. . . 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!
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!
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.
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?