We all get a little air-headed at times. Forgetting why you walked into a room. Blanking on meeting up with your friend. Not remembering where the heck you left your keys or wallet or glasses or phone or etc…
Whenever we get busy or distracted or sleep-deprived (or a combination) we can momentarily become related to the absent-minded professor. And this condition also applies to running and races.
People may laugh at our pre-race runner’s OCD where we lay out all of our clothing and gear in one tight pile (even pinning the bib to our shirts ahead of time) and double, triple and even quadruple checking to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything. And sure we are admittedly a bit crazy, but there is a method to our madness. It’s partially to make sure we don’t have a “whoops” moment where we show up at a race missing a crucial piece of gear.
Of course, it still happens but like little race insurance agents, we’re doing our best to mitigate the risk.
I bring this up because last week I forgot to bring my Garmin watch for one of my training runs. I didn’t discover my blunder until I had already arrived at the running path and I wasn’t going to drive home to get it. It annoyed me because the night before I specifically remembered thinking that I needed to get my watch off of the charger and put it with my clothes. Nope. Forgot. Didn’t do it.
So I went forward with my run without my little wrist-based technological crutch. It was a little weird at first not knowing my pace or my run/walk intervals. I think I even instinctively reached for my wrist at least 3 or 4 times to touch the watch that wasn’t there.
In the end, the run went fine. Since I’d run the route many times before, I knew the course and where the turnaround point was. And as for my pace, I just listened to my body and took a walk break where it made sense. It was actually kind of nice to unplug for a change of pace (I did have my headphones on, so I wasn’t completely off the grid).
In the past, I’ve also forgotten my water bottle, headphones and other items. But fortunately, I haven’t ever forgotten a key item (like my shoes) that’d utterly prevent me from doing a run or competing in a race (knock on wood).
So while I will endeavor to not leave my watch behind again, I’m sure there will be future forgetful moments. At least it’ll be interesting.
And I always double check to make sure I’ve got on shorts.
Be mindful… and Run on!
Have you ever forgotten an important item for a race or long run? What did you do?