Why I Don’t Sign Up For Many Races Despite My Love of Running
I don’t sign up for a lot of races. I don’t have a ton of medals or bibs hanging in my room. I don’t look through every Active.com email that makes its way into my inbox.
In fact during my final 12 mile run before last year’s half (my first half) I actually thought about just pulling out of the race completely. I wondered why I was racing… for the medal? because that’s what runners do? because I was given a free entry? for the camaraderie?
I wondered why I was putting added pressure on myself when I could just run 13.1 miles for fun all on my own.
At the time I wondered if I was just scared that I wouldn’t finish the distance, but this is still something I think about today even though I am no longer intimidated by 13.1. (I’m not saying 13.1 is easy by any means, I’m just saying that I know I can do it).
Sure, I have running goals, but they are easily achieved through solitary runs. I don’t need races and I very much like running alone. But somehow crossing an official finish line feels like it validates my training. It helps me feel like I’ve “really” achieved a goal.
Races push me to try my very best. I guess that’s why I sign up for them every few months even though they give me anxiety… it’s to see how my training is progressing.
The 5K I am signed up to do in a couple weeks will be my first 5K in over 7 months! I am obviously hoping to see just a little improvement : ) The half at the end of the month will mark 3 months since my first half. I’m hoping to crush some goals that day too.
After the Princess Half I likely won’t race again until early fall as part of my marathon training, and then of course I will do the marathon in October.
My running coach and I haven’t really talked about plans for after that. I’d like to keep my marathon training going and run a 50K before the end of the year, but that may also get pushed to February 2015. There’s a 50K in my hometown that gets run every Feb that I’ve got my eye on… but of course all of this is dependent on my getting through marathon training intact.
My dream … what I am working to achieve.
So at most I will do five races this year, but more than likely only four:
- 1 5k
- 2 half marathons
- 1 full marathon
- 1 50k (maybe)
I guess as we get closer to the marathon my coach and I will talk about the 50K and how realistic it is. I picked my coach specifically because she is a rockin’ ultrarunner herself (who has won a handful of ultra races), so I trust her completely when it comes to these things.
I know that whether the 50K happens this year or next year, she will get me to my goal of running a 50-miler before I turn 30 in 2016. There is plenty of time!
So… I think I got off track a little bit. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t sign up for races a lot. I sign up for them to test myself, but I’ll never be that girl that signs up for 14 races in 2014. I am inspired by people who do, but that’s just not me, and I think that’s okay.
At first I thought I needed to sign up for races every weekend to prove I was a runner, but now I know running is just like everything else … everyone has their own preferences.
Hmm..this was a completely rambling post, sorry about that! I guess this is just what’s been on my mind lately.
What running / workout related things have been on your mind lately?
Do you like to race a lot or just a couple times a year?