75 Running Excuses To Prove “It Just Wasn’t My Day.”

runner jumps and smiles
With our handy list of excuses you’ll be feeling like this at mile 25 of your marathon, but still be able to hang with the most hardcore.

Have you been telling everyone that you’re fit and finally ready for an epic marathon, but concerned it might be very unpleasant to actually run as fast as you’ve been bragging you can? Are you afraid to “bend the rules” and trim a little off the course or pay that fast guy in your running club to run the race for you now that there are people who dedicate their lives to outing cheaters? We have the answer for you.

It just wasn’t my day.

You can have whatever goal you want, but with “It just wasn’t my day” and a handful of excuses reasons, you’ll fit right in at the after party and maintain the fantasy that you really are the fast marathoner of your dreams and that your friends believe you. We’ve compiled this handy list of reasons for you to choose from. We recommend a minimum of two, but no more than five for maximum effect. Too few and you’ll sound boring. Too many and you’ll sound like a paranoid lunatic.

  1. I accidentally ate some gluten.
  2. I couldn’t get to altitude.
  3. When I asked my Magic 8-Ball how my day would go it said “Outlook Not So Good.”
  4. I got poop on my shoe in the Port-a-Potty.

    When I walked into the Port-a-Potty after waiting in line for an hour
  5. My AlterG broke three weeks before race day.
  6. They didn’t have valet parking.
  7. The safety pins put holes in my $90 tank top.
  8. I forgot my race number in the car.
  9. I didn’t get enough donations for daily massages on my GoFundMe.
  10. I packed two left racing flats in my race bag. And I had forgotten to put the $45 silver-threaded anti-stink laces in.
  11. I had to wait to use the bathroom. Who could have expected so many people would need to use the bathroom at an early morning gathering of thousands of nervous people?
  12. I didn’t poop at least three times before the race. It’s a thing.
  13. The bathrooms were SO dirty.
  14. I got jabbed in the eye with someone’s selfie stick in the start corral.
  15. It was crowded! There were all these people around me.
  16. I hit the wall.
  17. I took my shirt off and got a sunburn.
  18. My heart rate went over 100 bpm!
  19. I got sweaty.
  20. I stopped sweating.
  21. I vomited. I mean, throwing up in your mouth counts too, right? Yeah, any throwing up counts.
  22. My shoelaces came untied.
  23. A spectator almost knocked me over.
  24. OMG they served the water in paper cups, you guys. PAPER. CUPS.
  25. When I passed the race photographer a woman in Target brand running shorts was next to me.

    Girl, when I saw that Target label I was like…
  26. My legs kinda hurt.
  27. My body wasn’t fat adapted yet.
  28. Solar flares.
  29. Someone laughed at me for wearing the race shirt in the race. Why the hell did they give us one in that bag of stuff then?
  30. There was this HUGE hill that wasn’t on the elevation map.
  31. My gut leaked.
  32. My compression socks were too tight.
  33. My fuel belt jostled too much. All the bottles fell out of it.
  34. AND I lost the picnic I packed in there!
  35. My CamelBak got a clog.
  36. I found out someone already ran a marathon while:
    • Taking selfies with hot guys
    • free bleeding
    • juggling
    • being old
    • nine months pregnant
  37. I found out the medals weren’t really made of metal.
  38. I got tangled in my tutu.
  39. I was screaming “NO MORE COWBELL!” But they kept ringing those stupid things.
  40. I was offended by the signs people were holding.
  41. My race nutrition plan was all off. I took too many gels.
  42. I didn’t take enough gels.
  43. I got dehydrated.
  44. I got hyponatremia!
  45. I got third degree lactic acid burns.
  46. I forgot my lucky headband with the stupid saying on it.
  47. I forgot to take my EPO.

    When Weatheronline said it was going to be sunny and 80 on my 700th refresh
  48. The weather was too:
    • hot
    • cold
    • rainy
    • snowy
    • sleety
    • humidy
    • windy
    • There was WEATHER.
  49. All around me people were dropping like flies, walking through the water stations and I saw a guy stretching his calf. It was soooooo bad.
  50. It was a BRAZILIAN degrees! It was like 67 degrees and sunny! I could have died.
  51. We were running though a major metropolitan area full of water, Gatorade, food, and emergency medical personnel at the ready. How were we supposed to succeed under those conditions? Nightmare!
  52. Mercury was in retrograde
  53. The water was tepid.
  54. I got too hot in my banana costume.
  55. The motor in my shoes died.
  56. The free bananas were not organic locally sourced free-range plantain hybrids.
  57. I had to live tweet the race every half mile and my thumb got a cramp.
  58. My insoles started flapping out of my shoes.
  59. The course was too:
    • flat
    • hilly
    • straight
    • curved
    • narrow
    • wide
    • crowded
    • desolate
    • annoying
    • beneath me
    • many miles
  60. There were all these people with like “I’m raising money for cancer patients” t-shirts and I’m like, seriously?? Who wants to think about cancer patients during a race?
  61. A water station volunteer looked at me funny.
  62. The asphalt was harder than I’m used to.
  63. I forgot to charge my new watch; how was I supposed to dial in race pace without an instantaneous read on my vertical oscillation?
  64. Spandex gave me a wedgie.
  65. My pace band fell off so I didn’t realize I was running 10:15 when I was supposed to be running 6:15s.
  66. They closed the roads and my fans couldn’t drive around to cheer for me and bring me off-course aid at their 16 designated locations.
  67. The guy in the hotdog suit passed me

    COME ON, hotdog suit guy! WTF!?
  68. My name wasn’t on my bib so nobody cheered for me.
  69. They wouldn’t bring out tape for me to break at the finish.
  70. The bagels were non-artisanal.
  71. Ew, some of the other runners had cellulite.
  72. My abs were too separated.
  73. Ugh these new shoes weigh an ounce more than the old model.
  74. The pack of 9 essential oils I bought only came with 8 essential oils in it.
  75. I saw Bart Yasso taking a selfie with someone else and I’m still dealing with the feelings of betrayal and rejection.

What’s your favorite excuse?

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. By day she's a camera assistant for films and tv in New York, and by night she's on a quest for zen in the 10k. Her writing is a mix of satirical humor, finding wholeness as an average runner, cheering for runners at all paces and more.

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  1. Thanks for the laugh today!!! I’m dying at #28 and #35. I can now go and enjoy my run and laugh to myself