Running races. Why?

Yesterday a (non-runner) friend of mine asked me why i run races. She could see no conceivable reason to put oneself through that agony – both physical and psychological. I’m fairly sure she understands why I run, but not the race facet of it. I didn’t have a simple answer and have been thinking it over. Why do I sign up for races when I know i won’t sleep well the night before, cannot drink coffee the morning of, will be nervous/restless through the start, and likely will feel like vomiting at the end if i have pushed myself? Not to mention that if it is a long race the training rules my life for quite some time. And over this wretched winter there was a great deal of running in weather below 30 degrees. It all does sound a little crazy. Here a few thoughts.

Once I have signed up for a race, it gives me a goal and i will run consistently. Running keeps me sane. Once in awhile if the stars align i win my age group which is fun but mostly I compete against myself, trying not to get slower year to year. This seems to be getting tougher. I love the Charlottesville running community – it is an amazing bunch of people and they are uplifting to be around. The local races benefit local charities. I like that I pay a fee, participate in an event that promotes good health and keeps the money in our community. I love the feeling of finishing and reaching a goal- whether it be a 5k or a half marathon. Some of my best friendships have been cemented pounding the pavement day after day- there is nothing like that bond.

I also run because I can. Last year running was not an option for much of the year. So I am crazy happy to be running races again with all the other runners- fast and slow- that put themselves through the “fun” of racing.

This year’s Charlottesville 10 miler benefited Barrett Early Learning Center, and below are photos of a few children that attend Barrett. There is also a slide show on the 10 miler site.

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