A Runner without a Race

We are nearing the end of summer but it sure feels like the heat will endure for quite some time.  A couple of months ago I wrote a Summer Fitness Bucket list of different activities I wanted to accomplish.  You won’t find a race on it since I decided after my June half-marathon to take a break (ok I had a 1-mi race in July but I don’t count it because of the short distance).  I like to schedule specific goal races throughout the year but I think I made the right decision for leaving summer wide open to other fitness endeavors.  I surely miss the structure and drive of having a training plan to meet certain goals. However it turned out that without a race in sight had a host of benefits.

I can Run Naked!

Do you feel naked when you run without at watch?  I felt a little exposed one day when I decided to take off my watch and run.  I did it while on vacation, a day stop in San Luis Obispo.  By force of habit, I looked at my wrist a few times, only to see the tan lines from my watch.  At first, I felt lost as I had no way to track my pace or the distance I covered. But eventually, I let myself relax and let go.

Mental Recovery
The pressure of training can contribute to stress that could eventually affect performance and also cause overtraining.  I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to hit a specific time for a specific workout.  After awhile, it’s an energy-sapper, the anxiety that I feel  when I step on the track for intervals after already having a day filled with chores and kids’ activities.  I like the speed workouts because of the challenge but sometimes prefer to not be scrutinized by the time I run it in.  No race means no concern for time or pace.

I explored a variety of WorkoutsIt has been an interesting couple of months with all the different types of activities I’ve tried – boot camp, Zumba, TRX, paddleboarding, hiking, swimming, yoga.  I still found time to run but it didn’t take precedence.  As much as I enjoy running, it can become monotonous after months and months of training.  Adding something new allows me to reboot and recharge so I’m ready to tackle another race goal.

Run by choice

Running because I choose to run, not because I have to run.  I pointed out how training for a race can cause stress, but simply going for a run to be outdoors and taking time to appreciate nature is a huge stress-reliever.

I saved $$!

The cost of running races is outrageous!  And if you’re a procrastinator or absent-minded, missing the deadline of the original price of the race will cost even more.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I feel a little guilty spending money on races so I have to carefully plan out which ones I will do each year and try to stick to a budget.

Can I survive an entire year without running a race?  I say Yes since I did it for a couple of years while pregnant and taking care of a newborn…but I’m not in that stage of life anymore. I want to see what my body is capable of doing.  I want to challenge myself to reach a higher level.  So guess what I did?  I signed up for a race – a TRAIL half marathon in December!

Training starts mid-September

What’s the longest time you took a break from racing?  Which race have you done was the most expensive?

It’s Friday Five with the DC Trifecta Ladies, Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar on the Run, and Cynthia at You Signed up for What.  This week’s topic is Favorites.