Three October Runfessions

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.

Photo by Egor Kamelev on

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.

Photo by Pixabay on

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 think.

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.



  1. The London Marathon!!
    That’s my dream! I saw the lottery but I figured there’s not a chance for 2021 and didn’t sign up. I think I gave up too early.
    I hope you get in, Laurie! That would be spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think there is much of a chance either, but my friend is running the 2021 race. She was deferred from 2020. I figured I might as well try, even though the chances are pretty slim.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My closest shop is over a half hour away. It’s a fantastic store, and they’ve really been helpful in guiding me towards new shoe models, they are just too far away. And then you get there and they don’t have your size… As a result, I wind up buying almost all my shoes online. I do feel bad about that, but Jeff Bezos has to eat too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually shop at The Inside Track in Lancaster. The owner is a runner and all of the young men and women who work there are runners too. They really know what they are talking about. They are usually good about ordering my size if they don’t have it in stock, but in this case, they couldn’t even order it.


  3. I hear your regret of not being able to get new shoes from your local vendor, Laurie, but I’m sure you will patronize his business in the future. Like you, I’d much rather buy local when it’s possible. And do let us know about the possible marathon – how exciting that it is in London!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, Martha. I will patronize that local store in the future. I will keep you up to date on what is happening with the marathon. Now, if I could figure out whether I want to win or lose the lottery! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So, hope won out for the lottery! I hope you get the answer that you need when the time comes.

    I was stung by yellow jackets three or four times in my own garden, and it was not pleasant. Thank goodness a raccoon or ‘possum dug out the nest and ate the wicked little beasts. They didn’t come back this year. I hope the race people will heed your warning. I hadn’t realized yellow jackets would be so aggressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I go back and forth on my local running store. If I try on shoes there and find something I like, I will definitely buy them at the store – I feel like I owe them the sale. But for subsequent pairs of the same shoe, I’m getting them on the internet for as cheap as possible. I want local business to succeed, but there’s a hard limit to how many $160 pairs of shoes I’m going to buy vs $40-$80 pairs online.

    Just no on the Yellowjacket Run. I really hope that the race was already headed in the direction of moving the race without your letter.

    And I hope you get in to London! I mean, since the odds are so low…there’s no harm in putting your name in;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s great of you to support your local store, but you can only do that to the extent that they can support you too. You will buy plenty of other stuff there! You are right – the race director really does have a responsibility to try to mitigate that hazard. They are being kind of negligent! And finally, I hope you get into the London Marathon! That would be really cool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awww, Laurie, what a great post. And honestly? I don’t blame you for being a volunteer for the one race. Both of my sisters have an anaphylactic reaction to insect stings, and I can only believe that I probably do too. I haven’t tested this theory . . . And I am already excited to see if you win the lottery! Using this phrase in this context is actually exciting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How exciting to give it a go at the London Marathon Laurie. Yesterday I heard they moved the Boston Marathon from April to sometime in the Fall. Normalcy seems like a long way away. In the meantime, you have lots of time to get ready for it. The place I bought all my shoes, boots, even my Minnetonka Deerskin Moccasins for in the house went out of business last year – the owner of this family-run business decided after almost 70 years for this business, she was going to retire. I was a pair of shoes ahead and discovered Macy’s also carried my walking shoes, so ordered two pair in case Easy Spirit discontinues the style.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just realized today that t2020 is the first year since 2005 in which I have not run a marathon. It is very unlikely that I will get to run the London Marathon next year. I would put my chances through the lottery at somewhere around 2%. I wonder if you could get the moccasins online. I like to support local businesses like you, but if they go out of business, I guess there are not too many other options.


      • Well they have them at Amazon – I just looked. Moosehide classic slip-ons. One year I bought the suede ones with shearling and they had a different fit … I am happy to find them. They are very comfortable. In the Winter, I used to wear MukLuks I got at that store- now just booties past my ankles. I sit all day and it gets cold doing so. I am always for local businesses too rather than make Jeff Bezos richer. That’s a shame and unless you find a virtual one that you can do your own path/course, you will break your fine record.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello,
    It is a shame the smaller business did not have the shoes you wanted. I recently bought a pair of Nike walking shoes, they are so comfy. I can not imagine the runner being attacked by a swarm of angry bees. Good luck with the London Marathon, I hope you win the lottery. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh wow the wasps! Sounds like they need to find an alternate location for that race asap! Yes you do expect to be safe while on a trail from cars or bees or whatever. I also entered a half marathon lottery in London that I am sure I won’t get into either. But what if we do?!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. LOL on the London Marathon — be careful what you wish for! I am happy to absolve you on the shoe shopping. You still went to a local brick and mortar store and supported the local economy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I appreciate that you wrote to the race director asking him to change the time of the race. That sounds like a very dangerous situation considering so many runners had issues.

    I hope that you get picked for London!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Omg that yellowjacket race! How horrible!
    I’ve had this same issue with our local running store, even pre-Covid. It’s very sad.
    As a past winner of a sparkly unicorn London Marathon lottery spot. I’ll tell you there’s always a chance, so keep that glimmer of hope alive. It’s an epic race, just saying. Thanks for linking!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. London!!!!! That’s exciting…good luck! We don’t have a local running store, but there’s a nice one about an hour away. The gal who owns it is wonderful, and usually quite generous in discounts and charity work. I usually get at least one pair of shoes from her every year (the hubby, too), but I have found previous year’s models (that were a better fit) online on occasion. I agree…we need to support own small business owners!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I will usually buy one pair of shoes from our local store a year, but that’s it. The rest are online.

    OMG on the trail race. That’s horrible. It actually does seem irresponsible. I know trail runners are tough, but in the words of Biden, C’mon man!

    Good luck with London? You know because you sorta don’t want to do it it’s more likely to happen, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The trail race was terrible. I am worried someone will be badly hurt or worse. I thought the same thing about London – because my heart really isn’t into it, it will probably happen! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. That’s crazy that your store didn’t have your shoes. The Pegasus is a popular one, and it doesn’t seem right that they wouldn’t have it!

    OMG about the yellow jackets! No, thank you! I love bees, but hornets/wasps/yellow jackets can move right along. I’m glad everyone was ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. WOW, I too would be upset about all the yellow jackets! I would have been one of those unlucky runners because I am severely allergic to bees and I have never once even thought about carrying my epi pen to a race with me. I actually find it odd that the wasps and bees were so plentiful this time of year.

    Good luck on the London Marathon….or not….lol. I might think that chances might be better for 2021 only because I bet there are a lot of people that may pass on traveling overseas for a while more yet. But I don’t know. I hope it works in your favor which ever way you want it to! -M

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am worried someone will get seriously hurt or even worse. A good friend almost died from getting stung by hornets at a trail race (not this one).

      I am not sure what I want. I will be excited/relieved no matter what happens with the lottery! 🙂


  18. This is my first time reading your “runfessionals,” Laurie … very clever and made me chuckle! I know your pain about buying shoes from a local business. Although I can no longer run (messed up knees), I do power walk and have to replace my running shoes on a regular basis. I try to buy from a small local shoe store that has served me well for years, but I have to runfess there have been some times when price or convenience led me astray as well! Good luck with the London Marathon lottery!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow you have no idea how grateful I am that Jason decided against attempting Conestoga this year (he runs well on trails but only has one actual race under his belt with a 2nd one this month) and another decided to not run it either. I agree a known hazard like that is not acceptable for the race director to still have the race; I hope he moves the time of year it’s ran.

    Good luck getting into London! I have a sneaky feeling your odds are good just because you’re not sure if you want to run it. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy, it was awful. I am so glad you and Jason didn’t do it. It is a tough trail race, but I would love to do it. Not as long as the yellowjackets are an issue, though. Ha! Your logic about getting into London occurred to me too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Love the picture of the confessional box looks like an ominous lift, mmm, Heaven please. “Going up”. lol. So glad we don’t have those types of wasps here, isn’t running painful enough. Hopefully the powers that be will change months for everyone’s sake. How will social distancing work in a big marathon? Keep 1.5mtrs apart when overtaking. Hope you get in maybe?haha. So sad little business being so generous cant get what they need in supplies. Do other brands last as long?
    Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! It took me a minute to realize what you were referring to in your first comment. Then I figured out lift = elevator (to me)! 🙂 I am sure if the pandemic is still a big issue, the marathon will be canceled or postponed. You have a wonderful week too!

      Liked by 2 people

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