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Discover Your Reason to Race

Advice From a Former Olympian Marathoner


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  • Just what I needed to read today! I began running 2 years ago. I have run several 5 km's, one 8 km race and now in a mere 2 weeks, will run my first 10 km race!!!!
    The past few weeks I have really struggled to stick with my training and this article reminds me to look at WHY I am doing it! Thanks!
    Last Sunday at the ripe old age of 56 I ran my first race EVER!! I ran in a half marathon and while I didn't finish in the first half of the pack or even the first 75% of the pack, I DID finish!! My time was an entire minute per mile faster than any training run. The 13.1 miles was 5 miles further than I had EVER run/walk. I stuck with my plan (walk 50 seconds, run 40 seconds) and I am hooked!! I do notice a huge let down - because it's over. The worst part was the anticipation and the self doubt. But once the race began in the pouring rain, and I had ascended that steep hill which was the first mile - I KNEW I could do it. I encourage anyone who is second guessing themselves to give it a try. Even if you have to walk it, you CAN finish and isn't that the real goal? Good luck!
  • Just what I needed to hear this morning. I started a C25K programme on August 1st, ran my first 5K on October 23rd, and last week signed up for a 5 miler on December 17th. Today's run felt slow and sluggish and I was starting to second guess whether I "deserved" to be out there in a race with serious runners. I forgot that important part about it being what *I* want it to be. Thanks for the reminder and the motivation. Looking forward to my next training run ... for ME!
  • Excellent motivational article! I started running because walking was getting boring. Then I decided to do a virtual race here on SparkPeople. So I decided to train with one of their programs. In the middle of the training was a race for our local humane society, so I figured I'd do the training there & help them out. Well, my dog and I ran that and we took 2nd place for women over 50!

    If I didn't have the bug before, I do now!
  • Just loved your article! I walked a 10K last spring and this coming Saturday I will RUN my first 5K! For the past year, I walked 5 to 10 miles 5-6 days a week but as for running, I always put up "walls" saying to myself, I'm too old, my joints/feet can't handle running, etc. I've been training and feel confident I can do it. I'm 61 years old and have NEVER been a runner or an athlete. I'm excited and anxious!
  • SJM2002
    I completely agree that training for a race keeps me motivated, I always have one in the works! Great read!
  • I run local races for all of these reasons. Once I'm registered for a race, chances are I am more likely to stick with some sort of regular running routine. Some say its an expen$ive habit...but I tell them, hey - I don't really eat out and a proceed of the profits go towards charity. I enjoyed this article. I never knew there was such a fun-filled community amongst runners.
  • I am turtle, but I finish
  • Loved reading this article. It confirmed what I felt when I ran and completed my first half marathon last weekend. Yeah for us runners! (I can't believe I just called myself that!) LOL : )
  • I am a "late bloomer" runner and this article is so true of me! I remember in college I worked up to running around the track 4 times, but often struggled with a "stitch" in my side. Then in my 30's I started running again and for many years, ran 3 miles. One day I told a trainer that I was bored in my workouts, and he told me to train for a 10K. I thought I could never do it, but felt such a huge satisfaction when I completed the race with a decent time. Then I realized that if I pushed myself, I could be a "contender." In my 40th year I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. When the young marine put the medal around my neck and saluted me, "Job well done, M'am!", it was a huge high for me!
  • Being in a road race is so much FUN. In '00, I walked in 9 races, from 5k to a 10 miler. Yeah, sometimes I came in last, but so what? I got the t-shirt just the same. You can't believe how proud I was to wear that 10 mile race t-shirt. There were 2 of us walking, and yes, we were last and the goodies were all gone, but we trained just the same as the runners and we did it! 4mph race pace, not bad.

    I made a race singlet that said "Walkers are athletes too" on it. I never was a runner, even when I was at a normal weight. I always think the runners look miserable and standoffish anyway (if you're a runner, no offense, JMHO). Walkers always have more fun since they're not trying to "win".

    That was my best year ever I think. Reached my goal weight, walked for hours and loved it.
  • I just finished my first 5K! It was so fun!!! Please don't hestitate to try out racing. I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to finish the race but I placed 5th in my age catagory. You can do it too. Training is harder than actually running the race.
  • This was a fairly interesting article.

    By the way, it's "hordes of runners," not "hoards." A feature article should be proofread.
  • Great points about motivation. And it doesn't have to be a race to challenge yourself. A few years ago I was invited to join a group of Scouts for a two-day backpacking trip. About 20 miles of hiking rough trails, with packs. I had made a lot of progress in my fitness and decided to see if I could do it. One of the toughest things I've done, but I felt like a champion because I made it.
    My boot camp instructor challenged us to enter a 10k race. 4 weeks ago I couldn't run 1 km. I am now running/walking 7 km. Race day is 3 weeks away. I am really scared. But this article helped set my goal in perspective and helped motivate me for the next 3 weeks of training!

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