Posted by: David Stewart | January 10, 2012

The race to the bottom

My new running coach has me signed up for a couple of races, a 10K this coming Sunday and a 5K in February.10408588-large[1]

Shorter races in a training program are great for a couple of reasons:

  • They get you in the mode of racing. When you race, your mind is much more focused on pushing yourself, far more than any regular run.
  • It’s a good way to evaluate your current fitness level at this stage of the training.
  • As a bonus, I find that I’m much more likely to actually win an age group award, since these shorter races are much smaller than the half marathons or marathons I run.

The picture I grabbed above (with apologies) is actually about cross-country racing that my local newspaper, the Oregonian, used in a post about a cross-country race.  I thought it expresses the flip-side of shorter races:

  • As with any winter running, these races can be mucky, chilly, windy, messy or all of the above. The weather can definitely be a factor in your final time, as well as the course.
  • As my friend Marc Frommer comments, you really do need to run all-out on these races. There is no concept of getting into a comfortable jog or a slightly uncomfortable push. You are in pain and probably cursing yourself for such foolishness.
  • The 5K is actually not too bad, since you’re over with it before you know it. Unless you hurt yourself, of course.

What does this say about someone who would want to sign up for an event like this? Even if you are not heavily into training, racing is a great way to get some challenge in your running. There is nothing like the excitement of a race to get your blood pumping and get fired up.

As such, I can’t say I’m looking forward to these, but they are now on my race calendar:

January 15, 2012

When: Early start for the half at 8a, 10k and 2-miler at 8:30a, regular start for the half at 9a

Where: Cascade Jr. High School (10226 SE Marion Rd., Turner OR, 97392)

Register: Online HERE; Download an entry form to mail in HERE; or register in person at Gallagher Fitness Resources at 135 Commercial St NE in downtown Salem.  The event is limited to the first 1000 entries.

February 12, 2012

Where: Downtown Portland under the Morrison Bridge.

Register: Online HERE.

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