Monday, April 30, 2018

4 Epic and Hilarious Fails I've Had While Running

Just because I've never (Yet! There is always time for that in the future! Yay!) DNF'd (Did Not Finish could also be Did Not Fart) in a race, does not mean I haven't had plenty of embarrassingly annoying stumbles throughout my last few years of running. I came to the sport as a very green newbie in 2009, and that gave me plenty of time to have some major wardrobe, bodily and other fails. I guess if you do anything long enough you're bound to encounter odd situations. Or, maybe it's just me. Whatever the case, below are a few of my fabulous fumbles. Go ahead and laugh AT me. I don't care.

1. Did not lock porta potty door - In preparation for the Boston Marathon in 2011, I bought the cutest little turquoise Athleta skirt. I wanted to look and feel like a queen that day! Fast forward to the start line. The minute I started running I realized I had worn underwear. I NEVER wear underwear when I run. Consequently the skirt (which I had never worn before - punch me in the face) was messing with my underwear in that the waistband kept causing the underwear to slide down to my mid-crack. It was so annoying.

Boston Marathon - mile 6ish - underwear is creeping down

I HATE running when there is anything bothering me - a pebble in my shoe, an ear bud that keeps falling out - because I just get fixated on that. I decided the only thing to do was to hop into a porta potty, remove the skirt and throw out the underwear. It was probably about mile 12 when I found a potty without a line. I hopped in there Shalane Flanagan-style, pulled off my skirt completely, took off the underwear and tossed it in the deep dark potty hole. Just then, with me standing there naked from the waist down, the door opens and some guy starts to walk in. I screamed, he slammed the door. What he must have thought!!! Moral of the story - always remember to the lock the door. And leave the underwear at home.

2. Got onto a treadmill when it was ON - Trust me, once you have done this ONE time, you will never do it again. This was early in my running "career" (<hahahahaha, like it would ever be a career). I was at a small gym that I has just joined and about to start my workout. Unbeknownst to me, someone had left the treadmill on. Asshole. Yes, the perfect idea for an episode of Punk'd if I were a celebrity. So, little me is pumping myself up for my run. I gingerly step on the treadmill. I cannot recall what speed it was on, but let's just say it wasn't a "I'm going out for a Sunday stroll" type of speed. I was immediately catapulted off of the treadmill and onto the floor of the gym. It hurt like an m'effer. The world stopped and time stood still as the entire population of the gym fixated on my body flailing on the floor. But, you know how it is when you fall in front of people. You act like it's no big deal and give the impression of "haha, maybe I meant to do that." Fortunately my ego was far more bruised than my body. Just some gym-floor-burns on my knees.

3. Did not wear socks - I have absolutely no excuse for this one. It was my second half Ironman distance race. I had done several triathlons prior. For some reason, I decided I didn't want to take the extra half second to put on socks during my transition from the 56 mile bike ride to the 13.1 mile run. Once I started running, I quickly knew this was going to be  a disaster. My feet were on fire, blisters forming by the second. I knew I would not finish the race unless I had socks. I had to problem solve - and FAST! At the next aid station there was a teenage boy, Tom, handing out water. I begged him to let me have his gross, sweaty, black athletic socks. He hesitated. I then ordered him to give me socks as if I were his mother (and I was definitely old enough to be his mother). Okay, I wasn't mean about it, but I tearfully and firmly asked him. AND HE GAVE THEM TO ME! I told him I loved him. I quickly put on those suckers and promptly finished the race. And threw away the socks at the end. I love you Tom.

Scratch 'n sniff if you want. PS: my thumb looks double jointed.

4. Pinned GUs all over my body - I ran my first marathon on January 18, 2009 (Rock 'n Roll Phoenix). It was my first long distance race. I had no clue what to wear, had no GPS watch and had no idea that there were fancy things to hold one's GUs, etc. I wore shorts without pockets so I figured the most practical thing to do was to safety-pin a half dozen gels to my running singlet. I have no idea in hell how I came up with this idea as it's not something you see anyone doing. I thought I was clever. Not so much. On top of the fact that I looked like a dork with six GUs pinned all over my shirt, I did not do a great job of pinning them so they all swayed and moved and were generally annoying. Another fantastic thing was that trying to run and unpin the pins was harder than running the marathon itself.

Wow, those shorts 

These are just the tip of the iceberg in term of my many blunders over the years. I've got more (mostly involving poop). But we'll save those for a rainy day. You're welcome.

What was one of your newbie mistakes or best running fails?

Ever fall off a treadmill?

Do you wear underwear when you run?



  1. My first triathlon (sprint distance), I had never done an open water swim. I swam about an extra 1/4 mile because I didn't look up and swam way off course at one point. Doh.


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  2. What was one of your newbie mistakes or best running fails? Tying my keys in my shoelaces...and having shoelaces come untied - keys go flying - searching surrounding area for flung keys.

    Ever fall off a treadmill? Almost, due to something really scary on the show Black Mirror.

    Do you wear underwear when you run? No way Jose - commando is the only way to go!

  3. I did one half marathon in 2012 where I did not lock the door all the way. It was very early and very dark. I was pulling up my skort and a guy opened the door. It was embarrassing and I learned my lesson to make sure that door is locked!

  4. Yes, I have fallen off a treadmill...or should I say flung off a treadmill. I'm not sure why it happened, but I definitely remember HOW it happened. I was running along and had to stop for something (that's the part I don't remember). Well instead of turning the belt off I just did one of those hop a foot on each side of the rail thing. Well, I totally spaced out and stepped back on the belt like it was off and boom ... off the back I went. Yep, I acted like it was no big. The girl next to me tried not to laugh out loud ... I told her to go ahead and let it loose, I deserved it.

  5. When I was in college, I was running on a treadmill when the “+” button seemingly became stuck and the belt kept getting faster and faster, until I couldn’t keep up (not sure why I didn’t hit the emergency stop - maybe they didn’t have them back then?!). Anyhow, I was flung backward and subsequently fractured my arm. It took me years to get comfortable with treadmill running again!

    In the realm of potty fails, my most memorable was not stopping to pee when I needed to during a hot summer half and then running under a sprinkler with a full bladder - the minute the cold water hit my skin, I lost control and wet my cute little Athleta running skort. Fortunately this was towards the end of the race so I didn’t have to spend too much time in my soiled garments!

  6. Last summer I was in a portapotty and even though I locked the door, some jerkwad yanked it open! WTF? I was sitting on the potty. I screamed and he apologized. I was like, WTF? The door was locked. When I came out, he was standing there, waiting to apologize. It made it even worse.

  7. I'm totally giggling at the GUs pinned on your top. Before my first (and to date, only) Olympic distance triathlon, I read a tip online about fastening GUs to the top bar of the bike with a rubber band, so you only have to reach down and grab it (vs reaching into a belt). I thought this was a great idea, but didn't test it beforehand ... as soon as I built up some speed, the GU fell out of the band (I guess it wasn't tight enough?). There went my fuel.

    I just ran my FIRST EVER marathon on Sunday in Oklahoma City ... and made the very dumb mistake of doing almost all my long runs on a treadmill (thus able to keep my water/fuel in the cupholders). 5 hours after wearing an Amphipod belt with bottles of UCAN and water, and I have lovely purple welts on both hip bones and my lower back. Lesson learned.

  8. Damn you! I read this while working as the attendance taker for our library's TASC prep class and I had to stifle my guffaws. Just tears running down my face. The instructor must thinking watching an ASPCA ad... sharing on FFTFL!!!!

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  11. My list of mistakes and fails while running would turn out to be long. A good many of them are related to toilet issues, or more precise lack of toilets. My most embarrassing one was not as a newbie. It occured last summer during a mountain run. Far away from civilization I felt the urge to open my bowels. Nobody nearby and happy to have toilet paper in my waist pack I deviated from the trail and went over to an area with some dense bushes, pulled down and squatted. It was all done in less than one minute I guess. Luckily no runner's trots, just normal waste. A happy woman heading back for the trail looking forward to finish with style. But then, I suddenly discovered a man up the hill just behind the bushes I thought I had used as a shelter for my private activities. Even though I tried to resist the thought I had to realize that I had been observed, yes, I had an audience when squatting there. A young hiker obviously had the opportunity to study how a mature and decent woman well over 60 perform her natural duties when outdoor. When back home I told my husband. He just smiled and did not at all see the problem.

  12. Good to hear that I am not the only one caught short when squatting with shorts down. But terrible situation for a mature man to be discovered in just that moment by a young woman I can tell.

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