Running vs. Racing

01 Aug

A couple of weekends ago, I ran from my house to the gym with plans to lift weights and then run home. The course of the run led me up a street that was a nice, long hill, and it had to be at least a mile long. By the time I got to the gym (4 miles later) I realized any sort of lifting would leave me much too tired to make it all the way back home. I took advantage of the foam rollers and did some abs and ran home.

Fast forward to this morning, and I was really itching for a good, long run. I decided that I would run up the long hill and then run over to another shorter, steeper hill and then home. I did my usual mile warm up and running exercises (skipping, high knees, karoke and running backwards) and headed toward the long hill. About a third of the way up the hill I heard someone clear their throat behind me. It sounded like a man, so I HAD to turn around and check. I was pretty focused on the hill, so I thought it was someone on a bike, but a pretty slow biker because when I finally got to the top of the hill, they still hadn’t passed me. My goal was to run to the top of the hill, and then walk for a minute to catch my breath. But the “man on a bike” turned out to be another girl, who said, “It’s motivating to have someone to chase up the hill.” And my response, after walking 10 steps, was, “And its motivating that you are still running!” So I started running again, we chatted a minute and then split off to different routes.

The experience really got me thinking about why racing is better than running. I usually say that running is better than racing. You can go out any day, any time and run however far, however fast, all for FREE! You have to pay to race, and although its not as expensive as some sports, racing isn’t cheap. $25-$40 for a 5k and $85-$125 for a half marathon is pretty average, if you pay 3 months in advance. Run several races a year and it adds up, especially if you don’t have race expenses built into your budget. But this morning, I realized why racing is better, it’s the competition. I was more motivated to run faster up the hill so I wouldn’t get passed, and I was more motivated to keep running when someone else kept running.  Maybe if I ran with someone else, I’d be motivated to run, but then again, I like running because it’s my alone time, my me time.

Do you think racing is better than running? What do you like best about running or racing?

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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Running


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