On Saturday (Nov. 12), I ran my sixth 5K race of the year. It was also my 13th race of year (four 10Ks, two half marathons and a 4-miler). It’s the most racing I’ve ever done in a single year, and I still have at least two more races to run this year (this Saturday a turkey trot at Fox Island County Park near Fort Wayne and the Gingerbread Pursuit in downtown Fort Wayne). So why all the races?
This year, for the first time, I joined the local running club, and the club has a series of points races, plus they recognize all the runners who complete all of the points races. I’ll come up short in that category. I think of the 16 points races this year, I’ll end up running nine.
So why all the races?
I think it has to do with challenging myself and as a motivator. I started the year with a modest goal of running 30 minutes each of the first 30 days of January. I was about two weeks into my challenge when I tripped on a curb and landed on my knee and elbow. It hurt like the Dickens and I put my running aside while I healed, and I lost my motivation to run. Then, at the end of January, the Fort Wayne Running Club’s annual banquet rolled around and Scott Jurek was to be the guest speaker. Scott is a world-class endurance athlete who also eats a vegan diet. I went to hear Scott speak, met him briefly afterward and decided to rededicate my running.
I entered a February 5K and did OK. My year of racing was on. In that race, I finished 18th out of 24 in my age group.
Fast forward to Saturday, and I ran my fastest 5K of the year, by 10 seconds. The Veterans Day 5K I ran was a small event, a few dozen participants. It was a straight out and back course along the Rivergreenway between Fort Wayne and New Haven. Saturday, was the coldest morning since mid-April. Maybe that was why I was able to run faster than I had all year. Maybe all the racing and training (even if it has been inconsistent) is paying off. Whatever the reason I felt good.
Today, I ran an easy four miles with Shuba. I just wanted to give my legs, heart and lungs a nice workout. We went along the part of the River City Rat Race 10K course. The River City Rat Race is my favorite race of the year.
I don’t know if I really answered my question, Why race? It’s a question I’ll take with me for the rest of this year and into next.
Why does anyone else race?