You’re My Favorite Mistake


The Eugene Marathon is this weekend. It’s a race that will always be held close to my heart as my favorite mistake after running it last year. It was an epic last 10K meltdown where I lost 7 minutes off my pace…..ouch. I can laugh it off now as I’ve learned from the many mistakes made that day. At the time however I was devastated. I remember calling Coach Felty and screaming into my iphone “I FAILED!!!!” He calmly replied “Don’t go selling all your gear on ebay just yet.” 🙂

Mistake #1 I was running scared. Travels plans were all over the place. My husband decided to float under the sea in a nuclear powered submarine and my kids were on my mind. They were perfectly safe with family but I couldn’t help to feel Mommy guilt that it was others caring for them besides the Mr. or myself. I stood on the starting line with doubt & fear in my heart, worried I couldn’t pull the pace off. Nervousness and a little fear is okay….Doubt is not. Doubt makes you start back another quarter mile from the rest of the field. At Eugene (pic below) I was running with a friend, Mark Cook, who was a coworker of the Mr’s and an All-Navy Marathoner. He had just run Boston two weeks prior to this race so, um, WOW. That’s what I call hardcore. Do I look a little worried about the time/pace/evening news?!?! Stop freaking out Kris!

Mistake #2 Nutrition- For the first time I was allowed my own bottles at the elite bottle stations. See below how cute mine were….sadly cuteness does not make one faster. I should have diluted my bottles more. I also only had three bottles so they were concentrated and I drank too much too quickly before chucking them to the side. I’ve learned now my stomach cannot handle anything more than a few small sips of alternating Gatorade and water at each mile. This was an amateur hour mistake.

Mistake #3 I stopped. I am embarrassed to admit this (too much info alert) but I stopped use the bathroom. Unless you have to DNF for a medical reason do not EVER stop. Your body thinks “Awwwwww Yeah we are DONE!” and shuts down. Trying to get that motor running again is near impossible. Just keep that train a rollin.

So there you have it folks…..a quick sum up of “My Favorite (Marathon) Mistake”. It’s one I would NEVER take back. I truly believe you have to pick yourself up off the floor once, twice, 100 times before you succeed. If you’re not screwing up then your goals are not set high enough. Good Luck to my friends running Eugene!! The medals are AWESOME. Wish I could be with you especially for the pancake after party! Good Luck to readers racing any races weekend!

Any Marathon Mistakes you would like to add?

Eugene serves pancakes after the race (and the winner gets a years supply!!) What was your favorite finish line, race-provided food? Or any non race-provided favs?


40 thoughts on “You’re My Favorite Mistake

  1. Thanks for posting this! I’m in serious doubt mode about this weekend’s race and this reminded me to get my mental wreck in check 🙂

    And after any race I love me some chocolate coconut milk…not a food, but still my fave!


  2. Thank you for sharing all of this! Especially the part about doubt putting you a quarter mile back – what a great way to think about that in terms of how it effects your race. I will keep this whole post in my mind as I’m running the country music marathon this weekend!


  3. I have crashed between 19- 22 in every marathon I have run… I have changed my nutrition hydration and my pace.. I just cannot figure out what is happening.. I drop like a leaf. I am sure it is not mental… I do have a thyroid condition.. Kris, I can’t figure it out. For me the marathon is like dating the wrong guy… He shits on me and breaks my heart at the end of our relationship every single time and, I blame myself. I keep going back for more… guess I can’t resist a bad boy. Think I just sorted out my next blog post in your comment section. Thank you for the therapy session love… sorry to dump my boyfriend stories on you. xo


    • Oh my gosh, I so feel you! After Eugene I was very very upset. My twitter profile said “My relationships are perfect. It’s the marathon that breaks my heart.” How melodramatic of me!! ha ha ha. You are right though, we invest SO much time, effort, and emotion into one 26.2 mile race. For me it took 4 marathons of so-so running to finally get it together. Chicago last fall I drank a 2-3 tiny sips at EVERY station and took Hammer Endurolytes and for once did not hit a wall. I also watched my nutrition the day before….ate a HUGE lunch and a tiny dinner early. Who knows if that concoction will work for me next time…it really ends up being such a wild card sometimes. I’m hoping you find what works for you!! Keeping my fingers crossed you do soon!

      Oh and Bad boys are the BEST of course 😉


  4. excuse me? Free pancakes? I will become an elite runner just to win that race and have my years supply. I kid of course.

    These are great lessons Kris. Everyone obviously has bad races but I love learning from them and becoming stronger!


  5. Yep. I don’t recommend running injured. I had torn cartilage in my hip (which, in my defense I didn’t definitively know about at the time) and the race was doomed from the start. I absolutely should have DNF but I was too prideful so I slogged alone. My mile/min pace was about as fast as I can walk-and of course the whole time I’m freaking out as to why my legs won’t move at the pace they were capable of last season. Lesson learned-don’t be a hero!


  6. Thanks for following my blog! I agree on stopping, although I guess if you have tummy troubles during a marathon, it’s best to stop so you can at least possibly complete it, if you have to stop. When I ran my half there wasn’t even a portapotty on the course anyway, so if I wanted to stop I was just SOL.

    Good luck on your race this weekend! I love how they serve pancakes afterward too! Great post-race refueling there :).


  7. Running scared. Whew. While training for my first marathon (Chicago 2008), I passed out during a 16mi and spent the rest of my training doubting my body’s ability to handle the work. I allowed myself to run scared for years after that, only recently finding the strength to tell myself to buck up and stop making excuses.

    10/10/10 was abysmal for many many reasons, but one of the biggest mistakes I made was focusing on the external. I was so lucky to have a host of friends and family cheering me on along the way, but I was so focused on acknowledging them on the sidelines (I felt guilty that someone might come out to cheer for me and miss seeing me altogether), that I couldn’t get my mind focused on the race ahead of me.

    Excited to leave it all on the course and celebrate a strong finish with you in Oct at Twin Cities!


  8. Thanks for sharing your favorite mistake. You have obviously learned from it because you have only gotten faster and are such a SPEED RACER. Although I have not run 26.2 yet officially I can definitely agree with you 100% on mistake #3 I did this at my last debacle of a race (Gasparilla Distance Classic) and I could never get myself going again. That was my first and last potty stop that I’ll ever take in a race. Run Happy!!! 🙂


    • How should I know? I don’t operate those things. 😉 They essentially float
      every time they raise in depth, it’s all about gaining/releasing buoyancy. Next time though I will type “drive”.


  9. Oh my goodness you did learn a lot!! I think there is definitely value in EVERY race! whether a PR occurs or not, there is always something to pick out both positive and negative! I am AWFUL at fueling while running…I did my first marathon without any fuel or hydration, the next two were with 1 GU…I’ve got 6-months to figure it out before Chicago! 🙂
    I hope you’ve been having a great week!


  10. Live and learn, right? I think every marathon I’ve run I’ve learned something new. My biggest mistake was years ago the night before the Phila. marathon. For some stupid reason I though a high-fiber meal the evening before the race would work well. I believe it was a veggie stir-fry (think lots of broccoli). Oh did I pay the next day!


  11. I have such trouble keeping food down immediately after a race that I don’t think I’d have a favorite! Do they give doggie bags? That’d be better, in my opinion. Have an amazing race and good luck!!


  12. Pingback: Nashville Fun and Race Recap Part 1 « msfitrunner

  13. I love hot chicken soup at the finish! A lot of our October-April races here in Wisconsin are really cold and snowy, and soup is awesome when you’re frozen from head to toe. Plus- we have beer at almost all of them! 🙂


  14. Kris, thanks for sending me your link. I am going to link back to this post as one of my favorite of the week in my weekly newsletter. If you want to share it with your friends and family subscribe to the newsletter at so you don’t miss it when it comes out Monday. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.


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