So, here’s my dilemma today – I want to do more races. How many races, you ask? All the races. Maybe it’s the change in the weather or maybe it’s just the fact that there are soooooo many awesome races in Atlantic Canada but I kind of want to do them all. It’s not that I need more t-shirts (I assure you, I don’t) and it’s not that I need all the medals (but pretty bling is a sweet bonus). I think the biggest reason I want to race more is that races are always a great experience. And not just the race itself, but the whole atmosphere that goes along with the race. Chatting with other runners before and after the race, doing the warm up or visualizations that are part of your pre-race routine, even pinning the race bib on my clothes – I love it all!
I’m currently wrestling with a strong desire to register for the Bluenose Marathon 5 km race. As it’s only 6 days after the Fredericton Marathon, it may not be the smartest thing to do, but I just keep hearing so many good things about the race – and I love, love, love Halifax. Best of all, it’s taking place at 3 in the afternoon, so I wouldn’t even need to worry about a hotel, as we could drive down in the morning and just make a day trip of it. I literally think I’m talking myself into this happening as I type it.
June is also filled with tough choices. There is an international marathon (The Bay of Fundy Marathon) that takes places between Maine and New Brunswick – although the travel costs rule that out this year realistically. There is also Johnny Miles happening in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia which is one of the more affordable races and also quite popular amongst the racers in this area. Add in the fantastic Cross Border Challenge that has you run over the NB/NS border and is organized by a fantastic group of people in Amherst, NS and once again picking and choosing gets VERY difficult! And those are just the ones off the top of my head!!!
It’s hard to balance the discipline required for consistent improvement with enjoying one of the best parts of the running community, the races themselves. There are various schools of thoughts on this but I really do think it’s a matter of personal preference and listening to your body. There is always the danger of overdoing it – going out too hard, too often – and causing injury. That being said, treating some races just as training runs, can be a way to keep things fresh and remind you of how many amazing people there are in the running community. To use a running analogy, life is a marathon, not a sprint. Ultimately, you must remember that there will always be other races and other years. Learn from the past, plan for the future but always live in and enjoy the present!