The Day I Became a Virtual Runner...on Accident...

3:00 PM

It’s like a runner’s nightmare…but I lived it.

Valentine Run // February 8, 2014

Last Friday, this would have been a race recap. Now it is a memoir to “The Race that Never Happened.” On Saturday, there was the annual Valentine’s Run, which benefits the local law society in Sacramento. They offer very random distances – 1.8mi or 4mi. The location is behind a very non-popular strip mall, but the course is surprisingly awesome. It is four miles of decent residential hills, while still being a road race. Not only is it fairly hilly, the streets are lined with some of the nicest houses, mansions if you will. These gorgeous homes are tucked away in the streets of the race course and they are a great distraction during your run.

As per the usu, I picked up my packet at Fleet Feet on the grid. Ran into my training coach, who proceeded to make sure I wouldn’t ditch the race if it was raining. I’m not gonna lie, the thought crossed my mind, but being a serious baller-on-a-budget I wouldn’t pass up a race I paid for. That’s not okay in my book, well until you are forced to :/

Friday night I was having a hard time figuring out what time the race started. Seems simple right, but the website and the emails did not have a specific, laid out start time. It should be noted, I did not use a computer to look up the time, I was hectically using my iPhone to research the start time. I saw that race day packet pick-up was between 7AM-8:30AM. There was also a link in one email that would allow you to create an appointment in your iPhone, once you click that it automatically populated the event from 9AM-10AM. Thus, I assumed the race started at 9AM. I wasn’t quite sure why packet pick-up would end at 8:30AM and then there would be a 30 minute gap, but I felt confident that the link and the appointment set-up was correct.

Race Stem Selfie

Saturday morning comes around and I am driving to the race. It’s raining and I am dreading this run, but know that I need to race no matter what. I’ve raced in the rain, ran doesn’t hurt anyone. It may not be the best of conditions, but if you pay for a race, you should race it (some circumstances are understandable, I’m not that crazy)! As I pull up and I’m looking for a parking spot, I notice the start/finish line and the clock is running. In my head, I think weird, I’ve never see a countdown to a start time. I do a U-turn and find a parking spot. I diddle daddle around for a bit, getting my gear, and sipping some water – basically waiting until the very last minute to get out of the car and head to the race line start in the rain.

As I walk to the start, I walk through all the vendor tents and whatnot. I am looking around and only noticing volunteers. I don’t see anyone getting ready for the race or anything. No one at the port-a-potty’s at all. I think it’s a little odd, but I am assuming everyone is just ready to get the race finished. As I walk closer to the start line I can hear names being read. Then BOOM! It hits me, I stand there dumbstruck, feeling awful. The race has started. Maybe just the 1.8miler. Nope, flying past the finish line marker are Fleet Feet runners (kits and all) with a time of 22minutes. I now fully realize the implications of this situation.

I am officially a virtual runner. Not by choice, but by my own stupidity. Okay, that’s a little harsh, but I’d like to think I do my due diligence when it comes to racing. But I let the ball slip. Maybe subconsciously, I didn’t want to race because of the weather. No matter what it was, I felt horrible. I like to think I am organized and don’t take my investing in races for granted. I guess there’s always a first for everything. So thus, “The Race That Never Was (run by me)” happened. As I walked with my tail between my legs, back to my car, I profusely apologized to my friend who didn’t get to race either. I think I said “I’m sorry” about, a good 50 times. To wallow in my non-racing sorrow’s we decided to go grab breakfast in a local little bakery/coffee spot that is connected to the mall.

La Bou // Coffee & Turkey & Cheese Croissant

As we sat there warm and enjoying our delicious pastries and coffee, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt every time a runner from the race came in to enjoy breakfast. I also saw a few people run by the restaurant, soaked and tired…what I would have given to be that person. As I write this, I still feel awful. I guess, you live and you learn. I won’t ever wait until the last, last minute to figure out the start time of a race!! Lesson learned…

I hate to admit that I am now a virtual runner...

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  1. I've always been afraid I'll do something like this. I almost missed the start of a marathon last spring because none of my four alarms were set right. Your consolation pastry looks yummy though.

    1. None of 4 went off? That's some serious bad luck, right there! Glad you woke up though! Yes, the pastry was pretty delicious!

      I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award, if you have time to look at my post today! I'm not really sure I actually nominated you, more as I tagged you to do it. :) No worries if it's not your thing, just wanted to share the love!

  2. Aww, that sucks! But, it happens to the best of us. As long as you can take something away from the situation and learn from it, then it is not a total loss.

    Oh btw, I nominated your blog, and the other blogs on the West Coast Running Bloggers community for the Liebster Award! It's a 'Virtual' award that helps us get to know one another. Check it out on my blog post!


    1. Lesson learned, for sure!

      Thanks for nominating me! I answered your 11 questions and nominated a few gals who I follow regularly!


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