I love to run AND I love to race.
As a 9ish-minute miler you won’t see me standing on any podiums but something about running races gets my competitive juices flowing. I race faster than I run, even though I’m just racing myself.
I also love the atmosphere of races and rubbing elbows with other runners. It’s a fun community.
And races make me motivated to train. Like a lot of people who love running, sometimes I still struggle to get out the door. That’s when having a race on the calendar provides a little extra motivation.
Here’s my race calendar for 2013 (so far):
- Strides for Sandy Hook. Jan 20. I ran this 5K fundraiser run with my 5th grade son. I love running with that kid. He talks the ENTIRE time. This wasn’t about running fast, especially with some of the trail covered in ice. It was about getting out with my family and running for a good cause. Bonus that my 14 year old son placed 2nd and got a plaque.
- Frostbite 5K. Jan 26. This fun run was an anniversary of sorts. I started running again in 2010 after wogging this race in 33:42. I’ve come a long way since then. This year I beat that time by a mile. Literally. I ran it in 25:51. At my current pace I could have run another mile in the same time my 2010 self ran 3.1. That improvement makes me happy.
- Bloomsday 12K. May 5. I haven’t signed up for this one yet but plan to run one of the largest road races in the world with my 5th grader. This may be the last year I can run with him. He’s getting too fast.
- Windermere Half Marathon. May 19. I’m really excited about this race because my last 13 mile long run was 4 minutes faster than my fastest half marathon time and I even stopped to take a picture. My goal is to break 2 hours.
- St. Joe Half Marathon. June 9. This one is a maybe, but if the weekend is still free and my body is still injury-free and we have the budget for another race, I’m doing it. My running partner ran it last year and said it was fun and beautiful.
- Missoula Half Marathon. July 14. It’s looking like the year of the half marathon. Several other High School Cross Country parents are running this one and it sounded like fun. Plus, we haven’t done a race in Montana yet.
- Pacific NW Spartan Sprint. Aug 4. This is the race that
scaresexcites me the most. I needed a new challenge and several friends and my husband are doing this race as well, so it will be a social trip to the other side of the state. To train I’ve added a weekly Insanity workout and try to do planks and pushups after every run to get more core and upper body strength. That change has helped my running but I’m no-where near as strong as I should be and I’m thinking about dropping another running day so I can cross-train more. That’s a hard trade-off since running is what keeps me mostlysane.
- Leavenworth Marathon. Oct 5. Yup. I have another full on the calendar, but I’m doing a fall marathon this year so I can concentrate on getting faster and stronger this spring and early summer. This event is in a pretty little town in the Cascades that mimics a Bavarian village. Octoberfest is a big deal there and my husband and I are using it as a romantic weekend getaway. Isn’t that funny to plan romance around running? But it’s fitting. We run together once or twice a week. Sharing that activity and focus has strengthened our marriage more than any other thing over two decades together. I don’t know if he’ll run with me or run his own race. He’s a LOT faster than I am. But either way we’ll celebrate with beer and perhaps some bratwurst. I’m looking forward to it as much as I looked forward to our honeymoon.
That’s all I have booked, for now, but figure I’ll add in a fall half marathon (probably the Sandpoint Scenic Half again) during my marathon taper and probably a couple summertime 5ks too. Looking at that calendar of races makes me smile. It also makes me want to go running.
Do you enter races? What do you like about racing? What’s your favorite distance to race?