Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Racing... alone?

If there is one thing I have learned about myself since taking up running, I have learned that I am motivated by races.

It's not necessarily the actual race and the thrill of my time placing somewhere along side other runners, it is more along the lines of the social atmosphere that comes with the race.

I like getting up early and meeting runner friends at the site. I like going out the night before to carb load, and to trade stories during training. I guess you could said I like the comradery that comes with racing.

Earlier this year I made a goal for myself to run "12 in '12." Twelve races for the 2012 year, inspired by Kyria. Since the beginning of the year I have ran 5 races and I am not sure if I will make it to all 12, but if I don't make it, I will be very, very close. (honestly, a major fact is the cost. It adds up!)

My question is, clearly I like to make racing a very social event. I like to run races with other people, and although I do not mind doing things alone, I do not really prefer it. I have not stopped to really consider running a race (like a 5K, something small) alone. Until today. I was reading through Runner's World, one of my newest running obsessions, and I saw a post about running a Thanksgiving 5K. That was something I always wanted to do, but then I thought, wait? Who would run that with me?

Now, why did I just think that??

The funny thing is, when I am actually running and training, I would rather run by myself. I hate the feeling of holding somebody back, and it is something I am sure I will get over with time (and as I get faster) but for now, but I enjoy running by myself or with Zeke.

So now, my question is why do I not go ahead and sign up for races? Why am I waiting for others to do it first?

Do you make running social? Do you tend to run races with other people or sign up alone? 

PS: the half marathon is 11 days away. After that, I promise my posts will not be laced with *everything running*


Allison Nimlos said...

I have an idea of why I might do that, but I don't know if it will make sense for you.

If it were me, I might sign up for a race with a friend, but prefer training alone, because I'm more likely to be overwhelmed and intimidated by other runners. It's nice to go to a big event knowing one other person that you can count on for emotional support. But when you're training, you might not need that (although a lot of people love training with others.)

Like I said, that might be why I do it. I don't know if you'd be the same. Personally, I think I would also want to sign up for a race on my own because even racing, I don't want anyone holding me back or feel like they are "with me" and thus can't run faster than me.

Amber said...

I do lots of races "alone" but since I live in a small city and have really gotten to know the local running community I almost ALWAYS see a few people I know and can talk to, even when I go to races by myself!

Stephany said...

I tend to run races my mom signs up for. (Honestly, she's the one who pushes ME to sign up for races!) I like having her for support before the race, even if she's racing in a different race than me. But I HAAAATE running with someone else. I am super-duper slow so I always feel I have to run faster and it just feels awkward for me. I much prefer running alone where I can control my pace and not have to worry about being social! Ha.

Anne said...

Great post...the funny thing is that I WAY prefer running alone. I have yet to run one of my 5k's with friends or family.

It's weird now that I think about it, but for some reason I feel much more comfortable doing them alone.

Maybe we're both cooky? Haha.

Suz L said...

We are so alike! I so wish you lived in NC because I would totally be your partner for any and every race you wanted to sign up for! Races totally motivate me too and while I don't run with someone during the race, I always have to sign up with at least 1 friend.

Anonymous said...

I've never done a race, but my pops and I are doing one in December. I'm pretty pumped!!


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Thanks for the mention! I am glad I inspired somebody! My take on the subject is this. I spent a lot of time waiting to do things until someone could/would do it with me and I wasted time and didn't get to do things that make me happy. So now, I sign up for things, go places and do things and I hope other people will join me, but I am not going to base my choice on their answer. So, don't let other people hold you back from what you love, but since part of what you love is the social aspect, maybe just having friends come support you, carb load with you and cheer for you is enough? I don't know.

Good luck with your half! Are you ready!? Only one more week!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I do a mix... I tend to sign up with others for big races, like my 1/2 marathon last year in Victoria, and the Portland marathon in 2010. Besides that I pretty much always sign up for races on my own. It's just easier logistically for me v. trying to coordinate with another person! I signed up for DSM thinking I'd do it alone - now you are doing the 1/2 and 3 people from run club are doing the full, which is pretty cool!

If I was going to be in MInneapolis for Thanksgiving, I would definitely do a 10k race that I have done in the past. It's the best way to start the day!!

Taylor @ Goings on in Texas said...

If it's a race, I want a race buddy. If it's training, and I can find someone who's at my level, then it'll help me get through it. So yes, I am a social runner. ;) And truthfully, I don't like running all that much, but if it gives me the opportunity to hang out with a friend then I'm all for it. Social and exercise all in one. ;)

Donna said...

I like to run because it gives me the opportunity to be alone for a little while. I am the kind of person who needs a lot of alone time, and with little kids around running is pretty much the only alone time I get. I do like to sign up for races with other people, but I get so focused during the race that I don't like to socialize while I'm running, just before or after the race. But I've done four races so far, and all but one of them I've done by myself. It's less fun, but I don't want to rely on whether someone will be able to do something with me. I am hopefully going to do a 10k on Thanksgiving, probably by myself.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I make running social, but most of the time, I run alone. This past weekend though, I ran the Color Run Memphis with a friend and we had so much fun! So, I'm not sure why I do my races alone...