Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TOTR: My worst race & what it taught me

My worst race...

I can instantly tell you which one it was because it was my first... & I nearly died...

I think that qualifies as the worst race ever.

Let me give you a quick background.... I never ran.  Refused to run. Hated running. Never though I would run. 

I had tore up my knees really young - like 5th grade young - while in martial arts.  Yes, I grew up in martial arts. Got my black belt at 16, teaching grown men how to beat each other up, all the while knowing I could kick ALL of their butts....

But it left me with really bad knees. 

Doing huge jumping kicks while not stretched out will cause some big SNAPS in your hamstrings... yikes... I can feel the pain again...

Anyways - you know everyone says the same thing about running.... say it with me... "Its bad for your knees"... so I never ran. 

But I was challenged by my sister in law to run a half marathon with her.  I thought this sounds like something that could be a bucket list item - why not... so I registered.

.... & that's pretty much it....

What did this race teach me?... hello!!! It taught me I need to train.

I literally got to the start line of a half marathon never really getting over 3 miles of training in.  How much further can 13.1 miles be then 3 miles... its only just doing that 4 times over... easy peasy...

yeah right...

The route of the Kentucky Derby MiniMarathon at that time went through Iroquois Park - which is all up & down HUGE hills...


I basically was ready to die by mile 5...

My sweet hubby, knowing I'm stupid & didn't know what I was getting myself into - did the race with me.  He saw I was near death since I never even thought anything about nutrition while running.

Electrolytes?  What's that?

He actually ran into a convenient store & got me a Diet Coke... seriously... & I drank it...

to which I nearly passed about after drinking it.

At mile 9 I didn't think I could take one more step... but I was ticked & determined... & somehow - only by the grace of God - I made it... & then seriously couldn't even make it to the car.  Ricky had to virtually carry me & sat me down at the bottom of the parking gargage so he could run up & get the car...

Sounds like fun - huh?

But honestly.... that's when it all clicked for me. I wanted to be a runner.

I was surrounded by other runners who looked like they didn't want to die... I wanted to be like that. 

I saw happy faces... I wanted to look anything close to that.

I wanted to take this whole running/race thing seriously.

I knew I would do it again the next year.... & I did.

But this time, well trained - knowing what nutrition to use race wise - knowing what things to wear, what real running shoes were - knowing about chafing ... just KNOWING...

I finished that race the next year like 45 MINUTES sooner... AND, I felt great. 

I laughed when I could actually walk the 3 miles back to the car... & went out that evening, feeling stiff, but could actually move.  That first race? I literally couldn't walk without wincing for about 3 weeks...

Oh, the knowledge you get when you look for it....
If you need any other further proof... here I am... May 3, 2009...
I ran wearing a fanny pack... Dear Lord...
that's just embarassing


  1. you did a half marathon only after running 3 miles?! damn girl. you crazy. haha. especially with those hills! they suck!

  2. I'm sorry that race was such a sufferfest, but your description of it totally cracked me up. I'm glad you learned what not to do, and didn't let that experience deter you! I totally get what you mean - running for me always meant being winded, out of breath, bored (I assumed, anyway - I had never done it long enough to really know), wanting to die. It took seeing people running and not looking on the verge of death and actually enjoying themselves for me to be like, wait, it can be like that?! I want that!

  3. I agree! My first half marathon was the hardest bc I didn't train either. But unlike you I told myself I never wanted to do it again. Well ten marathons later I am still plugging away. Love the fanny pack. Good thing they really updated fuel belts these days. -L

  4. So funny...yes, training is definitely a good way to go! My worst race was one that I undertrained...it really makes for an interesting time. How cool that you're a black belt!

  5. Oh my goodness! That is crazy! I did bare minimum for my first half & didn't really follow a pla, but I did get up to a 12-mile long run & felt ready. But I knew nothing about fueling properly & got insanely sick & nauseated. Was sick the whole day & night after! Definitely my worst race!

  6. You're cracking me up...Dear Sweet Baby Jesus and all. You are seriously rocking that fanny pack. Aren't you forever grateful you ran that awful race?

  7. Oh my, that sounds exactly like my first race. It was also a half marathon. I have no idea how far I ran in training but it was probably close to 3 miles too. Cotton clothes, no hydration, electrolytes or fuel. The course was flat, but lined with roadkill! We're both stubborn, tough cookies! :) Thanks for linking up with us today!

  8. Oh my goodness, bless your heart!! I know what you mean about seeing other runners who make it look easy- I definitely wanted to be that way too. I know someone who still runs with a fanny pack just like that! Lol!

  9. I think it's great that you did the first race (even if you felt like dying) but even better that you didn't give up and were determined to rock this running thing. :) I'm doing the KDF half this year (first time for me) and I checked the route to MAKE SURE it didn't run through Iroquois Mountain. It's bad enough suffering through that on the PJ 10-miler ... definitely not doing that mountain twice in a month. My worst race was probably my first race - just a 5k but I didn't have a clue what I was doing and hadn't even prepared for that distance. But isn't it neat/inspiring to look back and see how far you've come? ... with or without the fanny pack ;)

  10. I've known a lot of people who didn't train, ran a half and then ended up hating running for life. One of my best friends, had asked me for a training plan, I gave her a rough one to follow, she swore she was. Come race day she was so worried she'd come in last, I told her nah that will never happen because you trained. I finished the race, never saw her, so I gave up and went back to my hotel, showered and was putting my bike on the truck to go do some slickrock climbing. Then I see her coming around the corner or my hotel... I went over to cheer and she looked about dead. Later that night I asked her what happened and she said, she lied and never ran more than 4 miles, she finished 2nd to last.
    Anyhow, I only tell that story because it shoes the difference, you learned from your mistake and went on to improve and love the sport. She I don't believe has ran a single day since and that was 10 years ago:)
    Love the fanny pack, that is awesome!

  11. My first race was a tough mudder and I went in cold. My only "training" session was a one mile jog around the park two days before. I dang near died out there!


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