Hello friends, and welcome to the October edition of Runfessions, a monthly post where we confess our sins, running and otherwise, and emerge as pure as the driven snow. Step into the runfessional and let us begin.
In my first and most shocking runfession, let me runfess that I cheated on my running store.
I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway.
I like to buy my running shoes from a local running store rather than an anonymous online vendor. The local running store supports local races, special orders shoes for customers with hard-to-find running shoe needs, and gives members of our running club a 10% discount. They are good for the community. I visited there recently when my old running shoes reached their mileage maximum (500 miles).
I am also loyal to a certain style of running shoes, Nike Air Pegasus.
I walked into the store anticipating a simple transaction. I asked for the Nikes in my size, expecting to walk out with a new pair of shoes and a sweet discount.
The owner of the store hesitated. He said he would look in the back of the store without displaying much hope of actually finding them. Not only did he not find them in-store, but an online search revealed only three pairs of the shoes in my size in the entire country.
I left my name and phone number with the store owner but did not expect positive results anytime soon.
I have to admit in a moment of weakness, I visited a nearby large chain sporting goods store. There, I found a plethora of the shoes in my size. I bought a pair.
I feel so guilty.
Sadly a small, independent store owner cannot obtain the same shoes that a large chain store can.
I volunteered at our running club-sponsored 10-mile trail race this month, handing out medals and tearing off bib tags as runners crossed the finish line.
I runfess I would have run the race, but tales of trouble with yellow jackets stinging runners in previous races made me choose to volunteer instead.
As we waited at the finish line for the first runners to emerge from the woods, an emergency call came in to one of the volunteers from the race director. A runner had been stung so badly, he was being transported to the hospital by ambulance.
As runners crossed the line, they told stories of being stung seven, ten, twelve times. One runner had to use his EpiPen twice. One could not close his hand; it was too swollen from all the bee stings.
After the race, I was moved to write an email to the race director, imploring him to move the race to April, May, or November, when wasps are not an issue.
I know when I sign a waiver to run a trail race I am potentially putting myself in harm’s way, and I accept responsibility. I might get lost, I may slip and fall, I may run into a tree.
But I expect race directors to do everything in their power to minimize the risk to runners. When stinging wasps are a known hazard, sending runners out to face dozens of irate yellow jackets is negligent and reckless, in my opinion.
The man who was transported to the hospital recovered, thank goodness. I am worried future runners in encountering a swarm of angry bees may not be so lucky.
My last runfession is this: after swearing a solemn oath to never run another marathon as long as I live…you know where this is going, right?
I didn’t actually register for another marathon. I put my name in the lottery for the 2021 London Marathon.
In a typical year, the chances of gaining entry to the London Marathon through the lottery is about 5%. This year, due to all the runners who deferred their entries from the canceled 2020 race to 2021, the chances of winning an entry are even lower.
I probably won’t actually get in.
I hope I don’t get in.
I will let you know the lottery results in early January. I runfess to feeling a slight amount of hope that I win the lottery.
Thank you for hearing my runfessions this month. I am cleaner, lighter, and grateful for the chance to shed my burden of running sins.
You can find the places I link up here.