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As race day approaches, I tend to start imagining or dreaming about the worst-case scenarios that could arise when it’s time to race. It’s hard not to when you are tapering and have all that extra time on your hands, right? As you force yourself to sleep at night, your mind starts wandering down the path of your worst race day nightmares….
Here are some of my worst:
1. You try to tighten your ponytail mid-race and your hair tie breaks…and you have to finish the race with your hair down. And you won’t look nearly as good as the new female runner emoji.
2. You oversleep and wake up minutes before the race is scheduled to start.
3. You are standing at the start line, turn on your Garmin…and get the dreaded “Low Battery” buzz. You are sure you plugged it into the plug last night…
4. You need to use the bathroom mid-race but the port-o-potties are still locked (Note: This happened to me and my friend who I was guiding during the 2015 NYC Marathon).
5. Or just as bad—there are no port-o-potties in sight.
6. You carry just enough gel with you for the duration of race, but end up dropping one as you are fumbling trying to open it. Do you stop, turn around, run backwards and grab it? Or continue on?
7. You run through a water stop full-speed and slip on the wet, slippery cups.
8. In the craziness of race morning you forget to lube up—and remember at Mile 20 when multiple parts of your body are on fire from the chaffing.
9. You make a wrong turn (it’s a small race) and veer completely off course.
10. Your Garmin loses satellite during the race and you can’t obsess over your splits post-race (the horror!).
11. You have a 25 mph headwind from start to finish (despite running in every direction at some point during the race).
What’s your worst race day nightmare?