Back before I got my Garmin, I used my RunKeeper app on my phone to track my mileage, time, and pace. While out on a run one day, I notice that every time my RunKeeper announced my mileage, a loud car drove by and I couldn’t hear my phone.  As soon as the lady in my phone quit talking, I wouldn’t see a car for another 8-9 minutes until it was time for my phone to report my mileage and time again.  I thought, “Wouldn’t you know it – Murphy’s Law!”


As soon as I got home, I jotted down some of the other “Murphy’s Law for Runners” ideas that I’d come up with on my run, and saved them for a future blog post.

~ I will need to stop and catch my breath with the first walk break I’ve taken in a year, just as someone I know drives by.

~ Waist-high shorts were the norm when I had a six-pack, and now that I have a middle age muffin top, low rise shorts are popular.

~ I will be bent over tying my shoe with my butt in the air, when a truck full of men drives by.

~ Anytime the race course has a nice downhill section where I can relax my running muscles and use gravity to pick up a little speed while I glide down the hill, I will be stuck in the middle of a tight knot of runners putting on the brakes.

~ My stomach will only give me problems when I run through highly populated neighborhoods with lots of people milling around outside, but will be fine on a run out in the woods when I’m alone, or when I run past multiple porta potties.

~ When I try to register for a popular race that fills up quickly or uses a lottery system (Army Ten-Miler, Cherry Blossom), I can’t get in, but the race that I have a guaranteed entry into for life (Marine Corps Marathon) is longer than I should be running since injuring my back.

~ When running on a narrow trail, I won’t see another person until I approach a bridge, and then I’ll come see two people walking side-by-side, and I’ll have to stop and walk behind them until we cross the creek.

A few weeks after jotting down my own Murphy’s Laws for Runners, I ran across this infographic on Pinterest, and thought, “Rats, someone else has beaten me to my great idea,” and shelved my idea for about a year.

Last month I decided it would be fun to revisit my post, and let my MRTT and Cruiser friends in on the fun.  They were quick to give me lots of additional “Murphy’s Laws!”

~ When you are having an awesome run and you look down to check your pace, and your Garmin dies right in front of you. ~ Erin

~ The traffic light will stay green until you get close to the light, and then just as you’re ready to cross the street, it will immediately turn red. ~ Gayle

~ Not having any need to pee or poop prior to heading out on a run, and needing to go badly by mile one and not being able to hold it for even that brief mile home. ~ Annie

~ When out on a run, you see a perfect photo op (like a sunset), but by the time you take off your gloves, wiggle your phone out of your pocket and hit the camera button, your phone battery decides to die right then.  ~ Annie

~ When it finally gets so cold that you have no choice but to use a treadmill at the gym and you show up only to find them all taken, but during nice weather all of the treadmills are available. ~ Kristina

~ When you’ve got everything planned for a timed workout, (researched what your proper training pace should be, interval distances, etc), and when you look down at your watch to start your first interval you realize you are old and too freakin’ blind to see your watch. ~ Kathy

~ When I have finally gathered all necessary items to run with the littles, loaded them up in the stroller, started out and crossed the hump of “this run is terrible – I can breathe again” while keeping a steady comfortable pace; someone inevitably drops something out of the stroller and I have to stop to pick it up. ~ Elizabeth

~ Getting ready for my early morning run in the dark so I don’t wake up my family, but realizing when I get outside that I have on two different shoes. ~ Angela

~ On race day something always goes wrong with playing my music, but I never have problems when I’m on training runs! ~ Vicki

~ At zero dark-thirty, as much as I tiptoe and get down on all fours to crawl past their bedrooms, my kids have some sort of built-in sonar detection and manage to find me at that last step before I reach “total running freedom,” and someone needs a drink of water, has a sore throat, might throw-up, lost a tooth, etc. ~ Kelley

~ While running your first half marathon, the playlist you trained with gets stuck on the same five songs for the last six miles, but you never had any problems with it on your training runs. ~ Peg

Ten miles into your 17-mile run, you stop at the porta potty and stop your music, only to find your battery is at 20% and you have to run the last 7 miles home with no music to save your remaining battery in case you need to use the phone in an emergency. ~ Peg


  • Questions:
  • What would you add to the Murphy’s Law for Runners list?
  • What Murphy’s Laws get you in everyday life?
  • When you run, do you use a watch, GPS, or do you run naked?