The Urge to Race

While I am a runner, I am not a racer. I’ve completed 4 half-marathons and The Color Run. That is it. All but one of my race shirts are packed in a box that is sitting in a storage unit in Connecticut. And the one I have with me is long sleeve (Pittsburgh Half-Marathon 2009). It was 70 degrees at 8 am here in Birmingham; that long sleeve shirt won’t see much playing time for a while. So for the last 48 hours, as everyone has posted pictures of them in race shirts, I’ve felt a little left out. I want to support Boston, and runners everywhere, but race shirts are the one item of clothing I haven’t collected.

Since Monday, I’ve wanted to run. My 8 mile Run for Boston on Monday night was amazing. I felt strong and focused in a way I’ve struggled with for the last few training runs. My half is in 10 days, so I’ve forced myself not to run as much as I want. My IT bands consistently threaten to sideline me, so overdoing it this close to a race is not in my best interest, and as every runner knows, knowing your body is the best way to decide what to do.

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Image from mindbodygreen.com

In addition to wanting to run, I want to race. I love running. I love running by myself. It brings me focus and has been therapeutic at times when I’ve really needed it. But being part of the running blogging community makes me want to race, and to find people I can run with regularly.

My issue with running groups to date: I’m not fast. As you may recall I’m a Run/Walk-er. Qualifying for something like Boston is so far out of range for me, it would be like saying I’d like to go to Saturn for my summer vacation.

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My ride to Saturn, clearly.

This week I realized that’s not what the running community is about. It’s not how fast you are, or how many race shirts you have.

It’s sharing experiences, both good and bad. It’s providing encouragement or support.

It’s sending long distance hugs, or planning meet ups at the next big race.

It’s knowing that someone else has felt like you, or felt pain in the same spot you are currently feeling it, or has run your next race and has tips to make your run even better.

It’s a family. Its a family you may only ever meet a few of in person, but feel like you’ve known for years.

And so, this morning, I registered for a race this weekend. I needed to do a 6 mile training run anyway, and I found a 10K less than an hour away on Saturday morning. So I’ll be running the Soles for Souls 10K. While the money raised will support families in Haiti, I will be supporting Boston. I will be wearing my virtual run bib and I will donate the race entry equivalent to One Fund Boston.

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How have the events in Boston changed how you think about running or racing?

What’s been your favorite run blogger experience?

What’s your next race?

4 thoughts on “The Urge to Race

  1. Pingback: My Year in Running – 2013 | Run Stretch Go

  2. Ever since the bombing I have cried at least 4 times a day and I definitely shed some tears after reading this post. Everything you have said is so true, you are a runner no matter how fast you are and we ALL love you anyway. We all just want to support each other and help… This is what makes the running community so special. It pains me to hear that you felt any differently towards running, but the truth is… I have too. After my last half when I went a sub 2, I finished and thought to myself… I am legit now. Now, I am a real runner. I can now represent myself as a real running blogger now. The fact is, that thinking is so not true and I should know better. Thank you for writing this, because it is exactly what I needed to read and hear right now. Besides, I need to start practicing what I preach and stop being so hard on myself. Sorry for the novel, I just really connected to your blog post. 🙂

    • I’m so happy you did! This is what brings us all together, we speak the same language 🙂

      And I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so upset. Take it one day at a time, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help!

      {{{{{{{{{{ BIG HUG }}}}}}}}}

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