Why you should “race” anyway…
I hear so often people say they don’t want to attend races because they are not in currently “PR shape,” for various reasons.
Sure, coming up short on a goal, coming back from an injury or dealing with burnout can take a toll on one’s fitness and more so, mental game.
It can feel very daunting thinking about racing again, and many athletes even avoid getting back out there for fear of repeated “failure.”
Yes, it’s extremely disappointing to pour into something, only to miss the mark and left to question your abilities.
But if we never face any sort of adversity, how would we grow as athletes and more importantly, as people?
If you happen to find yourself wondering if/when the time is right to get back out there again, please consider the following…
Remember Your WHY – Many of us start running to lose a few pounds, get healthier or to have an outlet in our hectic lives. Along the way, we discover the joy and sense of accomplishment it can bring. Remember how excited you were when you ran your first mile non stop, or when you crossed your first finish line? What about all the incredible friendships? Don’t let disappointment take away from all the joy running can bring you.
Honor Where Your Current Fitness – Look, it is what it is. Getting discouraged and beating yourself up isn’t going to magically it. The first step to improvement is recognizing where you currently are (not where you were or where you want to be) and be willing to build from there.
Set New Benchmarks – Your current goals may not be as ambitious as they once were, but it’s where you are now. Setting a postpartum, post-injury, or post “life got in the way” PR should be celebrated! It’s a huge victory and testament to your re-dedication to yourself and your dreams.
Rip the Band-Aid Off – Stop letting fear control you. Races offer us so much more than PR’s, from the community to the exciting atmosphere. If you’re prepared to run the miles, let go of your ego, set a realistic race strategy and go out and execute. There’s nothing like those finish line feels.
Get Coached – It’s hard to know how to pull back, and when/how to push yourself again. Getting some expert advice will help you get back at it safe and effectively, all while holding you accountable all while encouraging you through your fears and doubts.
So what’s stopping you? You may not be 100% where you want to be, but you’re a lot further than from when you initially started. Go on out and have some fun, earn some bling, make new friends and be proud!