Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Thoughts on Racing

A little while back Ali wrote this post.  She of course referenced me and how Mike and I race all of the time.

 Copying the photo editing skills of Ali Mc

She wanted to know more about my views on racing and how races remain exciting for us.  She also wanted to know how we race so much (and push ourselves so much) and remain injury free.

I set a goal to race once a month this year, we kind of crushed it.  I will race 29 times this year, oh yea you thought I was done racing.  Well I'm going to pace Sarah at a 5K on December 29th.  29 races on the 29th, sweet! (Plus I would say that's a pretty good omen for Sarah to run 29:xx). Mike will race 27 times this year (he didn't do one relay and one half marathon).

Please don't think that we RACE every. single. one. of. these. Ha! You probably would have found me lying in a ditch at about my 6th race of the year if that was the case. (If that ever happens, please stop my Garmin for me and then call 911).

That's part of how we remain, mostly, injury free throughout the year.  Some of these races were just for fun, like the Freezeroo Series and the Thanksgiving day races to name a few.  We did put in a good effort at most of these but we weren't really trying to PR. Mike and I actually use a lot of races in place of training runs if the distances match up.

It's kind of hard to go all out during a winter 5K

We were all thinking about Thanksgiving food at this point

Also, even though you can plan for a goal pace for relays, it is kind of hard to PR since the distances are usually pretty random.  Seneca7 and Reach the Beach were just for fun and our teams did not have any grandiose ideas about winning.  So as long as we were able to run, it was all good!

 Alright fine, I'll hold up this spatula!

 Where's my whoopie pie?

 As Isaac would say, "this is just for FUN"

Another way to keep things exciting is varying the race distances.  We don't just race 5Ks or half marathons.

Here's the breakdown of what my year of racing looked like: 5Ks - 7, 10Ks - 2, 15Ks - 1, Half Marathons - 6, Marathons - 1, Relays - 3, Duathlons - 1, Triathlons - 2, Random distances - 6

As you can see our races were varied, there were duathlons, triathlons, road races and a trail race.

 Biking is less impact than running

 Killin' it at the end of our second triathlon

You must be thinking, alright well when DO you race?

I try to pick a few A-races during the year (I say this as if I have been running for more than a year and 8 months) and focus on those.  Those races for me this year were our first triathlon and our marathon.  I also wanted to run a sub-26 minute 5K (which I have done three times now, yay!) and a sub-2 hour half marathon (which as you know never happened).

 This photo has never been on the blog, Mike during the Wineglass Marathon

Love these two! Current PR half marathon

Now don't get me wrong, if we couldn't race, or race as often, I would still love running (and swimming and biking) just as much as I do now.  I know that some people race less than us and some people race more than us, and that's perfectly fine.  Race in a way that makes sense for you physically and financially (Speaking of, the cost of our races varied between as low as $10 to over $100).

Next year's races are already starting to pile up, and I know for certain we are going to race less.  As our goal of completing a full Ironman gets closer (seriously we can register for OUR race in AUGUST!) we will be racing less.  That doesn't mean we will never race, as it is a good idea to get out there every once and awhile and push yourself at race pace, but the races we pick will fit in with our training plan.

Oh, and we race so much because I get race envy and want to run all of the races!


What is your philosophy on racing?

29 comments:

  1. YAY!!! great post. To be honest I always thought you were crazy. Mainly because I honestly believed you were RACING every race with the goal to pr :P this makes so much more sense to me now. lol

    I love how hardcore you look on your bike!!!! really awesome. I would race more if I could afford it.

    I have a really big issue with getting motivated. I prefer to tackle a new distance every time. HOWEVER, I feel like I could definitely train for another half. as I hope to get a sub 2 as well ;)

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    1. Haha I'm glad you don't think I'm crazy now :)

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  2. Love this! Racing keeps me focused! When I was a kid I wasn't athletic at all and now in my 30s I'm at my healthiest! If I don't have a race lined up I lose focus...competitions keeps our eyes on the horizon, I think!

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    1. I agree, racing definitely keeps you focused!

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  3. I try to PR each time I race... I run with people and groups so often in my training that I rarely do a race for "fun".

    For me, I enter if I enter a series, I want to finish as high as I can, or if I pony up for something like the flower city challenge I want to go out and run my very best.

    So for me, I think each of my races are what you call the "A" race.. everything else is training.

    We run every holiday, and we run for fun events so I rarely race AT those events as usually I have something else going on (aka troubled turkey trailsRoc thanksgiving day run)

    What race will you try to get your sub 2 hour at next yeaR? I would love to be there to see you get it!

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  4. Looks like SUCH a fun year! Here's to an even more awesome 2013!

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  5. Wow that is no shortage of races in 2012! That mileage adds up fast...will be glad to read all about them in 13

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    1. I did add up, almost to 1,000 running miles for the year!

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  6. Wow, 29 races?! That's crazy in a totally good way. :) I love using races as training runs. Not that I wouldn't put in a solid effort on my own, but I find it easier to push myself in a competitive environment. As it's still the triathlon pre-season, I've been using my "races" as opportunities to practice pacing, which has worked well so far; I've completed these runs at an effort level of 7/10. I'm definitely looking forward to racing come spring!

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  7. I WANT to race all the races, but it just isn't feasible. I always have hopes of one or so a month during April-December (du, tri, runs), but things never seem to work out that way. Best laid plans and all. Plus I sometimes feel guilty of taking up family time with racing (though sometimes I race with family) and a little guilty about the fees on some of the more expensive races. 29 is a solid year of racing. But I totally get doing some of it just for fun and "supported" training.

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    1. That's completely understandable! Mike and I don't have kids and we both race so that makes it a little bit easier.

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  8. Got any races planned for July 4th 2013? MDI Relay!!!!! And of course RTB was about having FUN!!! All my running is about that actually... I still can't believe you all made a bet on how many times I would say that!

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    1. We'll have to see, I hope it works out!

      Of course we had a bet, it was our team's catchphrase! ;)

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  9. Yes, yes, yes!!! I love racing, but you can't "race" every race and still race often (that was a lot of races in one sentence). I agree with you 100%, you have to choose your priorities and plan around those. You can still try to go hard more often, but if you are constantly tapering, you'll never really hit your peak. Great year for you!

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    1. Thanks Heather! We definitely don't taper for all of those races, we probably tapered two or three times this year, if that.

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  10. A great year of racing for sure! :) Glad to have been at a couple of them too! :)

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  11. You've had a fabulous racing year! I used to sign up for any and all races I saw - but life/kids/money get in the way and now I'm paring down to ones where I want to do well on....so now when I do a race, I only race. ;)

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    1. I'm sure we will be like that someday!

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  12. If I came across races for $10, I'd be doing more of them, too. :) I agree with you- it helps to pick some A races and focus on those, and then fill in the others throughout the year for fun. Can't believe there were (or will be) 29- wow!!

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    1. I know, I didn't think I would run 29 races this year!

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  13. We are like you guys, we run a lot of races but race very few throughout the year. Several are either for a good cause, ones to do with friends or family, or runs that act as a long run or part of a long run for the week. I'm with you, it's hard to turn down a race for $10. Most of our local races are between $10-$20 and our local half is only $26. How can you not run a half for $26?!

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    1. Exactly! We ran two half marathons at about $60 for two of us! You can't beat that :)

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  14. I love love love love racing and really hope to do more in 2013. Like you, I wouldn't do all at max PR effort...but racing is just fun and I would love to do more just for that. Love your attitude about it.

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  15. Wow 29 races. Girl you inspire me.
    Me goal is to go from 1 this year (boo)
    to 13 next year.
    However, as you said they won't all be about racing.
    I have a half coming up in 3 weeks that will just be about seeing if I am healthy enough.
    29?
    29!!!
    I still cannot get over that.
    FYI - Helicopter me in. Between you and I we will force Sarah across that line in a 27:.. if I we have to drag her:)

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