And the longest post title goes to….
Hey what’s up hello I’m writing this at 12:18 a.m. from Nashville after a couple glasses of wine and one frustrating game of Settlers of Catan. I’ve got the day off tomorrow and all the late night thoughts of 2016 goals and, of course, racing. I’ve been able to rein in some of my urges to goal-plan, but my desire to sign up for my next round of races won’t seem to leave me be.
After my most recent marathon, I wrote a post explaining how I did too much in 2015 and how badly I needed a break. I found closure in wrapping up the running highs and lows of my past year and projected to the future that I would take a break from this whole racing thing and renew my love for running instead of “training.” But I’m not even 3 weeks into post-marathon life and I’m already wanting to go against my own will.
Allow me to backtrack:
Growing up, I was never the kid who would throw a fit and turn over the board game in tears every time the babysitter didn’t let me win. I haven’t always been this competitive. In fact, if you would’ve asked me in high school about winning or success, I probably would’ve given you some colorful words to say that I didn’t care too much about anything. Even in Cross Country and Track, I didn’t have trouble shrugging off all my losses or the times in which I didn’t even come close to placing in my meets.
So what changed? How did I go from 0 to 90 or IDGAF to giving all the shiz so quickly?
Good news: it’s not my fault
Bad news: racing is addicting
Yes, I was physically “racing” in high school, but in my head, I was just showing up and my heart was no where to be found. I wasn’t invested at all. Once I renewed my love for running in college, I realized that I could tap into a lot more potential when I was doing it for myself and enjoyment. And when I mixed that potential with friendly competition, it was game over. Why? Because once you get into it, racing is addicting.
Why Racing is Addicting:
- There’s always an element of surprise
You never actually know how it’s going to go regardless of how much you train or prepare- it’s the anticipation of whether or not your hard work is actually going to pay off. You also never know who is going to show up and potentially kick your butt. The best is when you’re going back and forth with someone of the same gender and have no idea until the end if they’re in your same age group or not.
- It speaks to our inner adrenaline-junkie
Before the race, every single cell in your body goes haywire and the feeling only amplifies as you take your position at the start. You wake up ready to go and you stay in that mode all the way until the finish. It’s exhausting, but thrilling all at the same time.
- It floods us with endorphins
This is why we really don’t stand a chance against racing. After each race, you are flooded with endorphins, which send little signals to your brain telling you that that it’s time to pick out the next one. You have to do it again.
- It gives us positive reinforcement
You cross the finish line and all the sudden people are reaching out to give you water, medals/bling , free food, and sometimes even money and other prizes. Runners aren’t noted to be shallow, but who doesn’t love to be showered with gifts?
- It leaves you wanting more
Regardless of if you PR or completely duff the race, you either leave with a positive experience and can’t wait to do it again or you accept that it didn’t go according to plan and are already plotting to try once more.
5.5 The second you vow that you’re going to take a break, FOMO sets in
As always, thanks to Amanda for legitimizing my r a n d o m running posts.
Have you caught the racing bug?
Why do you love to race?
What race are you most looking forward to in 2016?