Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Race Day Disasters

I pray to all the running gods in the universe that I am not foreshadowing any disasters come Sunday morning, but I thought this was too good not to share.

A few weeks back at our Long Beach Marathon ambassador lunch meet-up - as it was right after Phoenix - I was telling the story about race morning in Phoenix. One of the ambassadors laughed and was like, "Remind me to never to start my race day with you!" Here's the thing though... my stories always work out in the end! So I thought it'd be kinda fun to reminisce on some race day disasters because you know... they're laughable now! And then some others I've collected from around the interwebz.

- Transportation Disasters: Case and point? Phoenix. I haven't done many races that are point-to-point and require a shuttle in some direction, so Phoenix was a whole new experience for me. I was nervous enough about running the race, let alone my bus dying somewhere not near the start line!

- Garmin Issues: Before I finally upgraded my watch and got my new Garmin, my old 110 was dying at start lines on the regular. I can't even tell you how many races I ran without a watch. But honestly? Running naked is so good sometimes!

- Forgetting the Essentials: Like, you know... your shoes? #notmyshoes became quite the saga, and now it's just laughable because who packs TWO LEFT SHOES for a race? This girl. This girl right here.

Rock 'n Roll San Diego became quite the adventure last year and while I never wish to re-live it, the quick thinking of both my boyfriend and the hotel front desk staff certainly saved this race day from becoming a real disaster.

- Traffic: Kim at Barking Mad About Running said that one time at a race she got caught in traffic, so she got to the start line 15 minutes late and ran the first whole mile of the race before catching up with any of the walkers. "But at least I got a good time!" See... there's always something laughable about it. Doug and I definitely showed up after a race started once and had fun catching up and getting ahead!

My favorite (insane) story of all is from Shelby. I can't even put this into my own words, so I'm going to share just as is with you:

"Let’s rewind about 3 years to the 2013 Rock ’n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon. Running this less than a week after my first full marathon I had no time goal but to finish with a smile. I donned my Sparkle Athletic skirt, cranked up the music and took off. If you’ve run in Portland you know it’s full of trains, bridges, and hills. I had never run in Portland, or a Rock ’n’ Roll race before so really I had no idea what to expect. Around Mile 5 we were going over the umpteenth bridge of the race when my left foot got stuck in a railroad track. Yes you read that right. The carpeting from the race didn’t cover it properly and I was stuck. After a little wiggling I got my foot out and kept running. By the time I hit the finish line I was in some pain but honestly thought it was because I ran my first marathon followed by a half in 7 days and I was still pretty new to it all. 

This is where it gets interesting….I went to run after 4 days off & could barely run a mile without stabbing pain. Being an out-of-state student at Oregon,I found a random foot doctor and made myself an appointment. The first thing the doctor did when he looked at me was say, “Have you ever worn a walking boot?” Random doctor say what now?!?! After telling the doctor what happened, he showed me the X-rays. I cracked the first metatarsal in my left foot, which I’ll be honest I was expecting something to that degree. I could feel a bump on the top of my foot that wasn't there before. The right foot was inconclusive because of a shadow so I was being scheduled for an MRI. In the mean time I got fit with a snazzy walking boot. Oh joy. Did I mention I WALKED to the doctor's office and had to walk back to campus? 1.2 miles away...in a boot for the first time ever.

 A week later I went for my MRI and the next day got called in to discuss the results. Play by play: “The good news is you won’t be in a walking boot much longer”. “Really? I thought you said I’d spend the summer in this?” “Yes, instead of ‘a’ walking boot you’re going to be in two”. Ummm WHAT. Turns out I fractured the navicular bone in my right foot, which is more serious than the left foot fracture I was sporting. Instead of ONE walking boot I got to waddle away with TWO. Yeah, that was a lovely conversation to have with my parents. 
I spent 9 weeks wearing plastic bags over my boots so I could navigate through rain, avoiding downhills because I legit picked up speed with every step (try learning that for the first time while out to sushi with all of your friends….we STILL laugh at that revelation) and walking up stairs to classes turned to the side one by one. Even flying home to visit my parents was a freaking sitcom because I had to get a wheelchair, bypassed the metal detector at TSA so they could wave a wand over the boots, and got to board early. (If you've ever flown Allegiant airlines you know that's a freaking miracle and totally worth it). While at the time I was miserable (couldn’t even celebrate my 21st birthday for fear of me falling over and injuring myself further) looking back it’s completely hysterical. In the end the doctor gave me the green light to run the #DumboDoubleDare with my dad and I got introduced to the magic of Brooks shoes." 

Um... yowch?!
So let's here it. Traffic issues? Porto potty lines? Dead Garmin on a dream race? What's been your worst race day disaster and how did you fare?

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