Inside My Mind / Lifestyle

Do you have to race? TOL #18


When asked about my race schedule last cycle, I heard “only?” “anything else?” “what about *insert race*?” a lot.  Then a conversation with another runner last night during a practice run got me thinking so here I am for another Think out Loud Thursdays hosted by lovely Running with Spoons!

She asked me what I was training for for 2015 and I listed a few (it’s going to be a race filled year for me unlike 2014!) and when I asked her back, she said none.  I held off asking the same questions that were usually thrown at me since I know how they feel but it got me thinking – do we have to run races?

It feels like everyone is training for something or another but that’s because the people I’ve surrounded myself with are fellow racers!  I personally love racing because it gives me a goal to reach (and things to buy to reward myself for reaching said goal … haha) and training for a race while connecting with others online running the same race gives me the sense of a running community – someone to ask for a ride, someone to panic with, and someone to rant to about race day conditions!

But do we really need races to run?  Races are expensive and they take a lot of time out of our schedule to train for them/do them.

Some of you are going to say no and some yes.  Everyone is different and I personally feel like I’m a yes because without the incentive of “omg I paid $70 for this, I better get my butt into shape!” I usually just end up on the couch with Netflix playing (aka me after my last half marathon of the season for a whole month).

So tell me, what are your thoughts on it?

*Sorry if all of this seems jumbled! I just finished my final exams and I’m a little giddy! 😀 <3

<3 Carmy

PS If you haven’t already seen, I’m giving away a 10 pack of the new VegaOne all-in-one nutritional shake and a Vega Bottle here. & as usual, stay tuned for more giveaways this holiday season!  (hint: Feetures! socks?!)

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23 thoughts on “Do you have to race? TOL #18

  1. Yes and no – I do look forward to races! But, I haven’t signed up for one race for 2015 yet. Obviously waiting to hear back about a few ambassadorships because if I’m chosen, my usual ‘race schedule’ will definitely need to be revised. Races are really, really expensive and I do try and run new races each year. But right now, I’m happy just running 2-3x a week with no real plan

  2. Personally, I am not a race junkie. Although I love running, racing is a small part of why I run. When I run a race it’s because I have the time AND there is a good charity being supported. Races become rather expensive when you have an extensive calendar of races; I rather spend my time and money towards raising awareness for a great cause, but that’s just me. I say run, have fun and be the runner you want to be 🙂

    • for sure! I LOVE races where proceeds go to charity. I was more inclined to run those. For profit races are starting the pop up more and more often and it’s getting hard to tell now if they’re donating a small amount and keeping the rest or actually supporting mainly a charity.

  3. The obvious answer is ‘NO”!

    Why? What defines you as a runner? That you run. Period.

    Someone is not more or less of a runner based on whether or not they race, so racing isn’t necessary.

    Now the INDIVIDUAL question would be “Can you stay motivated to run without races to train for?” And that … well, it varies by the person.

    As for me … since I started running at 23 in 1989 and didn’t do my first race until 2012 – I think you have my answer 😉

  4. Your in that phase now? Kenny Yum had a post about that a few months ago about not running for the bling.

    Everyone starts wanting to race all the time. I’m VERY guilty of that myself. Then there are phases of running for fun, running for time, trying to avoid injury. They don’t necessarily go in that order, but it sees all runners dart in and out of each.

    I think the races are important as motivators. They kind of bookmark the seasons and provide a genuine opportunity for benchmarking. But they’re by no means “required”.

    • haha Kenny and I actually were teammates! He’s very passionate about running and you know he’s not doing it for the bling! Races are DEF like bookmarks for me! something to look forward to and helps me plan my season! Great way of putting it Paul!

  5. If you run you are a runner. You do not have to pay an entry fee to a race. Most people in races are not “racing” them. I personally love races and would do more, but since I’m training for a half, I like to use my weekends for long runs and don’t want to have to recover from racing a 5K.

    A lot of runners, including myself, love the bling when they first start. I loved my half marathon finisher’s medals and I have my marathon one. When I did the marathon, I just wanted that medal and 26.2 sticker. I wasn’t fully trained for the event and didn’t meet my goals. I have a big respect for the marathon and half marathon distance, and even the 5K and 10K, and I won’t do a race I am not ready or adequately trained for.

    I love racing and I try to run at least one a month. I like being around my friends, fellow runners, and supporting good charities, and I can afford to do most of the races I want to, but I think it’s also good to give your body a break sometimes and just enjoy running and do what you want without the pressure of a race.

    • the bling was definitely an incentive to start running (I’m still eyeing those runDisney medals…they’re gorgeous!) but over time I’ve started caring less and less about it and like you said, it’s being around your friends and supporting charity! I’ve made so many friends through races and it’s an amazing community to be a part of!

  6. I don’t need races to run, but I like to have the excuse of training for something every now and then. But I don’t run to race. And I’m pretty cheap, so I don’t like to pay for my running either 😀

  7. I went through a phase last year where I didn’t want to race. So I didn’t. I wanted to run but not run the races. I knew the feeling would pass so I didn’t push it. It took me a bunch of months to get the desire back but even if I didn’t return, I still loved to run! We do not need races to stay motivated, some people love the racing – the training and preparing while others just don’t–and that’s okay. In my opinion lol.

  8. YAY for finishing exams!!!!! I know that feeling is a really good one! 🙂

    I don’t love the pressure of races, but I do like to have at least one I’m signed up for at all times. I just like to sign up wayyyy in advance so I have a goal motivating me, but I’m not super pressured all the time!

  9. I don’t think we need to “race.” I don’t do many myself because of cost & well I don’t like paying to run 10k lol. I think there is too much emphasis these days on races. I just love to run. I’ve met a lot of people on runs who ask me what I am training for. Usually I reply with “Life.” That shuts them up! lol

  10. Yes and No. When I starting running four years ago, racing was actually my training and workout schedule. Sounds backwards I know, but you have to know my whole story to understand my rationale. Over the past four years the number of races I’ve signed up for and completed have declined significantly. This is mainly due to me spending more time coaching others and working to I m prove my own conditioning. This year I began to realize that running on my own for health purposes is far more important that preparing for a series if races. However, I still have a few target races that I complete every year. Those are the ones I mainly use as reference points to improve on speed, distance and time. Today, the added reward of obtaining more Bling is an afterthought. Just my 2 cents.


  11. Yay for finishing your exams! Enjoy some study-free time while you can 🙂
    I’m totally with you in this. Racing is what motivates me as well, and there’s nothing like the butterflies on the starting line and elation (or even disappointment) when crossing a finishing line. Races give color to my running (and life!). But some people don’t need them for motivation & just run for the fun of it, more power to them. To me, as long as you run, you’re cool in my book- no racing required 😉

    • My free time is now used to sleep LOL! I LOVE/hate the buterfly feeling! haha. I’m always so excited that I can’t sleep the night before a race lol!

  12. I have been having so many mixed emotions as of late.
    I LOVE running.
    I like racing.
    But my desire for next year has kind of depleted.
    There are a few races I want to do.
    The womens half, run for the kids, but other than that not much.
    Last year I did 9 races.
    And when you do one, why do it again? I mean yes always out for a PR.
    But I run for myself. and I don’t need to pay money to run 10K when I can run it for free anytime. 🙂
    I will never be the fastest runner, but I don’t need to be.
    I started running to be a healthier version of me and I am.
    I am also thankful for all the fantastic people I have met through running and racing.
    People are my motivators.
    And those are my thoughts 🙂

    • I think I only raced 3 times last season – twice was a relay where I subbed in last minute! I def feel the pain of paying for races especially 5-10ks! They’re fun to race but they’re so pricey for such a short distance!! Do you think you’ll at least do SportingLife? One of my favs and it’s practically free!

      PS I’m also so freaking glad for all the people I met especially you through our mutual love of running 😀

  13. I had a similar thought as I was doing a year end review. 2014 was full of races for me. Looking back, I think I got somewhat caught up in signing up, but not necessarily having a purpose for each race. Going forward into 2015, I will have a purpose for each race, whether PB, training race or even just for fun.

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