Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I went out for what should have been a 3 miler; the legs said no, we just don't have it today. I tried to tough it out, finally gave up. If it's not there, it's just not there. so maybe 2 days off and then I'll try a long run on Friday.

My blog friend BeachRunner posed a popular question recently-why do we run? I enjoy these posts; we all seem to run for the same reasons. It's good for our health, keeps our weight down; all the usual reasons. So this leads me to a second question-why do we race?

After years of competing in the show ring with my horse, I very suddenly decided I didn't like competing any more. I had lots of excuses for stopping; probably the only honest excuse was that I was a very mediocre rider at my best and I just couldn't take the feeling of failure any more.

Fortunately, with age comes wisdom and a more balanced perspective. I discovered that I enjoy racing very much, even though I still don't consider myself a very competitive person. I know I won't win any races; at best I might occasionally place in my age division. My goal with racing is to improve my time and physically push myself to find my limits. Those limits are pretty slow by most runners standards and I'm ok with that. While it's fun to reel in another runner, it's more fun to cross the finish line on an empty tank knowing I did my best.

I wish I could go back in time and have a conversation with my teenaged self. I would tell the younger me to just relax and have fun, and that coming out of the show ring sans trophy or ribbon does not equal failure.


The Running Bob said...

A race tells me if I trained to my best ability or I had too many excuses not train. Actually, I love overcoming cramps and mental messages to stop running during the race, then finally crossing the line realizing I tested myself to the greatest extent possible. Racing is a challenge but aren't willing to do because it reveals one's character.

The Running Bob said...

...but people aren't willing to do because it reveals one's character. (grammar)

robison52 said...

I find that races are a great way to stay motivated as it's difficult for me to push myself everyday to run longer distances if I don't have some goal to accomplish even if the race goal is not to embarass myself. Sometimes I'm too goal orientated for my own good and forget that my main reason for running is to maintain health and fitness.

BeachRunner said...

Great post. I loved my one and only (so far) race experience. It is fun and motivating to see what I can do?