second. It is still the coldest half I have ever run, 11 half marathons later. Generally I don’t choose to do a half in winter, but you figure Vegas shouldn’t be so bad.

Luckily I’ve been to Vegas many times. In winter. So I knew it could be cold. But damn, it was colder there than it was back home in upstate NY!

Mr. Judy saed the day by getting me pins

The time I forgot the pins

That would be the Gettysburg Blue/Gray Half. At the time I was using a hipS-sister (*affiliate link) to pin my bib to, and I needed at least one point to make sure my bib stayed. I thought I had some with me; I always do. Except, of course, when I don’t. And because I thought I had some, I didn’t take any when I picked up my bib.

Mr. Judy walked over to Walmart to get me a box of pins which I still have to this day.

Blackstone Valley
Blackstone Valley – well, the start was good

The time I should have DNS’d

It was such a picture perfect day for a half. Bright sunshine, but cool.

I’d had some knee pain as I entered my taper for the Blackstone Valley half, so I didn’t run much the last couple of weeks. Training had gone so good up until that point.

And the first six miles of the race went well, too. Then the knee pain set in. By mile ten I was walking, and it’s the only race I’ve ever had to call my husband and tell him that I was going to take much longer than expected and please bring some ice when you pick me up.

I really shouldn’t have finished this race. It messed my knee up for many months, but I did learn a lot about my body and came back with a PR in my next half.

The time I couldn’t call Mr. Judy

That would be the second RnR Las Vegas. The one I ended up walking with my friend Natalie, who was injured. I’d requested Mr. Judy get me a bagel and lox for my post race recovery meal.

Which he did. And he waited. And waited. And waited. Unfortunately, I coudn’t get a cell phone signal at all, and was unable to call him this time and let him know that we would be much later than expected.

But we did finally find each other and he had my bagel and lox. And I was surprisingly sore the next day (but nothing like my friend). Did you realize that you use very different muscles for walking than you do for running? I found that out the hard way!

So let me know in the comments:

Have you noticed the days getting shorter — already!?

Do you have a goal race coming up in the fall? Which one?

What is your go-to remedy when you feel like you’re coming down with something?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tuesdays on the Run

33 thoughts on “The time I . . .

  1. Hi Judy…funny post, no matter how well we prepare, seems like there is always something that can go wrong on race day when we are at our most vulnerable and at the mercy of the racing gods! One that I’ll share is I was running the Eugene marathon in 2014 and was having a hard time around mile 18…I never usually race with headphones but in a marathon I put them in my belt just in case I need a pick me up. So, when I hit the wall around mile 19 and started to fade in the heat, I thought my latest marathon motivational rock playlist would be just the thing to get me through the tough bit, so I put them on, started rocking and then at the next aid station dumped a cup of water over my head and promptly shorted them out…genius!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh no! I don’t listen to music, but I do always have my phone and ipod (to take pictures with, since my phone takes lousy pictures) with me.

      Heartbreak Hill was really hot, and I spent a lot of time pouring water over my head. And towards the end, there was a guy with a gallon jug of water who was doing it for you (if you wanted, and I did).

      It was only after the race that I thought about the electronics, but thankfully they were ok.


  2. I had some Vitamin C gummies that I popped this morning as I do feel that I may getting a little under the weather, unfortunately! You’ve had a few mishaps over the years! I think overall I’ve been pretty lucky, though I did have some close calls when it came to needing a bathroom during a race! Oh yeah…how could I forget getting hit by a bike during a half marathon last year?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, I’m feeling the same way, hence the question. I actually do have all sorts of things I fight it with, but you never know when you’ll discover the next great thing!

      And I’m still trying to decide about a rainy, hilly 10k with friends this weekend as well.

      I forgot about almost being blown into Lake Champlain last fall, but being hit by a bike would definitely be memorable!


  3. Yes, Las Vegas was sooooooo cold that first RnR. I think that’s why I was overdressed for our walking/hobbling one. I suppose I should have DNF’d that one but I was too pissed off. Thank you again for walking with me, my friend. I owe you….big time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think if we race long enough we all have mishaps and stories to tell. I’ve forgot my water too, also my GU. Thankfully the only time I saw where you could purchase GU before a race too! I had to walk the last 6 miles pretty much of my marathon, which is one reason I simply must do another one. I just don’t want to train for it.
    I’ve already noticed the days getting shorter and I don’t like it one bit! Have a great Tuesday Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re gonna walk it again if you don’t train — but maybe a winter marathon? Train once the heat is gone?

      That’s odd that you haven’t seen too many races with GU for sale, because I see that a lot! I haven’t forgotten fuel . . . yet.

      The only good thing about the shorter days is that it’s shadier later in the morning!


  5. You’ve had a quite a few race day dilemmas over the years. I’ve been fairly lucky, although last year I forgot my bib at home and was too far from home to go back and get it, I fretted over that the whole way to the race… luckily they were able to set me up with a new one.

    When I’m starting to feel a little off, or someone comes into the office with a cold, I start drinking the Echinacea tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been pretty lucky in races to not have TOO many mishaps. I have caused a few of my own, like the time I decided to eat something with cream in it the night before a half (I’m lactose intolerant). That was not a race that ended well.

    I have 3 races coming up: Speedy PD 10K, Chicago Marathon, and Isle Du Bois 55K. I wish I had more time to train, but I am getting pretty excited for the cooler temps.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hahaha. This is funny. My sense of direction has gotten so whacky as I have gotten older. I too have almost missed race starts…. how stressful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve learned to run without water, too. It just makes things easier, honestly.

    And one time I ran a 5-mile PR and the chip didn’t even pick me up as I crossed the mats. I was so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that is VERY sad. Darlene has had some problems with that (although I don’t think it involved a PR).

      It definitely is easier to run without water in a race, and for most runners, it’s not a problem. But for me it can be — and I’m slow, but I’m not usually the slowest runner, either!


    1. Yeah, I know from Karen @ Frenchinspirationblog that it stays light longer in Europe. It stayed light longer in TX, too (but not that long!).

      The short days are definitely something I don’t enjoy about the northeast.


  9. I was trying so hard to think of a race mishap… I think the only thing I can remember is my very first 10K… I was alone, nervous, it was pouring of rain, I needed my music to help me through, and that’s exactly when my iPod decided to die for good, right at the start line. The whole experience really sucked, which surprises me that I opted to carry on as I have. 😛
    Fun post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my that picture of you all bundled up!! It must have been cold. I like running in cold, that is my time of year 🙂 Wind however is tough when it is below freezing…
    I have never been at a race that ran out of water or cups. I have felt that not enough stops were out, but running out is awful!
    I can’t believe you had the wrong chip for your first half! That would have been so disappointing!!
    I bet Gettsyburg was a hilly race 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is cold, and then there’s nasty cold. And don’t forget I live in a very cold area & that it was a night race.

      We did get a new chip for that first half, although considering it’s still one of my slowest times . . .

      I think I could have done quite well at Gettysburg if I hadn’t been injured (and it was warm — again! I am cursed that way).


  11. I’ve had a “that time I thought I knew where the race was” moment and arrived with barely any time to get my bib! Matt had driven me, so he let me out of the car (because the car line was so long!) and I sprinted up to the bib pickup and used the bathroom before finding him, throwing my bag at him, and lining up at the start! So basically, I used my panic as a nice warmup haha.

    I’m not getting any fall vibes yet. I can’t WAIT though. I hate summer so much lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, I definitely had a great warmup for that 10k. It was my first, so it was a PR anyway.

      Definitely no summer vibes here today! It is yucky hot & humid today. But I like summer. Fall means winter is coming. 😦


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