Picking My Worst Race

Last week I talked about lessons learned at my best race so it’s only appropriate that I give my worst race equal time. There have been some doozies and it was a challenge choosing my worst race… If forced to choose, I’d pick the 2010 Steamtown Marathon because I hit the wall, had to make an emergency pit stop, resorted to walk breaks, and I never truly got my head in the game which resulted in me running my slowest marathon.

2010 Steamtown Marathon Pasta Dinner

Three Lessons Learned at My Worst Race

1. Train with what you’ll consume on race day – I had trained with a caffeinated sports drink, but chose to skip it on race day, opting instead to drink whatever the race had to offer. I felt sluggish from the moment I started my race and it didn’t get any better.

2. Watch what you eat prior to race day – All these years later I can vividly remember needing a porta potty stat and all I could find was a corn field… I hadn’t eaten anything particularly sinful, but probably could have been more careful and avoided near disaster.

3. You can do anything to which you put your mind – At mile seven, yes seven, I mentally didn’t want to finish the race so I started to run/walk. Eventually, I ran more and walked less and by sheer willpower gutted it out and finished the race.


Honorable Mention Lessons Learned from Other Bad Races

1. Don’t de-layer and toss too early in the race – In the cold and rainy 2008 Georgia Marathon I shed my gloves too soon and my frozen fingers were thrilled when I found and put on a pair of soggy wet gloves that had been tossed along the course?

2. Don’t race with a hangover – The night prior to the 2012 GW Parkway Classic Ten Miler my Cruiser friends and I celebrated a friend’s birthday a little too hard. The cosmos flowed freely and even though I knew I should head to my hotel room, I stayed up. It’s a miracle I got up in time to run my slowest 10-miler (which I walked/ran due to an unrelated injury).


  • • What lessons have you learned at a race?
  • • Which was your favorite race? Least favorite?
  • • Which race did you run once and vow never to run again?