Spring is for Racing

I have to admit, I’m a little bit jealous of those of you finishing your halfs and fulls lately. Spring is just made for racing. There is just something in the air, and life just doesn’t feel right when you’re not training and racing! For the past two years, I have done a half marathon in April and this year I just felt like something was missing! I knew we would be in the process of moving (to an undecided place until March-ish)…so I hesitated to sign up for any specific race. I tried to keep my mileage up, just in case I decided to do one last minute, but I haven’t ended up doing any.

I do feel a little left out – with all these Facebook and blog posts about races, PR’s, and post-race fun. I’m one of those runners that needs to race! I’m not fast – not by any definition of the word. But I love the whole experience of racing.

Designing a new training plan.

Registering for the race.

Hitting each of those long runs.

Pre-race dinners.

Pinning on your race bib.

Peeing 50 times between the time you wake up and the time the starting gun fires.

The buzz of spectators and runners cheering.

Crossing the finish line, knowing you gave it your all.

 

Did I get it all? I love it all.

Even though the race is the highlight – the training can be some of the best times! I don’t know about you, but I am the most motivated when I have a race to work towards. It’s tough to go run just to go run, and it’s easier to cut those runs short when you aren’t following a training program.  I need that pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow to push me through those long runs, to get me out the door on cold/hot/wet/windy/lazy days.

Of course it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. There are days when your legs just can’t take you any further, and days your brain just doesn’t want to. There are cold runs and hot runs and runs when you want to puke the whole time. There are ice baths and blisters and sometimes lost toenails. But it’s all worth it. Something about setting a goal and working and struggling and succeeding is worth all of the pain.

So – with the inspiration of the spring race season (and after all of that gushing I just did), I signed up for another half marathon in August. It’s the Mountain Chile Cha Cha – and it’s a trail race! Yeehaw!  I am already ridiculously excited about it…we’re turning it into a girls weekend and I can’t wait to see one of my best friends and get running in the mountains! Last week I put together my training plan, which, being the trainer/dork that I am – this is one of my highlights. All super personalized, color coded and organized, it just begs me to start running. I’m working on rehabbing a nagging ankle issue over the next few weeks, while starting to build some base miles. The real training starts in June and I can’t hardly wait! Be ready to hear plenty of updates as I go through the ups and downs of training over the next few months.

So what about you?

Do you like to race, or can you just run on your own?

What’s your favorite distance to race?

Any must-do races to add to my bucket list?

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