OK, so running is good cardio, torches calories, yada yada. Great workout. But why race? Why pay money to drag yourself down to an 8 am start time for a race you don't have a chance in heck to actually win?! The free T-shirt?
I enjoy running just for the sake of running (wait did I just say that?), but I find running for training is entirely different for me. My focus is shifted, and I think shifted in a good way.
When I run for training I am not focusing on calories burned, yet I am still torching calories. I have a tendency to over-focus (obsess) about weight loss. Having other goals to focus on is much healthier for me I believe. I get my focus off of just the weight loss and have new goals for my running. I want to run faster, or longer, or both depending on the race. My workouts take on a whole new purpose. I think it's good mentally for me. I am still accomplishing the same thing, burning calories, but my focus shifts and it is refreshing somehow to me.
If you have never ran a race you will probably surprise yourself by the sense of accomplishment you will have at the end. Showing ourselves that we are capable of more than we let ourselves believe is invaluable in my opinion.
If you had told me in high school that I would run a 5k, let alone a marathon, I would have laughed in your face. I was queen of the I am not a runner club. But finishing that first 5k was amazing and wonderful and something I will always treasure. It boosted my confidence in my running ability and made me want to keep reaching. Did I win? Heck no, I've never come anything close and quite possibly never will. That's not what it's about to me. I did it. I accomplished it. I amazed myself. I set a goal previously unheard of in my life and accomplished it. And, yes, that is an awesome feeling.
Running to race stretches me, causes me to really looked at the self-imposed limits I have. Until I have very few connected to running now. Yes our bodies do limit us in running, but with work most of those limits can be blown off. It's the mental limits I struggle with.
Never thought I could run a 5k, but I did. Never thought I was capable of running a marathon, check, did that too. Never thought I could run a 5k in less than 35 minutes, will be checking that off this weekend. Races cause me to break out of my self-imposed limitations and see what I can really do, not just what I think I can do. I accomplish one goal in a race and set another one, look toward another race. What will it be after this weekend's 5k? Not sure yet, but I know now that it will be something. A new race. A new goal.
Plus, races are just fun! I enjoy races. The excitement in the air. The encouraging attitude of the running community. The new places to run. The new people to run with. It has become something I look forward to and just plain enjoy. I'm excited to see if the race T-shirt is cute or just plain ugly. Look forward to digging into the race bag and seeing if there's any good swag. Can't wait to see what my race number will be. Look forward to a new finishing time and if there's a medal..woo hoo. I have never won an age group award...hmmm, new goal?
So, yes I have definitely caught the racing bug. And I think that is a good thing in my life. I see myself racing for a very long time.
Have you ran/walked a race yet?
I am just a blogger, not a doctor or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, or new workout program.