Sunday, January 17, 2010

Last Ditch Effort: My Latest Race Day Screw-up

Sometimes things go wrong on race day.

I've missed a tri because of a flat tire when I had no spare tubes. Once, at a breast cancer 10K, I wore pink ribbon socks, even though they weren't running socks, because I wanted to be in the spirit. That decision ended with blisters. Last year I forgot how old I was and went out in the wrong swim wave. My friend Carrie and I once missed the turn-off to our race site and overshot it by about twenty miles. I've even wrecked my bike on the course. Things go wrong.

I'm also a horrible driver and back into lots of things. This has included a couple cars, my own garage (twice), and a pole. But today was the first time I've combined my poor driving with my penchant for messing up races. I drove into a ditch two hours before gun time.

Since this is a writing blog, I'll tie this into writing eventually. But it's also a "how I fit it all in" blog, and wrecking cars and screwing up races is some of the stuff I fit in.

To shorten a very long story, the only things hurt were my pride and my wallet (turns out, AAA only tows for free when your car breaks down, not when you are stupid). My friends came to the rescue and got me to the start line on time. My car was waiting for me after the race in the parking lot across from the Extraction Point.

It was an embarrassing drive home, but I think I got it washed before the neighbors noticed.

We had a good half marathon this year. I didn't beat my personal best, but had a fantastic run considering my level of training this season. The hardest part was running past a donut shop at Mile 8 and then running past the same shop again at Mile 10 after a turn-around. Heavenly smelling donuts. Lisa had a funny song stuck in her head all morning and sang about having our "Pants on the Ground" loud enough for all to hear.

As to how it might tie into writing. I once read that bad decisions make good stories. If I'd had an uneventful morning, I wouldn't have written about it. Conflict and tension is good for a writer, even when it makes you wish you could crawl under a rock.

Parting words . . .

I'm fond of a t-shirt that says "Run Like a Mother." After this morning, my husband says I need one that says, "Run Like a Mudder." I think he's right on.


  1. No, no, no. I'm afraid that level of detail is insufficient. Need to hear more about the long story.

  2. I'm glad you were able to run your half-marathon.

  3. Space Monkey. Let's have lunch and I'll tell you all about it. Thai Cottage. This week. Yum!

    Thanks, Dru. I wouldn't have been able to do it without my pals.

  4. At least it didn't knock you off your game. A half-marathon is a loooong way to try and MUDdle through.

  5. I wrote a story about the circle of life, what I call "the two sided stepladder." Sad but true, once you get my age, we begin climbing down the other side. Things get harder to see. Our speech slows down a little. Before we close the door to our house, we're huffin and puffin, and on it goes. I still think you should'uv stopped in at the donut shop for a snack and some coffee and you might have come in first place!

  6. Now I'm really glad we all took a cab to play basketball.

  7. Thanks, everybody. Graham, your comment made me laugh. :-)

  8. Stefanie LaufersweilerJanuary 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    OK, stories about you and cars and running make me nervous, but I'm glad this one ended happily! And it led me to your writing blog, which I'm quite happy about. ( :

  9. Wow, Stef. How did I *MISS* that?! This was not my first car + running = disaster story, was it? Glad you're visiting here at the blog. :-)