I always run for fun. I like to run. I like to race. However, I normally take races a bit more seriously than a normal, everyday jaunt on the trail. The idea of a race, is like a test, we showcase what we know, what we’ve learned and how far we’ve come. Or at least that’s the plan.
This weekend is the First Midwest Half Marathon, in Palos Heights, IL.
This is one of my favorite local races, one that I can drive to within 30 minutes, park for free, walk to the start line, talk with my friends and then leisurely walk back to my car when I’m ready to leave. It’s frequently a goal race because it’s a straight out and back course with only one turn. It’s mostly flat. Runner traffic is very manageable. There are enough aid stations but not too many to ruin my tummy. Oh, and our local run store, Running For Kicks, puts on the race so its top notch. A race designed by runners for runners.
However this year, I’m not on my game at all. I’ve gone to this race less prepared only a few times. On my good days, when I’m trained up, this “easy” course, that I love, chews me up and spits me out. I’m not sure why but no matter my fitness level, I’ve never raced well here,
possibly because I just don’t race well. So this year as I take an honest look at both my fitness level and my energy level, as I recover from whatever bug tried to kill me over the last week, I’ve decided to just let go. Let go of the “I’m racing” concept and just go run for fun. Not look at my watch. Not worry about my actual pace verses my desired pace. Not be disappointed.
Because the bottom line is that as long as I’m able, I’ll run and support this race for fun. For the love of the run. For the love of the event. For the love of the running store putting on the race. For the love of my friends, acquaintances and F’N Runners who will be there both running and cheering.
So, let’s do this, for the love of it!
** Running AND Racing for Fun ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **
Surprisingly, I’ve gotten my PRs last year when I let my mind go and let my fitness carry me through. I am my own worst enemy when I get too focused on racing a specific pace/time. Running is FUN! (I mean, that’s why we do it, right?) It is always fun to go out there every once in awhile and just race for FUN and the the clock say whatever it says. You will be great! I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!
TTF…very touching and revealing thoughts on that Palos Half. I will not be there cause I be heading to “turtle-duty” in Will County. I will miss being there – one of my favorite spring events.
With that said…I would suggest don’t fret about performance, times or fitness….just run it one mile at a time and see how it goes. Just make the next mile…adjust accordingly. Too much thinking about it relative to your conditioning, illness…and trying to manage kiddos (maybe hubbie too?).
So…your sorta pseudo-coach-friend…just says…toe-up…run by feel…run whatever you can adjusting to how you feel…then see where you finish up…and be happy with it! Nothing to prove…no expectations to be or do…just be your good ole caring self…this time run for yourself based on how you feel. The time will be irrelevant…but at times…I have suspicions if you just let go of the performance goals and what your mind says is your “conditioning”….you just might be surprised at what you can do.
Enjoy the moment…the run…the rest follows! I have a gut-feeling you are going to run quite well there!
I’ll be there too! And, for what it’s worth, I won’t be RACING either…just running, I’ll look for ya!
I’m hoping to get there early enough to meet F’N Runners in person. If not, look for the hobbler with the “suck it up cupcake” shirt. Perhaps you won’t see it as you’ll be waaaaaaaaay ahead of me 🙂 Enjoy!
Amanda, Lisa is a great talker when running…. I know… I listened to her and Kelly on all of their long training runs…I recommend that you two have a wonderful gab fest for the entire 13.1 miles…. It will make the miles just melt away!!! Make sure Lisa is not wearing her watch either so you both can just relax and have FUN!!!!! I will be sending positive thoughts your way on Sunday!!!!
In a way I’m really jealous. For whatever reason I haven’t been able to enter a race for the pure enjoyment of being there. I end up always have a goal, pushing for a time, and before I know it the race is over for good or bad. It would be nice one of these days to just enter and enjoy everything around without the pressure of the race iteself.
I’m running for fun too! (Mostly because I am running the half in Kenosha on Saturday 🙂 )
I love local races like that–small and manageable and really enjoyable. Running a race that soon after a marathon will be interesting, I’m sure, but as long as you follow your plan to listen to your body, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Good luck and enjoy the weekend!