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Saturday, June 12, 2010

How Many Races

Last weekend I was asked how many races I've done.  The question completely caught me off guard and I had to stop, think, and actually tick the races off on my fingers to keep track.  It made me realize something about my running - it is different than it was even a year ago.

In May I asked your opinion how I should answer 'How long have you been a runner?' and I settled on 12 years because I've been running for 12 years.  In the first 11 years I ran five 5K's.  Since the new year I've run in seven races.  These races have ranged from 2.7 to 13.1 miles, they have been alone, with friends, with family, and even one with strangers (who became friends).  I've run for myself, for others, and on two relay teams.  I ran five races in eleven years (averaging out to ~1/2 of a 5K every year).  Now, I've run an average of more than one race a month.  Times are changing!

Now what do I do?  I do not have any races planned until October when I'll run my next half marathon.  Will I be able to stay away from races?  I'm hooked and I want more.  I just can't quite figure out why I'm hooked.  It isn't for PR's because I run faster away from races.  It isn't for my wallet because the cost of races add up fast.  The only thing I can think of is that it is because of the people.  Runners are amazing and I want to spend more time with them.  Perhaps going to a group run will suffice until the weather turns cold again.  Only time will tell.

Juneathon update:  Today's exercise isn't running!  I'm following up on what I pointed out on Thursday and taking another day off.  Today I'm coaching soccer.  90 minutes of herding 5 year olds will be enough exercise for me today.

13 comments:

Teamarcia said...

Yes times are changing! You've gotta slip in some races before October. And yes herding 5 year olds is definitely plenty of exercise--have fun!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

No races until the marathon? Really? I've got some favorites that I just can't miss. I substitute the race for a long run. Nothing too crazy, like dropping a 20 miler for a 5K.

Meg said...

I love racing but I also like concentrating on my big goal and if a race doesn't fit, I won't do it. I do have two favorites coming up before my fall marathon and that will be it. I wish I could do one a month, I think it would be good for my body but I don't like to get distracted! I do agree that being around the people is fun so I do have two running groups and that seems to keep me satisfied.
Enjoy your day off!

Michele said...

Aw what a happy post! Runners are awesome, which means you are awesome!
I love the atmosphere of races. There is just something about being out there with tons of other runners doing what you love.

Darlene said...

I know what you mean. I love the energy of runners & it's great to be around them. I don't know if I would sign up for as many races if I ran with a group. For me, races keep me motivated. Hope to run with you again!! If not, good luck with your 1/2 training.

Cynthia O'H said...

I coached my 5 year old soccer team today too. Thank goodness the rain held off (and also for my run).

You should plan a race or two before your fall marathon. It will give you the mental strength you need for pacing yourself in a race situation with hundreds of runners around you.

I hear you, though; racing is expensive. I love them, though, as it gets me focusing on speed and out running with adults - as opposed to my two boys. Whoever said running is cheap doesn't really run.

The Happy Runner said...

Races keep me motivated. I love the energy -- and the people you befriend running them ;-)

I would try to find a race or two to do between now and the half. You could use them as tune-up races or to work on specific things, if you want to justify (ha!) doing them.

Anne said...

I also coached my daughter's soccer team when she was 5 and 6...she's 20 now :)

Katelyn said...

Suzy are you a part of the Albany Running Exchange? I just joined and they organize group runs. I feel like you would enjoy ARE if you are not already a member. Everybody is so encouraging and it is a great group of runners. I have just barely started running but I joined ARE and trying to use it as motivation!

LMC said...

Group runs can be fun too! You might enjoy those enough to get by without 5Ks. Keep running either way! Good luck with coaching and resting. Have a great week!

JenLo said...

I think it is really great to analyze why you do what you do. I think it helps keep things in perspective. For me, I think it's that races keep me motivated. I've found I'm having a hard time staying on track if I don't have some type of goal in my sights, even a 5k.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I actually love races! If I could afford it, I could do a 5k probably every weekend! :)

nickisnook.net said...

I started running almost three years ago. Ran my first race in December and turned around and set a goal of a race a month from Feb to Dec. I have kept up with my races and am about to hit a 20K this weekend - the Vestal XX is Sat and will be a tough race.

Good luck with training!!