The Surprises of Race Day

It’s Friday.

I’m awake and the time on my clock starts with a “4” so you can just pretend it’s whatever time you want it to be for me. I have to work today writing curriculum, I need to help Rob with our whole house closet renovation endeavor we started on yesterday, and then I will die. Because today leaves no time for napping and some kid kicked at my insides all night long. All night. Child, don’t you know that night time is for sleeping, not gymnastics?

I figured since I’m wide awake I’d go ahead and play Friday Five today with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar. It’s been a long while since I have and I really like today’s theme of race day surprises.

5. Water bottles double as projectiles. It was at my third consecutive running of Iron Girl Syracuse and I discovered the sad truth about what happens when I forget the top bracket for my Profile Designs aero bottle. One nasty set of train tracks and I went 14 miles without any liquid on my bike. Dehydration got the best of me and I didn’t finish as strong as I wanted to that day, but I still had a good race. And I had to sit around for an extra hour post race waiting for SAG to show up with the multitude of lost water bottles  so I could reclaim my beloved bottle. Fun.

Zero water bottles on my bike. Zero. So thirsty!

4. Race-cations are hard. But fun! When we ran the RunDisney Avengers Half Marathon we made the mistake of doing the vacation half our trip first then running the half marathon. We walked well over ten miles a day every day leading up to race morning and it was startling how tired my legs were by, oh, I don’t know, mile two. I ran my personal worst half marathon that day, between my dead legs and the Santa Ana Winds that just straight destroyed everyone. But, all said and done, it was probably the most fun half marathon I’ve run.

3. Sometimes you have what feels like the worst race of your life, but it turns out to be awesome. I felt like everything went wrong for me at Delta Lake Triathlon last year. I was tired, having GI issues, and racing on zero sleep with a tummy full of bar food. I had a decent swim, hit a wall on the bike, and cried for a good portion of the run because everything hurt and I was just plain exhausted. Then as I was disappointingly packing up my stuff to leave upon finishing, the announcers called out my name. I won first place in my age group! I was completely floored. My time wasn’t one that would typically snag you a podium spot for an Olympic, but you can’t control who shows up to race on race day and lucky me, even with what felt like the worst race ever, I out ran everyone else in my age group. Go figure.


2. Pregnancy. This year I raced Seneca7 for the second year in a row. And surprise, surprise, I raced it seven weeks pregnant, which totally seems appropriate in hindsight. Personally, I had a much harder race than the previous year, but my run was a mess this spring thanks to my torn calf muscle I dealt with all winter. And I had the first trimester exhaustion (that does not go away, everyone who says it does is a total liar) so I definitely didn’t put my best foot forward. But regardless, I had a great time because any races directed by Jeff Henderson are amazing and my team this year was an awesome group.

1. Sometimes, you just gotta go. Last year during the Mini Mussel, I watched a woman poop herself. Yeah, I can’t make this shit (pun intended) up. It was on the run course, she was a bit ahead of me. We were running along the lake front trail when she suddenly vered into the grass, dropped her shorts, squatted in plain sight of everyone, and just pooped in the grass right there. Right there! Then she did a shimmy move to wipe herself on the grass, pulled her shorts back up, and started running again. We were just over a mile from the finish line. I have no idea how she couldn’t have squeezed and made it back, but sometimes you just gotta go I guess.

Racing is amazing because it’s always kind of a crap shoot, and I love it. You never know what the day will bring and the surprises are sometimes half the fun. And while I’ve barely raced this year, I may have on up my sleeve in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that, hopefully.

Favorite race day surprise you encountered?

8 Replies to “The Surprises of Race Day”

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! You definitely see some weird stuff out on race courses.

  1. I love my race-cations (trying to do a half in every state). But you do have to be careful.

    I have a pretty good stomach, but seeing someone do that might just turn it. Although I would definitely be empathetic. Not sure I could ever do that, and am glad I’ve never had to.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Race Day SurprisesMy Profile

    1. Race-cations are definitely fun, we’ve done a few. But you have to be easy on the legs until post race for sure.

    1. Absolutely! If everything was always perfect there’d be no fun in thing =)

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