Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bad Half (Tuesdays on the Run)


Today's Tuesdays on the Run topic is: My Worst Race and What It Taught Me.   Truthfully, it's hard to make me not like a race.  I may not like my performance or the weather but I usually love something (or sometimes everything) about a race. I had to do a little digging for this one.


The Bad Half

It's not because this half was in the middle of nowhere.  I enjoyed seeing the farmland, horses and cows.  After all, rural is my middle name. 

It's not because this half was hotter than Hades.  I've lived in the south all my life.  I knew a July race would be this way.

It's not because this half was incredibly small.  Small doesn't bother me at all.  I actually prefer that to those overly commercialized events. 

It's not because I had the worst calf cramps ever.  I've actually had cramps in several races.  It's almost expected when it's this hot and humid. 

It's not because my running buddy had an accident a few days before and couldn't participate.  I was disappointed and missed her, but that did not ruin this race.


Why Was It Bad?

1)  They only had water at the fluid stops, but did not disclose it.  With the excessive heat, humidity and my leg cramps, I desperately needed electrolytes.  Because I was expecting some heat, I thankfully carried one bottle of Gatorade.  I think it was empty by mile 3.
2)  The band had already packed up when I finished.  RD, I know you also put on a hugely popular 5k that is now over, but don't include a half marathon race if you don't intend to support it.
3)  The food venders were gone.  Hello!  I'm hungry!  Again RD, don't have a half marathon if you don't intend to see it through to the end.  I finally found an Italian Ice stuffed way down in a cooler.  Blueberry - Yippee (not).
4)  There was no one giving out finisher medals at the finish line.  Are you kidding me?  I had to find the RD who unceremoniously dug my medal out of a cardboard box.  I don't think I got any congratulatory remark.   A "Way To Go" would have been appreciated or how about "Thanks for Coming".
5)  They decided not to give age group awards as in prior years, but did not disclose it in advance.  Guess who won her age group?  Uh-huh, me.
6)  This race was just bad all the way around.  I've had other bad runs, but usually the after party makes up for it or the fun weekend you had in the host city.  I just simply could not find anything redeeming about this one.


What Did I Learn?

Well obviously, to never participate in this event again!  I will also not participate in races where they just throw in a half marathon as an after thought.  I will do better research before I hit that registration button.  That's what race recaps are for! 

And, that I am one tough cookie for finishing a race with debilitating stop-you-in-your-tracks calf cramps.

And, that your tongue stays blue for hours after eating a blueberry Italian Ice.





Thanks to our hosts:
 Ericka @ MCM Mama Runs,
 Patty @ My no-guilt life!
Please visit their sites as well as the other participating bloggers!

42 comments:

  1. That sounds like a horrible. Cross that one off my list LOL

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    1. It won't be a repeat for me, for sure!

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  2. Wow! that is a bad race! I do love race recaps for that reason but some smaller ones no one writes about! I do often look to see if they are giving out age groups awards now that I have placed 3rd a couple times :) I guess sometimes we jus chalk it up to lesson learned!

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    1. When I asked about my award, they said "Oh, we decided not to do that this year." But the race information still included age group awards. You can't always rely on what they say, I guess.

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  3. It would be hard for me to think of a worst race, too, if I didn't have one where I hurt my foot on a trail root - my only DNF. Since then, I've run more races on the same rooty trails. Lesson learned - pick up feet!

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    1. That's a good lesson. If I HAD to run this again, I would definitely wear a Camel Bak or hydration belt. And have no expectations for anything afterwards.

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  4. Yikes, that sounds like an awful race! When things are disorganized it can be so stressful...I can't imagine not having the right amount of hydration when you need it. And no food at the end? Geez!

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    1. Obviously, this race was not directed by people who run.

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  5. Wow, it really sounds like they slapped a half marathon on the race as an after thought. Way to get through the race but it's so frustrating when the RD doesn't care.

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    1. That's exactly what it was, an afterthought. They had one the prior year and had more people participate. Now I know why they did not return.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you. Sometimes, you don't have any choice.

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  7. Wow--talk about a poorly organized race. The RD's lucky someone didn't collapse with heatstroke because of that hydration issue!

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    1. Exactly. Very dangerous. I'm glad it wasn't me!

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  8. Good thing you had that Gatorade! Someone like me that's not at all used to humid weather would have probably died! I've only had one bad half that I can think of too but it was due to the heat and a leg injury which equaled slower finishing time. Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!!

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    1. I don't think you ever really get used to the humidity! LOL. It's rough. That's why I love my winter running.

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  9. Wow! What an awful race. What races begins to shut down before wveryr finishes? That's crazy. I'll be sure to never sign up for this one. -L

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    1. When I limped across the finish line and saw the band packing up, I almost lost it.

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  10. Geez this one sounds ridiculously horrible. I can't believe anyone would come back and run it again!

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    1. Me either. I bet they cancel the half this year and just do their 5k.

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  11. Wow. Just....WOW. That sounds terrible. But you gotta admit, stuff like that always makes for a funny story afterward!

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  12. I'm sitting here staring at the computer screen shouting, "No.....NO!" at your post. I canNOT believe the RD would treat an event so poorly. Digging your medal out of a box? That's awful! And definitely why I read race recaps.

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    1. I wish I had known. It was "local-ish" and I was on a quest for 14 in '14, so I thought...why not. Now I know. Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Holy bad race! The "I didn't mind..." list alone would have gotten me! Having your medal dug out of the box when you finished is just awful. Bad race director! Bad!

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    1. I think not giving out the medals was the worst thing. I thought I was running a half marathon!

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  14. What an awful race! Lack of on course support and post race crappiness is ridiculous! I think all races should give age group awards, even if it's just a 25 cent ribbon! Thanks for linking up with us today!

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    1. If you've given awards in the past and then decide against it, you need to clearly state the change in the race information.

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  15. That sounds like a bad race but not like the one I wrote about: http://oldrunningmom.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-toughest-race.html

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    1. Aren't calf cramps the worst? I've actually had hamstring cramps too but at "nice" races. At least you got your revenge!

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    2. I'm waiting for you to run your first full! :)

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    3. Thinking about July in CO. You wanna? I'd love to know someone else there!

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  16. Wowza! I cannot believe the RD managed such a poor race! Way to go for getting through those tough conditions!

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    1. Thanks. I was just totally shocked. I had done their 5k in previous years and had a lot of fun. I didn't know they treated the half participants like this!

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  17. Wow. What a terrible experience for you! I hope you wrote the race director to complain or that others did. The whole race was obviously poorly executed and showed no respect for the runners who trained and completed that race. Blah. I'd never run it again either unless there was a major revamp.;

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    1. I was so hoping to get one of those surveys like you do so many times after races. I suspect they will just stick to their 5k. Everyone complained.

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  18. I am like you, I don't really have a "worst" race, but there are things in a race that can be bad, like you listed. I like to think of them all, even the bad ones as learning experiences.
    But like you, if I entered a race that was organized this poorly, the one thing I would take away from it, was not to enter it again:)

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    1. The course and my performance really weren't horrible...even with cramps. Just the RD. Another sweltering one I did and truly felt horrible at was a Divas race in Atlanta. But, I had the BEST time afterwards. The RD was commendable. They went out of their way to make you feel special. Bingo. Big difference.

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  19. It's such a bummer when you have done everything you can to prepare and a race doesn't support you as the athlete!! I always bring my own water bottle (and Nuun tablets) for this very reason, even at Disney races which are known for being crazy supportive. Clearly, not everyone is cut out to be a race director! sorry this happened to you.

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    1. I'll carry a bottle too if I think there won't be enough on course support. I did have one for this race, but it just didn't last long. I'll now carry salt tablets too.

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  20. Oh wow, I wouldn't go back to run that race again either! I agree with you, don't put on a half marathon if you don't intend to support the race. Not having electrolytes on course in July sounds like a terrible oversight along with not having medals at the finish line!

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    1. So many people run the 5k. I guess they only focus on that. They definitely should stop having the half marathon.

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