Today I’m the host of Take It and Run Thursday for the Runner’s Lounge. I’ve been looking forward to this for months! I enjoy reading everyone’s contributions each week and I’m really looking to hearing what you all have to say.
So, my question for this week was this:
We’ve all discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run?
Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else? Tell me how you decide where and when to race. Also, I’m currently on a quest to run a race in every state. Please tell me–and others about a particular race you’ve run that is not to be missed.
I guess I should answer my own questions, huh?
Why do I race? Pretty much the obvious reason – I need external motivation to improve my running. I’ve run on and off for years as a way to keep my weight where I want it and to keep depression at bay. Starting to run races, however, has taken my running to a whole new level. My longest run before I started racing was 4 miles. Now, that’s my minimum run length. I never would have pushed my body to achieve the endurance I now have if I hadn’t trained for a marathon. In fact, I really need to get a half marathon on the calendar soon as I’m struggling to find the motivation to get past 10 miles on my long runs.
Also, I run by myself. Running races gives me a chance to interact with my IRL running community (as opposed to all the cool runners in my computer). It’s fun to chat with people I’ve never met and challenge myself at the end of a race to keep up with (or pass) another runner.
As for choosing races, for the most part, races have to be either 1)walking distance to my house or 2) in a state in which I haven’t raced. I’m lucky in that I have 3 or 4 races every year that start within a mile of my house. These go on my calendar as soon as they are announced and the rest of my racing schedule works around them. The next most important category for me is new states. I raced in 6 new states this year (plus 2 in prior years), so I have 42 more states to go and 10.5 years to hit 50 by age 50. I try to find a race anytime we travel out of the area. Also, since Beer Geek loves to travel to new brewpubs/breweries and to geographic “oddities”, I can usually convince him at least once a year to take a trip specifically to hit a race.
As far as individual races go, I have yet to run in a “bad” race. (I’ve had some sucky races, but none of that has ever been the organizers’ fault.) They’ve all been well organized, with good swag and decent courses. My favorite race so far though was the Marine Corps Marathon. It was incredibly well organized (as one might expect), the course was awesome, and the swag was pretty nice (a long sleeve mock turtleneck and a medal). The fact that it started and ended only a few miles from my house didn’t hurt either.
Thanks to all those who participate! I can’t wait to hear about why you race and where you race.
Unrelated to TIART, I managed to run 10 miles today. I was not feeling the love of running, thanks to a cold my body is fighting and the fact that Beer Geek has been traveling this week. I really just wanted to spend the time Shoo was at preschool sitting by myself with a book and a cup of coffee. Instead, I forced myself out the door with a Honey Stinger gel (awesome and didn’t upset my tummy) and my handheld full of Nuun. I promised myself I’d run at least 4 miles and then ran 2.75 miles away from my house to guarantee I’d have to run at least 5.5. I started at a ten minute pace and managed to speed up every mile, finishing mile 9 in 8:48! I then did mile 10 very slowly as a cool down. Other than being overdressed (capris and a short sleeve shirt), it was a really nice run.
17 thoughts on “TIART: Tell me about your racing”
Great job on the 10! I agree that racing is a nice counterpoint to running alone. I'm a solo runner, too 🙂
wow – way to turn 4 miles into 10!!I usually try to do a Spring half marathon – either the local one in Saskatoon or one in the Vancouver area (so that I have an excuse to visit family). Then I like to run the 10k for the rest of the season. I have one must-do race in Fall, a 10k, that I do with some friends every year and it's SUCH a good time. Otherwise, I look for a reasonable entry fee and decent swag (my must-do race in Fall always has awesome stuff), or great post-race eats (like the Jingle Bell Run coming up in November – they have a hot breakfast after with scrambled eggs and sausages…yummmm)
Love your slideshow!I was just asking another runner that the other day – she runs with no particular race to train for, whereas I need an endpoint. Good job on your 10 miler, speedy!
Nice job on the 10 miler!I am addicted to running races. The first year I started running, I ran a race almost every other weekend. I just love the running community and the sense of accomplishment that comes with each finish.
I hope to do a real post for this later in the day, but races that I highly recommend for their scenery in adding states: Bryce Canyon (Utah, half in July or 5 mi in August) – this would probably have to be part of a larger trip though, as it's not a short trip from the nearest airport. Lost Dutchman (AZ, Full, half, 10k or 8k trail in February) – very easy to get to from PHX but has participant caps. Desert ChaCha (AZ, 3 mi or 7 mi trail in October) – I haven't personally raced it, but it's true perfect desert scenery. Can't wait to see every where running takes you!
Racing is one of the best things about running; I think we all love it!
Great question! Good luck on your 50!!! I think that is awesome!
I race because it's fun. It's fun to see so many different people out there working towards the same goal in their own individual ways. It's fun to get swept up in the excitement and spirit of the crowd. It's fun to travel. It's fun to feel like you accomplished something. It's fun to get swag. It's fun to have a good excuse to eat and drink whatever you want afterwards. It's fun to challenge yourself.Races in SC-we don't have any super-great marathons or halfs that I've found but the Cooper River Bridge Run is always fun. It's really crowded so you can't really run it for time, but it's a neat race and in the spring which is just gorgeous in Charleston.Great TIART!!
Sounds like you did a great job at "psyching" yourself into running the 10- outstanding!Great TIART question. I'll see if I can answer than on my blog.
Way to go on the 10 today!I race to have a motivating goal. Plus good swag doesn't hurt:)
Nice job on the 10 miles! A book and coffee definitely would have been tempted!
I have no idea why I race. I know why I run – for health reasons.But race?Your guess is as good as mine. Because I don't particularly care if I get better as a runner, no matter how you define "better".And I use beer to keep depression at bay. Which works up till about the 5th beer. That 5th beer always invites depression in for a quick one.But depression always overstays his welcome.
I race to keep me motivated, I have found that I love following training plans.Great job on your 10 miler!
great job on the 10.It's interesting to read the different reasons why people race. It's amazing how similar, yet how different, all the answers are!
I'm totally a solo runner, so I agree about meeting other people and have hundreds of "training partners" even if it's just for one day.
i love the atmosphere and energy of a race, and the Nike Women's, the choice was easy. Location, Tiffany necklace, firemen at the end, chocolate, a week away with the girls, and the anticipation of being selected in a lottery. I do like the shirts/medals. I also need a race to keep me motivated too.
Beautiful slideshow! I finally had the time to answer your TIART topic on my blog. Thanks for coming up with it, it's a great topic!