Scary Scenario 1: You Show Up Late to a Race1 of 15
Being late is fear inducing for anyone, but runners tend to be a punctual bunch, so arriving late is a real horror story.
Survive It: Fortunately, most races are chip-timed these days, so just head straight to the starting line and do your best. You never know--that extra adrenaline could push you to a new personal record.
Scary Scenario 2: You Fart During a Group Run2 of 15
In this stinky scenario, you're probably slightly embarrassed, but the real lingering fear is that your running buddies will ice you out on account of your faux pas.
Survive It: There's no need to panic. Most runners have done this in front of their running buddies a time or two, so either make a joke about it or ignore it and keep running.
Scary Scenario 3: Your Nipples Bleed3 of 15
The sight of blood coming from your body at any time can be quite frightening. This scary situation happens to many men while running long distances in a shirt that causes chafing.
Survive It: If you're planning to run in a shirt over a long distance, try anti-chafing lube. You'll be free of bloody nipples, as well as the screaming shower scene that comes along with 'em.
Scary Scenario 4: You Forgot Your GPS Device4 of 15
This is a truly horrifying scenario for many runners. How can anyone possibly run without a GPS device? It didn't happen if you don't record it via watch, right?
Survive It: Just run anyway. Take a look at a clock, and remember what time you started. Enjoy running at whatever pace your body feels like, and vow to never forget your watch again.
Scary Scenario 5: Your Headphones are Dead5 of 15
"Battery...at...10...percent," your headphones drone in a monotonous voice that's clearly much too calm for the horrible situation you're about to face. As precious daylight fades, you wonder whether it might just be better to go home, charge up and run later.
Survive It: You're just going to have to suck this one up. There are many benefits to running in silence, so take the opportunity to listen to the natural noises around you and the sound of your own labored breathing.
Scary Scenario 6: You Really Gotta Go6 of 15
While this may be number one on some runners' lists of frightening experiences, others may see it as more commonplace. The bottom line is that it's never fun having to use the restroom at any point during your run--especially if there isn't a facility in sight.
Survive It: If you can plan your runs so that you know where restrooms are located along the way, then definitely do so. If not, sometimes you have no choice but to seek out other options. A gas station, a restaurant or, unfortunately, sometimes a bush will just have to do. Most runners have been through it, and survived to tell the tale.
Scenario 7: You Feel Dizzy7 of 15
You start your run and you get a weird feeling. You're dizzy, and it's not because you've eaten too much Halloween candy.
Survive It: Hopefully, you're running with a friend, and you can stop and alert them. If you're alone, stop and walk and if things feel worse, sit down. If you started your run feeling hungry, it could be low blood sugar. In that case, a sip of sports drink or a gel will help very quickly. In addition, drink some water and allow some time to see if you start feeling better.
Scenario 8: You Get Lost8 of 15
Getting lost while on a run can be truly terrifying, especially if you don't know your surroundings. While some may see it as an adventure, others may disagree--especially if you're low on water or running in extreme temperatures.
Survive It: Always run with ID and a credit card. Know your route, tell others how long you plan to be out running and always pay attention to your surroundings. If you get lost and you have a smartphone, you can use it to find out where you are or to call for help. If not, find a safe place to stop and get your bearings.
Scenario 9: You Are Two Safety Pins Short9 of 15
Race day is here. You've trained, chowed down on your pre-race meal, strapped on your running shoes and arrived at the registration table. You pick up your bib only to find that your race packet only contains two safety pins. Only two? Oh, the horror!
Survive It: First of all, many seasoned runners keep spare pins in their wallet or car (dorky, but true). If you're not the MacGyver of 5Ks, though, don't despair. Make your way back to the registration table, and look to see if there's a bin of pins. If you don't see one, just ask. Organizers are known to keep a few hundred pins on hand.
Scenario 10: A Ghost Opens Your Porta-Potty10 of 15
After waiting in an infinitely long line for your last chance to pee before the big race, you are overwhelmed with relief. It's stuffy and warm in the old latrine, which helps you relax as you visualize your opening stride. And then, in an instant, you are pulled away from your mindful moment by a cold breeze. The door is open! Your pants are down! Another participant is standing before you, a look of horror painted on her face. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, the door slams shut. And, okay, so maybe it wasn't a ghost--just your own hasty stupidity.
Survive It: This solution is simple, and a life lesson for all to learn: Always lock the porta-potty door.
Scenario 11: You Hear Plodding Footsteps Behind You11 of 15
Picture yourself out on your favorite running route, enjoying the fresh air and logging some easy miles. Then, all of a sudden, you hear the noise that gives every runner pause: Footsteps behind you. The panting comes next, but this isn't a predator or a madman on the loose. No, it's another runner looking to pass you. Chills run down your spine, and you imagine your pride is about to be shattered. You speed up, and try to sustain a pace that is not quite your own. Eventually, though, you slow to a crawl, and the happy runner passes you with a patronizing wave.
Survive It: Running is about both mental and physical toughness. A key part of mental toughness is knowing your limitations, and just trying to be the best runner you can be on any given day. That means no impromptu footraces with others on your course. Don't be afraid of the people who pass you--just know you might catch up to them someday.
Scenario 12: You Forget Your Socks12 of 15
You're normally right on top of your packing game, but not today. Rummaging through your running bag, you pull out your favorite running leggings, your sports bra, your top and your shoes. But, alas, your socks are missing!
Survive It: Luckily, many good running shoes can be worn for several miles without socks. If your shoes fit you properly and there's little-to-no movement of your foot inside your shoe, you should be ready to roll--or run. However, to save your feet from potential blisters, always keep Body Glide, Band-Aids or Vaseline in your bag, and use them where you're prone to blistering.
Scenario 13: You Lose a Toenail13 of 15
In the annals of gore, the loss of a toenail ranks pretty high. It starts with bruising and pain, and then all of a sudden the little guy's gone--leaving nothing but a gross nail bed behind.
Survive It: First, check your shoes to make sure they're at least a half-size bigger than you normally wear to prevent the loss of any more toenails. Next, if the toenail is still attached, don't pull it off. Let nature do its grisly job, and it'll come off on its own. Finally, don't worry. It'll grow back, and as the saying goes, "Toenails are for sissies."
Scenario 14: You Get Injured14 of 15
What's a runner's real number one fear? Not being able to run when an ankle, hamstring or IT band injury relegates you to your couch.
Survive It: It's going to take a lot of patience and hard work, but with proper rest, treatment and re-conditioning, you can avoid being completely derailed. There are even ways to keep up your aerobic endurance without running while you heal. Ever try cycling? Now that's a real nightmare.