Paying to run seems like a very silly thing to do indeed, but I swear there are some great reasons to race. Find out why I’m still toeing the line even while pregnant on this edition of the Running Coaches Corner Link Up!
Reasons to Race and or Pay to Run
1) Because where else are you going to find multiple people wearing ridiculous costumes while sober and doing an activity that actually improves their life and longevity? I mean, hey, there is something to be said for being surrounded by a ton of other people who are just as crazy, if not more so, than you.
2) To test your knowledge and your training. I love checking out what other people do, comparing, taking notes (mentally, and then forgetting forever). I like quizzing myself and seeing if I can identify people’s shoes as we are running, seeing what the current fad is to be wearing. Yeah, I’m a nerd, get over it. And then, when you start running, you get to see if you really did it up right, or if you are completely mistaken in every single way possible.
3) To get caught up in the excitement. Even if you have run 1200+ races like Bart Yasso, there will nearly always be someone who never has raced or raced that distance. That will be so excited they can’t stand it, or about to throw up from nerves. You know the face.
4) To take yourself out of your comfort zone. When you sign up for a race, you have one option of when to do it. Sure, you can run your own or best race later on, but officially, you have one chance. You may or may not feel ready for it. But go for it. Lay it on the table. Take a deep breath, and jump. (But take obvious precautions, like making sure the water is deep enough, and you have trained at least a bit for it).
5) To see a new place, meet new people, and experience running in a whole new way. From yoga and running experiences like the Empower Race Series and Wanderlust 108 to running through the heart of Washington DC and all of the neighborhoods of your own city that you’ve never visited , or, heck, running straight down the center of one of the most famed streets in the world, races take you to places that you might never ever get to experience otherwise.
And once you are there, running and soaking in just how many other people are there to do this silly thing with you, how many people wouldn’t do it (or claim to never do it) if you paid them, who stare at you in awe as you do something that is, to you, so simple but also complex, so easy and SO so hard, you realize the epic gravity of running in your life. Started from the bottom, now you are here.
At MCM (which was my first marathon), OOORAH is repeated over and over throughout the weekend. As they say, you have accepted your mission, and, for just that amount of time, you are part of the group–an honorary soldier. There is something about that mentality, that strength that you can feel emanating from others, that inspiration from others (read this here if you need a reminder), that helps you dig deeper.
Personal Aside + Running For a Cause
I don’t race much. While I may run the majority of the days of the year, I run only a handful of races each year. And I don’t always race those races. But I get something out of each one regardless of my time. It might just be a beautiful run on a beautiful day with my husband and growing baby with the promise of donuts at the end.
It might be to raise money and awareness for a cause that personally affects myself as well as millions of others, and to show that a chronic illness won’t beat us. Click for more information on CCFA Team Challenge.
Or it might be the chance to help provide 10 meals through the RUN 10 FEED 10, which I have participated in many times and will do so again this year as a Women’s Health Action Hero. See if there is one in your city, or run your own for the cause!
What is the experience that pushed you to the end of your wits, but ultimately, has shaped who you are and how you think of yourself?
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