It’s no secret I run a lot of races. A LOT of races. This year in particular it may seem that I am running #alltheraces! It may seem as if I am racing every. single. weekend. Why is this? Why so many races? Why risk burnout, injury, not to mention the cost, with all these races?
To say the last year has been rough is an understatement. It has been one of the most stressful periods of my life for a number of reasons. And it doesn’t help I’m in a new city, half way across the country from my home, from family and friends, from what’s familiar.
I honestly can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve had less time for myself. Or for a life outside work. Keep in my mind, I’m only speaking about myself. Everyone has a different tolerance for work/life balance. Someone else might look at my schedule and think what’s the big deal. But for me, life outside of work continues to be more and more compressed and elusive. No lie, sometimes I will go out of town, just so I won’t go in to work (San Francisco, Chicago for example).
By signing up for races, I have something that I have committed to, a reason to keep up with “training” or really, a reason to get outside or on a treadmill and be active. Any number of times I would race, shower, and head in to work. It would have been easy enough to not race and get an extra hour or two or more of sleep. But then my sedentary life would be even more sedentary. Races help to motivate me to be active.
I knew this year was going to be difficult and I knew I was most likely going lose speed, but I didn’t realize how demoralizing it would be at times. Even though I haven’t necessarily focused on speed to any great degree in past years, I’ve generally seen some sort of improvement. For a good part of the year, I figured I wouldn’t see any type of PR. I kept on racing, watching the times get slower, but it was better than doing nothing.
And then came #streakingwiththecoolkids. What started out as a goal to run (or walk) a mile a day for the month of October turned into running (or walking) a mile a day for the rest of the year! Some days were extremely slow and some days I had to struggle to fit it in. But one month turned into two and turned into three. And I think the consistency showed itself with not one, but two PRs to end the year.
So what about 2015? I think I want to focus on shorter distances and maybe actually work on speed (rather than say I’m going to work on speed and then not do it). There will still be a half marathon here and there. In fact, I think I might try to go for that elusive 2:45 next October at the Detroit Half Marathon. Wait, did I say that out loud? Part of me doesn’t want to admit that wish, even to myself. Because that means its a real goal! But I am putting it out there. I want to PR Detroit.
To wrap up 2014, let’s look at the races I did run (all 37 of them):
- 1 – 3 miler
- 1 – shortened 4 miler (due to weather)
- 1 – 4 miler
- 1 – 6k
- 1 – 12K
- 1 – 15K
- 1 – 10 miler
- 1 – 20K
- 2 – 5 milers
- 6 – 10Ks
- 7 – 5Ks
- 14 – half marathons