Alternate title: The time I LOST MY KEY at a race.
Hello! I woke up before the sun and my alarm this morning to run the Avocado Half Marathon. My alarm was set for 4:28, but I woke up a few minutes after 4am and decided to get up. I wasn’t sure where the race was exactly so it was a good idea.
Plus, I had to allow time to get sunblock in my eye…
I set out most of my stuff the night before and made oatmeal and iced coffee before heading out.
The race was in Fallbrook,CA which is only about 60 miles away. Oddly enough – I had never heard of this city before though! Luckily the drive was easy peasy and I got there without any issues. (The issues came later though…)
The shuttle buses to the start and packet pick up were also seamless. It’s a small race so bathrooms and bag check were easy too.
I actually wasn’t going to get a shirt or bag check because it’s a hassle but when I saw the shirt had my beloved avocado on it I had to have one! I might give it to my mom in exchange for raiding her avocado stash
This is the inaugural Avocado Half Marathon. Even though it’s a new race it was very well organized and there were a lot of volunteers in yellow tee-shirts.
I went to line up and met reader Victoria – Hi! How’d it go?
Then, I took one last picture before I put my phone in my belt and realized…
MY CAR KEY WASN’T THERE!!!?!?!?!?!!
There were 4 minutes until the start so I ran back to the bib pick-up to check if left it there. No.
I ran to restrooms to see if I had left it there. No.
I traced my steps from the bathroom to the bib pick-up. No.
I went to the bag check (again) and checked there. No.
I wasn’t sure what to do so I told a few volunteers that I lost my key. I let them know I was going to go run and if someone found a key it was probably mine.
Then, I headed back to the start just in time for the gun to go off so I jumped in line and ran.
But, I started thinking about how I was 60 miles from home… Alone… And Ben was going to be unavailable all day to come help me. And my mom is probably like 120 miles away. I was stressing out.
So, when I hit the first big hill I stopped to make a call.
I stopped 2 other times to text back and forth. I just wanted a Plan B in case I didn’t find it.
The race was VERY HILLY. I stopped 3 times total to check my phone and took a few pictures since I was walking anyway.
At one point I was walking up a hill and some guy came up beside me and was like “Okay!” as in “Okay stop walking and get it the hell together!”
That made me run again and we were pretty close the rest of the race. He beat me but came back and gave me a ‘high five’ at the finish.
There were avocados at the finish, but I didn’t see them. But – I wasn’t looking either, I was most concerned with finding my key!!
I took one quick picture and was about to search for my key when one of the volunteers came up to me and said they FOUND MY KEY! AHHHHH!!!
So, I rushed back to the bag check and met a reader, Blair who WON the race on the way there!! Awesome!!
(I’m sorry, I forgot your name because my brain was all off from the key thing.)
My key. Oh my gosh – getting this back helped my tiny black heart beat again!
Mike saved the day! Seriously. I am so grateful that the volunteers were so helpful and cared that I lost my key. The fact that April saw me and told me about it and Mike held on to it for me – very very awesome of them!!
On the way back back I made a very important stop for watermelon. Oh yeah.
And the award for best medal ribbon goes to… The Avocado Half Marathon!
Question: Have you ever lost your key? When? Did you freak out? Did you find it??
Disclaimer: A rep from the Avocado Marathon provided me with this bib. All opinions are my own.
I definitely would have been FREAKING out!!! I would have had a hard time concentrating, but then I would have thought, there’s nothing you can do about it, run the race! Glad you found it! What a relief!
I wanted to add that I’m the one that held the key. there were others that found it and passed it on to me. it was a team effort! by the way, you sat next to my bride on the shuttle and were sharing your running stories with her. small world..
Lindsey @ RunFrecklesRun.com says
I have not lost a key, but I have locked myself out of my car.
Renae @ MissFit Mixed Chick says
I’ve lost my key during my first 10 miler race. I had no one there with me. I lost it about mile 6. I was doing good until then. Once I realized I lost my key, that was the only thing I could focus on.
So glad you found your key! I am always paranoid I’m going to lose mine on a run. I safety pin it to the inside of my waistband so that baby’s not going anywhere. I actually keep the safety pin on my key ring so I never have to remember it. One less thing to think about 🙂
Shannon in Tustin says
So glad someone found the key! Those keys aren’t cheap… what a super-cool ribbon (from February) and race medal. Win!!
Kailin @ Logs and Thoughts says
I have story about when my car got towed during a race…
I was doing an Ironman and didn’t have a support crew (if you ever do an Ironman, have at least 2 people come with you!), so I parked my car at the finish and walked to the start (maybe 2 miles) with all my stuff. Swam the swim, rode the bike, started the run, and ran past where I’d parked my car in the early morning. BUT my car wasn’t there! I freaked out. This was mile 2 of the marathon and I was already exhausted, and I was hours from home with no one with me. There were a couple police officers on the next corner and I asked how long they’d be there. They said all day, so I was like, “Well, I guess I’ll be back in a few hours to chat because my car is missing!” I think they didn’t know what to think of me.
For the next mile, I looked in every parking lot and on every side street to see whether it was close. I mean, it was obviously an athlete’s car, with a bike race and Ironman/triathlon stickers on it. Nothing. So, for the next 23 miles, all I could think about what, “When I finish, I have to deal with this. I don’t want to deal with this, so I’m going to take as long as possible.” And for real, I walked the marathon, trying to put off finishing. It was the worst.
When I finished, and after I had a good long cry at the finish line, I found some (or the same) police and asked them where it might be. Of course they knew–it had been towed, yes, but only to the lot of the police building not more than a block away. However, this lot had brick walls around it so although I’d run past it and been looking for my car, I hadn’t seen it.
Thank God it wasn’t far and I really didn’t have to deal with it. And I went back to conquer the same race again the next year, with a support crew and without parking on the course 🙂
Wait! Am I reading the date on that medal correctly? 2/22/14?
I would’ve been completely distracted for 13.1 miles! I accidentally threw my car key away in a dumpster–luckily I had a spare but now I am so careful about that one and only spare!
I lost my debit card at the finish line of a half and it was gone forever- so frustrating too because I had both my debit and my id in my pocket and gotten my phone out and I heard a man behind me say “Someone lost their debit card” and I was like meh, not me. But it was, no bueno.
Cyanne (RunStretchGo) says
I’ve never lost my key, but I lost my ID once on a run when I was traveling for work. Thankfully I’d stopped to call my boyfriend to wake him up, and realized it was gone before I’d gotten back to my hotel. I retraced my steps and thankfully found it pretty quickly because I remembered the places where it could have happened. It was the scariest 20 minutes of my life. I could still be stuck in Nashville 2 years later.
You know you are an experienced race runner when, you don’t completely fall apart b/c of losing your car key! Gold star to you for staying mentally together! 🙂
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun says
I have never lots my key but I don’t even know if I could race if I did I would be thinking about it the ENTIRE time! Glad you were able to finish the race and found the key!
I read this, and immediately stood up to put my key BACK on my key ring. (I had it off from a 5K this morning). Then laughed at myself for the panic that had come over me thinking about my lonely key and thought I had to come and send you some love and say so sorry about your key but hooray for finding it. 🙂
Best way to never lose your key or ID? Put them in your bra. My running mentor taught me this tip ten years ago and it has been the best advice I have ever received. My running belt only carries my phone and snacks.
Carrie Challoner says
Glad you found your key, great blog I have when been on a run and lost my house keys and had no phone on me so had to stay out running until someone got back home.
Glad you found your key! 2weeks ago lost my key on a rainy 20 mile training run. To make a long story short I ended up having to pay $100 to break in to my car and $350 for a new key. And I was so looking forward to climbing in to my warm dry car, ha!
wow, so glad you found your key! i would have been a nervous wreck. you finished the race with a great time, despite stopping to make phone calls – congrats! =)
Jen @ ConcreteNCoffee says
Damn! Sorry you had to start your race in such a panic! I have lost many a thing (or mindlessly left them somewhere); keys, wallet, wedding ring, my brain…
The Avocado Half seems like a pretty awesome race. If I lived in CA I’d be all about running it, and eating lots of avo (probably in the form of guac, with tacos) later!
Victoria M. says
Glad you found your key!! And glad I finally got to say hello at the start line, you’re as beautiful as you come across 🙂 I had a fantastic time at the race, came in just after you at 1:52. I heard the 5k’ers took all the avocados, but I also heard they were not anywhere close to ripe so it’s a wash I think. Hope to see you again, Utah Valley full in June perhaps??
Amy H. @ Run with Perseverance says
I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed the incorrect date on the medal 🙂 I thought I was going crazy!
When I put my house key in my Spibelt on runs around my neighbor, I CONSTANTLY feel it during my run to make sure it’s still in there. My worst fear is to take out my iPod and my key fall out in the process. Glad someone found yours!!!
Kris O says
Great medal, great ribbon but isn’t it April? Is there a good story behind the date on the medal being off? So glad they weren’t at the bottom of the Port-a-Potty with my friend’s camera. Yes, she did go in after it. No, I don’t run with her anymore…
Oh.my.gosh. That is the worst 🙁
LOVE that medal!!
I hate the feeling of losing something! Worst feeling ever! I’ve never lost my keys thank goodness.. Although I’ve locked them in my car before…
Ive lost a watch and my garmin ant+ and it’s driving me crazy not knowing where it is! Casualty of moving i guess but if you have a spare ant+, or know someone that does, could you send it my way?!
I’ve totally lost my key before, but it was just the key to my house and thankfully my roommate was home. Otherwise I would have really been SOL. Is the date wrong on their medal though? Looks like it’s supposed to have been in February…
Yeah, the race organizers had to change the date of the race. I didn’t even notice the wrong date until someone pointed it out!
I lost my car key once when I was wearing a new jacket. There was a defect and the pocket seams weren’t closed all the way. Luckily I was only going for a short morning run and I was only a few miles away from home (and my parents and a spare key), so I didn’t panic. I just retraced the half mile or so back to my car and found it on the ground! Plus it was a good way to add a little more distance 🙂 I was able to return the jacket (after washing it!) and now I obsessively check to make sure my key is in the right place when I run!
Congrats on your race! Just curious, is this an old post…or is the date wrong on the medal? It says 2/22/14 and i thought it would be funny if it was a wrong date. …my mind works in weird ways.
The race organizers had to change the date of the race for some reason ( I think permits or something). I guess they had already ordered the medals.
Your blog is super.i just discovered it. Very inspirational
Anna @ That DAMM Runner says
So funny (not really) that you posted about losing your key today! For some reason on my run today I kept touching my shorts pocket to make sure it was still there. Every mile I put my hand down to see if it was still there. I never do that but for some reason I was really concerned today!!
Ah! Funny coincidence – glad you had your key!! I feel like I’m going to do that for a long time now.
I lost my keys last month on a college field trip. It ended up falling out of my pocket right after I had parked and were on a sidewalk, but it snowed 8 inches that day and once I realized I had lost it, it was covered. I went back to all 8 stops we made on the trip (it was a bird-sighting trip) in the snow with no luck. I ended up having to spend $200 for a tow and a new key just to have my old keys returned to me the very next day when the snow melted and some one turned it in to a secretary. I am SO glad you found it!
Do you read Trying to Heal – she works with birds (I have no idea what that’s called). But, sometimes she posts about her job or bird pictures. Stuff like this… http://tryingtoheal.com/2014/01/30/bird-banding-time/
Megan @ The Skinny-Life says
Never lost to key before but I’ve had a few moments where I thought I did and had a momentary skip in my heart beat. You are really lucky to get yours back! What’s are the chances?
Becky @ Ok, so here's the plan says
I haven’t lost my key while running (yet), but I did lose it once and went into a blind panic. It ended up being in a bag of groceries in the trunk of my friend’s car.
That medal is awesome – I love that there’s an avocado half marathon!
I miss living in San Diego for these awesome little races! Fallbrook and Rainbow are two of my favorite hidden gems in north county. I have a couple friends in Fallbrook and I miss visiting them and buying supah fresh avocados!
I lost my key once. It was the worst. I ran a race with reusable timing chips that tied to my shoelaces, where I had also tied my car key. I untied my laces to take off the timer at the end of the race and went to get food. Ten minutes later I realized my key was gone. I ended up wandering around in circles for an hour scanning the ground until a volunteer found it for me. This was a huge thanksgiving turkey trot with thousands of runners so I probably would have been able to hitch a ride home and come back later with my extra key, but fortunately it did not come to that. This is why I stopped buying running pants that don’t have a zip pocket on the waistband!
I’m glad you found your key too! So so stressful while it’s lost!!
Congrats for finishing and doing a great job! I don’t know if I would have been able to run. I always feel like if I have too much stress or anxiety 9too many things on my mind) it makes my runs realllly hard so applause to you! Love the shirt and the medal.
Jojo @ RunFastEatLots says
Haha once I lost my key and looked all over for it. I left it in the ignition. Doh!
Losing keys is the WORST. I managed to drop a set off of a raft into the Sacramento River delta once. Needless to say I was unable to retrieve those bad-boys. I ended up calling triple A and using my 100 miles of towing to get my car towed all the way back to my house. Once I got home I had to break into my own house with a credit card to get at my spare. In retrospect it all worked out OK in the end, but I certainly had a prolonged moment of panic as I watched my keys sink into the watery depths.
Quick question. I am in the market for a GPS running watch. How do you like the Timex? I read a couple of reviews that you can’t include a warm up in the interval settings, that you have to do it manually? Have you tried that or does it not matter to you?
I have never lost my key. I do check for it often when I’m running.
I hate when that happens and I always freak out. The trick is to calm down and retrace your steps. Great medal.
Losing Lindy says
oh wow, I would have been freaking out…so happy they found it, love the medal!
Alyssa @ Lyss the Nutritionist says
Oh man I got anxiety just thinking about that! I don’t know if I would’ve even been able to run. I’m so glad you found your key!
That’s a really cute medal! I would’ve been really distracted running a race if I didn’t have my key, and I’m glad someone found it for you.
I’ve lost my keys twice… Once night snowboarding… It was miserable but someone ended up finding it on the run and bringing it to us after a few hours of pure panic.
The next time was mountain biking a few hours outside of boulder Colorado with no phone service. I biked towards boulder until I had cell service and called a friend with a big car. Then had to have my mom mail me a key and go back and get my car a week later. #fail
I have this plastic valet key for my Mini that I run with. I had it in a pocket with my GU and it flew out when I grabbed the GU. Luckily I realized it happened and stopped to grab it while trying to not get trampled by the other runners in the race. I did freak for a sec as it could have broken if too many feet stomped on it!
Where did they find the key?
Blair Williams says
Woo! I’m the name-less girl/winner/reader you met while running to retrieve your key!
In highschool a friend and I lost her key while on a beach run! Luckily, she had an old car. We were able to manually push the window down an inch, then (no joke) dangled a looped shoelace down to the lock, hooked it and pulled it up to unlock the door. With the car unlocked we were able to retrieve a cell phone and call her mom to bring a spare. Probably the most resourceful thing I’ve ever done!
Blair! Great to meet you! Congratulations again – you are awesome 🙂
Amy @ runlikeabird says
I totally get that freak-out session; I hate not having access to a key! Luckily my dad has been able to bail me out each time it has happened. If I don’t have a zipper pocket on my capris or top, I loop the key through my shoelaces (pull one lace through the last grommet, then string the key on, then pull the lace back through the grommet). Works for me; I don’t spend the whole run looking down to check and make sure it’s still there.
So glad things worked out, and hooray for MIKE!
No, I’ve never lost my keys (knocking on wood) but I’ve had a migraine so bad I couldn’t find my car. I spent an hour walking around the car garage pushing the panic button listening for it, crying, and trying to get my husband to come help me. It was the worst experience ever. Ridiculous in hindsight but really, when I’ve got a migraine that bad I can’t think let alone find my way around a puzzle of a garage and the key was setting off someone else’s car by some strange coincidence.
[email protected] says
I used to tie my key to my shoe lace and I would look down constantly to make sure it didn’t come untied or fall off. Now my car has a keypad which is such a great feature for runners!
sally @ sweat out the small stuff says
you had a guardian angel today for sure! The only thing that comes close is I commuted home from work via bus to where my car was parked only to realize i left my keys at the office. (an hour and 20 min bus ride from office to where car was) That was really bad! And it was before my parents (the only people who had a spare key) had call – waiting and before i had a cell phone. So I called from a pay phone getting a busy signal for almost an hour. My mom was catching up with an old friend! Eventually I got through and she sent my dad to bring me my spare car key. Needless to say it was about 4 hours after I first left the office.
So glad you got your key back and that avocado shirt! Next up the Watermelon Half Marathon….hmmmm….
What a great time for stopping a few times! So happy you finished despite being worried! I don’t know if I could have done that! So happy you found your key!
So glad you found your key!! And that is an awesome time for stopping 3 times!!!! Good job!!!
That is a cute shirt! I am glad you found your key! I would have been a nervous wreck!