Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Public musing about private thoughts...

So many races, so little time.

And I love races -- absolutely love 'em.

But I had decided to cut back on racing this year -- after the 40@40 challenge in 2012-13, plus running a lot of odd little runs in 2013 (and 15 halfs)… I was really really going to cut back in 2014.

My goals this year were to run more regularly, race less, and spend my "fitness dollars" on more key events, such as working toward the 50 States Challenge. That is, spend $$ on going to, say, Indianapolis and Cincinnati for the weekend to pick up two new states, rather than spend the money on a local race that I have already run, or seems overpriced, etc.

Of course, Spring is here, new races get announced, and my tiny, bling-lovin' heart soars…

I do know that I don't need a race to validate my running. But I also know that I love putting the effort in someone else's hands -- someone else figures out the route, hands me cups of water, and maybe even gives me a medal. Sometimes I even get a shirt -- even though I will most likely never wear it. (And I'm thrilled with races that offer a "no-shirt" option and cut $30 off the price.)

I like a race to offer something interesting -- either in experience, location, or even swag. I'm currently obsessing over a new race called the Daffodil Challenge.

It's tied with the annual Daffodil Festival and Parade. Actually, paradeS. I didn't realize that the Daffodil Parade extends outside Tacoma… but it actually is also held in Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting. Apparently, the first parade is in Tacoma, and then it travels to the next city, and then the next, and so on. Four parades in one day. (Those princesses must get tired of all the waving!)

This year South Sound Running (a really fine running store in Tacoma, should you ever be in town) has put together a Daffodil Challenge: 5K races in each of the four parade cities in one day. Run all four and when you cross the finish line in Orting, one of the Daffodil princesses will give you a medal… and you have the option of marching in the last parade.

Now, this is exactly the sort of ridiculous running event that I love. It seems like more of a logistical challenge than a physical one; 20K isn't a long day -- especially when staggered into 4 - 5K bursts. The hard part will be moving from city to city while massive parades are happening!

Of course… do I need to do something like this? Nope. Of course not. It's $80 for the four-race challenge. But I keep obsessing about it.

Another race I keep thinking about is the Cupcake Run. Wil and I ran it last year and had a good time -- and raised money for a local family. I love how low-key the race is, that the money really goes to charity (not just a buck or two per runner, but the vast majority of it), and that you get a cupcake when you finish. What's not to love? This lovely run is only $30. But, again, do I *need* to do this?

I look at my list of races in 2014 and see that I've included a few races that I've run before… for no particular reason.

I mean, why exactly am I proposing the Lakefair Run in July, other than it's a nice little race that offers a no-shirt option? We ran it a couple of years ago, had a nice enough time (no complaints whatsoever to the organizers!), but do I need to run it again? It's only $30 with if you register before 3/31 and opt out of the shirt. Still, no. But… but… my race calendar is looking so empty!!!

Maybe that's the rub -- I worry that not racing means I'm not a real runner?

Or maybe I'm just trying to be a little more frugal?

I just feel a little odd and conflicted about things.

I guess it goes back to my goals this year -- run more regularly, be smarter in when and where I race. Race only for new experiences and new challenges -- new states, new races, that sort of thing. Which means accepting that there will be fewer races on the docket, and (sniffle) fewer medals.

Still, I have three new states this year -- at least, I'm signed up for them and have the travel sorted. And I might even pick up a fourth later on. Eyes on the prize, right?

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