I woke up this morning with an e-mail from Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life. I know many of you may have received the same e-mail. Anyway these are the questions he asked:
"Why do you race? Why are you willing to pay to run on public streets or trails, sometimes paying large amounts for travel and accommodations? Why are you willing to plan a race around a particular weekend? What ARE your motivators to race?"
I really appreciate his questions. They made me think and reflect on my running life, as well as helped to get my writing brain flowing. They served as a great prompt for my morning writing. After responding to him, I realized that my e-mail was long enough to be a blog post. So, until I have something better to write about, here is what I sent him:
Good questions. Originally, I raced because I was on a cross country and track team. I raced because it was my way of paying for college and doing my "job". I hated it really...always sick to my stomach and nervous about how I'd do or what I was "expected" to do. Because of the pressure and nerves, I never really pushed past my personal barriers. I could never run like I knew I had the potential to run. More often than not, I was throwing up and crying because of too many nerves to "perform" the way others thought I should.
After college I began to run for ME. I ran because I loved the feeling it gave me. Eventually I started racing again but instead of racing against others or for a team, I raced only against myself and for myself. My times were the best they had ever been and I finally felt what it was like to be in a zone. I felt an ease to running that I had never felt before and I discovered that I was better than I ever realized I would be. I ran my first marathon not knowing what the Boston Marathon was or even having an expectation for a time....my only goal was to finish and have fun. When I ran a 3:22, I had people telling me that I qualified for Boston. Boston? why not. Now that I am trying to get back in to racing again after kids and a serious injury, I realize what I had then and how I took it all for granted. I hope to run again like that or even better. So now, I race because it gives me a personal goal to work towards. It gives me structure in my life and I feel that it makes me a stronger person. Working towards a racing goal does this for me:
* Allows me to do something for just ME. (this is important right now as a Stay at home mom who misses her career a bit).
* It is a Model for my kids to show them that we can do anything and keep striving to conquer big goals and work on improving our self.
* Allows me to live a healthy lifestyle
* When I am training and running, I am more focused on believing in the reality of my other dreams in life.
* Mood Booster.
* Personal Satisfaction of knowing that I'm Mentally and Physically strong and doing something only a small percentage of the population can and do do.
* OH, another big motivator is VANITY....gotta say that racing and training helps me stay in awesome shape and have a great body. Love the way my buns look in my favorite jeans when I'm in training. :) Hey, that's a big reason why many many women race....having a nice ass. :)
So, here are a few of my thoughts off the cuff....had to type fast since i have little kids at my feet....off to get some order to this house! :) Gee, this should be my blog for today. I should just copy and paste. hmmm, maybe...
Thanks again Kovas. Loved your questions this morning and excited to see what kind of responses you get. Eager to read your post when you've compiled it all and put it into something for us all to read (whatever you have planned).
Just for fun, I'll leave you with this college cross country picture. This was after a race in Kansas. Must have been in 1999 or 2000. Gosh, I'm making myself sound old.
1. Do you think it is important for your kids to see you set big goals for your life? And do you make time for personal ambitions in your busy life?
2. If you are a runner, when did you start running?
3. What is are a few things on your bucket list and/or some big life dreams you have? (this will be asked again in my next blog post...)
Longer term: Ironman (haven't even tried a sprit tri yet), Travel the world, spend a summer in Italy, learn a second and third language, Run the NYC marathon.... Midlife: Many big goals related to early literacy, creating a nonprofit parent group, publishing a children's book, opening my own children's bookstore....this will be my next blog post....to be continued....