I’ve done a lot of racing over the years. I mean, a lot, a lot. And I don’t always remember every detail of every race, but I do have some memories that stick out as I think back on past race efforts. Some of theses memories are painful lessons, while others are inspiring, and considering my standard “discombobulation,” some are just outright hilarious. I love each and every memory from every race for a variety of reasons, but these five are the ones that stand out to me the most.
1.The One Where My Sister Was Pregnant. While this race is probably one of the slowest, the Rock N Roll New Orleans 10K of 2014 sticks out in my memory because I got to run with my sister who had just found out she was pregnant a month prior. I had a bad cold and she was suffering from terrible morning sickness. We were quite the pair. But as all times spent with my sister, we had a total blast. We did a lot of walking, and paused a couple times for nose blowing and/or possible puking, but it was still such a fun race.
2. The One Where the S.O. and I Both Bonked. Whenever the S.O. and I race I either never see him on the course or he is so far ahead of me that I catch a glimpse on him on a turn around as he zooms by. However, the Gate River Run 15K of 2015 was a rare occasion that we wound up finishing together. I didn’t feel good at the start of this race, but we both lined up and got going. Within minutes I knew this was not a good day for me. I was hot and grumpy and pulled off to the side to take a little break early on in the race. I sucked it up and kept running but it was ugly. I did more walking. And at about the time I was ready to stop all together, I ran into the S.O. He too was on the struggle bus. We were both pretty miserable but as they say, misery loves company. While this race was not a great run for either of us, this memory sticks out because we worked together to get over the bridge and finish. Regardless of our times, I’m always happy when he’s by my side.
3. The Once Where I Cried Like a Baby at the Finish Line. Ah, my first 70.3. This race in general is one of my happiest race memories to date. I was insanely nervous at the start line and felt that the distance of 70.3 miles was so completely overwhelming. I had trained hard but as per usual, I forgot all of the hours I put in while standing in line to jump into the water of the Augusta Half Ironman. Little did I know that everything was going to go right that day. From my comfortable swim, to taking it easy on the bike, and really enjoying the run, I was blown away when I saw my time on my watch at the finish line. I cried at the finish line because I was so overjoyed with how the day went and how happy I was to see my friends also do so well. Plus, my sister had sent a card with my fabulous sherpa Jess. It was the cherry on top.
4. The One Where I Got All the Flat Tires. To date I’ve had three DNFs. Each one was due to a different reason but this one is the funniest. This local sprint triathlon, Dunedin Sprint Triathlon, is a race that the S.O. does every year and I thought, what the heck? I like a good sprint tri myself. However, on race morning my front tire was flat. We changed it quickly but barely made it to the race in time before transition closed. I was stressed. Then, upon getting to transition I noticed my back tire was flat. Oy. Fortunately, the race had a mechanic who helped me change it before I headed to my swim start. I was finally all set and ready to go. I had a solid swim and got to my bike. I was about two miles into the bike when I realized…another freaking flat! This time it was again on my front tire. I stopped and tried to figure out what to do as my entire age group zoomed by. A nice spectator came up and helped me put more air in it but I knew I was done for the day. I didn’t want to risk riding the rest of the course on it, and I myself was deflated by this point. I took my DNF and had a great story to tell. I confused the S.O. when I came up to him at the finish line with no medal and we chuckled at my day. It was memorable indeed.
5. The One Where I Asked Coach EK If I Could Be Done Soon. At my second marathon in 2009, it began to rain very hard around mile 20. I was fairly miserable toward the end of this race anyway and the rain only made things worse. I was running a good pace for a PR but I had hit the wall hard and couldn’t wait to be finished. With about two miles to go I saw a figure running toward me and it was my good buddy, Coach EK. I think he had also raced that day (obviously much faster) and was running members of the group back in. I’ve never been happier to see a person on a course than I was that day. I believe I wimpered to him about wanting to be done and him letting me know I was so close. I did end setting a pretty large PR that day but what sticks out the most is seeing Coach EK.
Eventbrite is one great resource to find such running events, and also offers event management for people who want to organize races of their own. At every event, whether a marathon or triathlon, or even an obstacle run, there’s a chance to make memories that will never fade. From the high points to the low points, each of these offers a chance to look back and smile; a lesson that was learned (don’t pinch your tube when changing your own tire) or the friend that pulled you through (thanks EK).
Thanks to Eventbrite for the idea for this post. I’m always looking for blog post ideas and they helped out with this one. You can create your own events through their event management page.