My 6-month run challenge: week 8 (a PSA on running vs. racing)

As month two of my 6-month run challenge rolls onward, I have been really thinking.  About my goals. About racing. About *not* racing. About what is propelling me with this run challenge.

I’ll tell you what’s *not* propelling me forward. And that’s the idea of a race, or two, or three, or many. Nope. The more I think about it, and the more I look around at race dates, locations, courses etc., the less compelled I am to actually sign up for any of them. Why? Because I still firmly believe that for me, I am a runner, but I am NOT a racer. And friends, that is okay. That is more than okay.

But sometimes I just need to remind myself, amid reading the many blogs that focus on running and races and all sorts of fun stuff, that just because this is what they are passionate about doing, doesn’t mean that I have to be or should try to be.  If it’s not for me, well, it’s not for me. My goal with this run challenge was to find my love for it again, to reinvigorate my running mojo and sure, to increase my pace a bit and as Bald Guy Running says in his blog…allow running to ‘be its own reward.’ Because it damn well is!! And as soon as I released myself from the pressure I was putting on myself to find another half marathon to gain vindication over my last two failed attempts, voila…my running started to flow again, I started to enjoy it again and that passion that I always wanted for running but never quite had, came on with a vengeance.

I write this in part because I read blog from Bald Guy Running proclaiming ‘no races for 2012‘ and reading that was such a huge breathe of fresh air for me and made me realize that ya know what? That just may be my mantra for this year too. Sure, I am aiming for 13.1, perhaps, but that doesn’t mean I gotta do it as a race. I do it because I want to do it, prove it to me, and only me. I also write this after reading Alicia’s blog and Ronda’s blog about the pressure and anxiety training for a race or goal of some kind can be…because it really really can, especially if your heart isn’t truly in it. It’s not just about your body being capable, your mind and heart have to be right there with you as well. And for me? My heart says go for the gold…for you, and only you, and see what happens from here.

*end PSA*


Now that I got that little diatribe off my chest, let’s discuss this little run challenge I got cooking, shall we? As I am just part-way through week 8, I will say that staring out at a snow-covered ground makes the thought of running outside downright treacherous. I hope it clears for the second barre n9ne rundate on Saturday however, because I am *so* planning on hitting the pavement on Saturday so long as weather permits, along with some other fabulous ladies!! I hit up 5 miles today (and my cross-training yesterday) and it was a mental battle for every.single.mile today. My mind was whining ‘I don’t wanna, don’t make me, no, no, no’ and my body was pushing and almost gave up, but I got ‘er done (that’s what matters!) and feel great, now that I did. I am planning another tempo/hill/interval thingie for tomorrow (that’s the technical term) OR my long run (making that a game day decision!) and whatever run I don’t do tomorrow, I’ll do Friday, capping the week with my barre n9ne rundate!

What say you, friends? What are your get-active plans this week? Ass-slap to ya’ll for getting a little sweat on, whatever you are passionate about doing (running, walking, yoga, you name it!).

And what do you think of my little PSA? I guess for me, it’s ‘to each, his/her own’ and for me, it continues to hold true…I am not passionate about racing. So why do it?  I *am* passionate about running. Thus, I run. For me.


30 thoughts on “My 6-month run challenge: week 8 (a PSA on running vs. racing)

    1. Totally is! I mean, I might still do one at some point, but nothing is jumping out at me, like omg MUST do this, ya know? So I figure, why add that stress/pressure when it’s just not *me* ya know?

  1. Yep, do what makes you happy. Racing, or rather having a race on the calendar, is what keeps me focused. I’ve just learned to race to my own finish line… not trying to beat anybody else.

    I’ve started my training! Just to stay warm before triathlon season starts! 🙂

    1. Exactly. THIS is what keeps me focused, not some race. It’s different for everyone, I just think that it is SO easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement of a race (I’ve been totally caught doing this!) when it’s just not about that, at least for me. And I am glad you started your training!

  2. I’m sort of the opposite of you where I like racing much better than running. Some runs are okay, like todays, but a lot of the time I don’t really like it. However, I really like racing, so I have to do the runs so I’ll be able to race.

    1. that is SO interesting Lee! So opposite, yet, see, you are passionate about racing, so you run. Me, I am passionate about running so I run…and once in awhile race 😉

  3. I love the PSA. Thanks for sharing my post from today. I’ve thought about it more but still don’t have a solid answer. I know I have time to still decide on these things, but I do know I love both things and am just trying to figure out how to get them to coexist. Maybe I can be a running yogi after all…

    1. Glad you like the PSA! I think they can definitely co-exist, but perhaps lesser the intensity for one of them..and that decision will be tough for you, I know! I look forward to hearing about your decision 🙂

  4. I like your approach to running and how its totally evolved lately. You are no longer anxious when you run – you FINALLY enjoy it and that’s what really matters. To enjoy what you do, to love what you do. Not to do it just because you think you “should” do it or because others are doing it. Run becaues you love it. Run and enjoy those moments of solitude. Run for you. Race if you want, but run for you. That’s my mantra lately – and while yes, I love to run and I like to race, running will always be my #1, not racing. In general, I find the running vs racing thing to be such a personal thing, nobody should force it on anyone, either way. To each his/her own.

  5. I haven’t gone running since Saturday! I’ve been battling with Aunt Flo, but I am FORCING myself to get up tomorrow morning because 3 days with no workouts and trust me, I feel sluggish. I’ve been walking during my lunch breaks, but that just doesn’t appease the need ; )
    Good for you and deciding what is best for you running-wise. I don’t know if I’ll ever really ENJOY it, but I dooo love the runner’s high I get afterward : )

  6. Definitely understand that racing isn’t for everyone. It’s really fun and drives me so I’m obviously a race junkie. But I definitely don’t think you have to race to be a runner or prove anything. It still boils down to running because you love it and the pleasure it should bring to your life. Great post!

    1. See, exactly – you LOVE races, I can tell, and you are GOOD at them!! So you do them because you olove them! That’s awesome. Totally a personal choice, and for me, it’s just not for me. And I just felt like I needed to get it out there…it’s not for everyone, even if it feels like everyone is doing it. Thank you!

  7. Love the post! You can totally be a runner without having to be a racer!
    Ran Houston Sunday; relaxed entire 26.2 miles!
    Exchanged high-fives, tweeted pics, and even drank beer! Running shouldn’t be associated with pressure, anxiety, etc.
    Run for pleasure, not pain 🙂

    1. I love your perspective!! ‘relaxed’ all 26.2 miles! Go you!! I saw your tweets but must have missed that you were actually running it too!! awesome job!! run for pleasure, not pain. I love that!

  8. The thing that you always have to remember is that running is for fun. Some days I run fast, some days I run slow, some days I don’t even run at all. Regardless of how you approach running, as long as you do it for yourself, you’ll really grow and have fun with it!

    1. Thank you Christian! I really loved your post, clearly, and your approach to running is refreshing and so right up my alley. I really love it! Nicely done and thanks for stopping by for a read 🙂

  9. I totally feel you on this. Tonight I ran for the first time in FOREVER. And it felt good. I kept thinking to myself “should I do the half in May?” but I just couldn’t get myself to REALLY want to do it. I’d love to accomplish running that distance, but as a race? I’m not so sure. I will never be a fast runner and I’m okay with that. But beyond that, I’m kinda lost with the whole running thing. I guess I still kinda feel it’s weird to just be a runner without the whole racing thing…

    1. Oh I think you can absolutely be a runner and not actually do races! I think they are two completely different things…though it is natural as you run more, to want to see what you are capable of and do a race. For me, after doing a few of these, I just don’t know that it’s my thing, and I think so many just put that pressure on themselves because it’s easy to get wrapped up into the hype and excitement but not really take into account whether it’s something they LIKE or WANT. For me, that’s what happened, and I’m just refocusing on why I am running…for me.

  10. As usual, love the thought on running for pleasure, not out of obligation. LIfe is far too short to do anything but that. I was beating myself up a few weeks ago about my lack of desire to run & I decided to stop. It’s just about being active in the way that makes you happy & makes you want to come back for more. Why give yourself a headache when there are plenty of other things in life that will? 🙂

    1. RIGHT!! No sense beating yourself up and also I love the idea of focusing on what makes you happy! That is the right approach, vs. force fitting something!

  11. love this. I haven’t been compelled to race since I ran my 2nd half marathon last March, and I don’t have any races lined up until the lululemon half marathon in Vancouver – August 11th. I love the running I’ve been doing the past couple of months. I run 3-4 times and week and just for 3-4 miles at a time. It works for me right now in conjunction with Pilates, yoga, and other various classes we take for lulu. 🙂

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