Racing My Way to Fitness

One of the most common comments I receive is:

“Hollie you race a lot”

When I am healthy I like to race a lot. I like to race as much as possible because it builds up my speed. I don’t enter every race with the expectation that it will be a PR or even close. 

In fact, last week it was a personal worst.

Did I still enjoy myself even though I ran a PW? Yes…did I log a much slower time? Yes…

So why do I race so frequently? Why do I choose to go to a race nearly every weekend?

First, I believe adding extra races to my schedule allows me to get in workouts I know I wouldn’t otherwise. I know I would not do tempos by myself. I would just do a long easy paced run and call it a day. My speed motivation comes from racing.  That is on a personal level.

delaware race

Second, I like to race because I feel a sense of community. I feel like I belong to something bigger and better. That might sound cliché but I have no problem donating 30 dollars to a local race to raise money for a charity or school club. In New Jersey there is a 5k most weekends. They are often times associated with a fundraising event.

veterans haven 5k group

Third, racing is fun. Running a workout by yourself while dry heaving does not appeal to me personally. It appeals to a lot of people but not me. I would rather dry heave with people spectating and race photo proof.

So fun!
So fun!

Fourth, the actual ability to race every weekend. Many people are able to race a half marathon or full marathon distance every weekend. I am not one of those people. I will get injured.  With proper rest and recovery, I am able to race 5ks every weekend. My body bounces back and I enjoy doing them!  I’m in awe of the marathon maniacs and their ability run back to marathons.  I like that I’m able to settle on a 5k distance and bounce back.

trails 5k

Finally: Seeing Progression!

This summer I can see how I have progressed in the 5k distance. I can visibly tell I’m making progress and hopefully it continues that way!

May 5k PR: 20:15

June 5k PR: 19:40

July 5k PR: 19:15

August 5k PR: ?!?!?!?!

So it’s easy to see the progression since the summer started. Like anyone I’ve had set backs such as last week. I’ve also raced other distances. Oddly enough I have raced a lot of 5 milers this summer!

In summary, I enjoy racing frequently. It’s something I’m able to integrate into my training. It is helping me to become faster, stronger and I’m staying (knock on wood) injury free.  My running is also the happiest it has been in two years.

Do I associate just racing with running happiness?  No, of course not but it definitely plays a role in my running.

One of my last races

Questions for you:

How often do you race?

Do you like racing?