Monday, June 14, 2010

Why I race

Today's workout: Rest day

My hopes for this weekend's race were to run well on Sunday and to beat last year's time. Doing the first thing should have resulted in the second but despite everything I'd done, the results were exactly the same. I would have liked to PR on the 8K but I'm pleased with my overall experience. I'm on track for completing at least six races in 2010 which would equal the number of races I ran in 2009. I could have run even more this year but I blew it in May when I failed to check the date of a local 5K. Earlier that month I chose to skip the RXR 10K. That may have been a good call, as weather conditions were close to intolerable with the heat and high humidity.

Each time I race it motivates me to race again. There is little in life that provides such a satisfying set of activities as racing. First is selection of venue. There are many race choices but some events are more appealing than others. Then there's training, strategy and anticipation of the race. I love the week leading up to race day. It's a time to think about the possibility of accomplishing a new PR and a chance to try new things. I was going to try some extra caffeine before the start of yesterday's race but decided to skip that. Perhaps that would have helped my performance. The night before a race is also fun with the planning of race day gear and working out morning logistics.

Once at the event, it's the process of checking in, getting your numbers and receiving your t-shirt that makes it feel like something great is about to happen. The pinning of the bib, attaching the timing sensor and the countdown to the start builds to the excitement of lining up and waiting for the gun. The race itself is always a little different but certain things always remain the same. The rush off the line, navigation around slower starters, the moments of overtaking other runners or being passed despite all efforts to hold them off. There's a time in every race when I feel I've pushed as hard as I could and there's not going to be anything left at the end. Most of the time I find the energy to come over the finish line feeling like I'd done my best. I'm never going to be a competitive runner but that's not why I compete. The fun and satisfaction before, during and after a race makes the typical entry fee seem like the best bargain around.

2 comments:

  1. Good point.

    However, if I run and am in pretty good shape (for my age) why is: (A) that pear shaped, overweight woman always ahead of me (B) that senior citizen ahead of me and finally (C) that 12 yr. old kid, talking non stop, running backwards wearing flip-flops ahead of me.
    Fun stuff!

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  2. The first time I was passed in a race by people who I'd think couldn't run around the block without collapsing I felt humbled. On Sunday I watched the runners who came in after me and noticed a few that I'd have expected to finish higher up had I noticed them prior to the start.

    I know people ten years older than me who could beat me easily even if I had a five minute start on a 5K!

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