This past Veteran’s Day, I participated in the final race of the Go Run Holiday Race Trilogy 2018. It was one of three holiday races for the year: 4th of July 5K, Labor Day 5K, and Honor Our Veterans 5K. For every race, each competitor received a medal that connects (by magnet) to form one whole medal. Since I missed the first race – oops! – I have two thirds of a medal. I still think that it was a wonderful idea and I was happy to have participated in two of the races!
Aside from receiving really cool medals, I ran because a race give you something challenging to work towards. Unlike my perception at track meets during my high school days, today, I look at the races I take part in, less a competition against others, and more as a competition against myself. I like to see what my body and mind are capable of. Seeing how much I can improve myself is what drives me.
It’s always nice to sign-up for a race with a friend, that way you can support each other and make it a fun event to look forward to do together.
The weeks of running and conditioning flew by and before I knew it, race day was here!
Waking up on race day was exciting! Despite the rain, I looked forward to the race, knowing that I was about to meet up with other runners to accomplish what we all have been working towards. Rather than feeling intimidated or divided among competitors, I think that we become united as we gather and take comfort in knowing that everyone around you is there for the same reason: to do something positive for their physical and mental health, while supporting a good cause.
As the race began, I weaved through the crowd, stomping around puddles, to find a spot where I could steady my pace. Once I found my position, I slowly started to tune out my surroundings and tune into my breathing and my thoughts. I continued like this until I neared the finish line. This particular race ended on a track, which helped me determine when to kick it up a notch. With 400 meters remaining, I picked up the pace knowing that it was only a matter of one lap until recovery. I sprinted through the finish line, collected my medal and a water bottle, and momentarily indulged in self pity as I panted in discomfort, just before a sense of exhilaration took over and I felt proud of myself for what I just accomplished. This is the point where I know it was all worth it.
Fun Fact: I’ve ran more 5K races in the rain than not.
Why do you run? Share your comment below!