A sweet bloggy friend, and fellow runner, Sunshine, recently wondered about feeling *ready* for a race event. I appreciated her question because I remember wondering if I was race ready not so terribly long ago.
First of all, whether you are Speedy Gonzalez, a turtle or somewhere in between; whether you run outside or on a treadmill, or a combination of the two, you ARE a runner. Believe it. You are. It took me a long time to claim it, I always modified it (sometimes I still do by saying, yes, I run, but I'm really slow), but I still consider myself a runner.
Most likely I will not win a race, I may not ever win in my age group, I may get lapped by a 60+ Grandma. That's okay. Running in an event, whatever the distance, is about the overall experience and the personal accomplishment. It's about the cheers and support of the crowds; it's about the young girl or boy that hands you a cup of cold water; it's about the child that gives you a high five along the course and his big brother holding a sign that says "Run Mama Run!"; it's about crossing the finish line and knowing you did it.
Often signing up and committing to a race event, whether it's a 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon can be the motivation you need to take your running habit a little more seriously and experience it on a different level. The race environment is hard to describe, but unforgettable. You definitely feel the energy and the support from your fellow runners and the crowd.
So. Whatcha waitin' for? Find a race in your area and sign up!
Look for signs or ads about local races in your area; search online or visit your local running store to find race information. A 5K (a little over 3 miles) might be a good starting distance. If you want slightly more of a challenge check out the 10K (a little over 6 miles). Many of these events are family friendly and some allow strollers. Often there are events for the kidlets, like a Kids' K, and it's a great way to share your passion for running with your children. Once you have set a clear goal and you've put some money on the line, now you need to follow through and train safely for your race.
If you have never registered for a race, whatever the distance, I challenge you to give it a try this summer or fall. I can't wait to hear about your race experiences.
You CAN do it! You are RUNNERS. Go girls, GO!