Tuesday, January 15, 2008

11 Road Race Updates & Adjustments to My Racing Calendar


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In a previous post, I blogged about the upcoming races I was interested in entering.

Well, thanks to my friend, Marcy, I now know that the Lewisburg 5-Miler won't be happening this year. I'm actually kind of relieved to hear this news, as I was torn between running the race & participating in the Lewisburg Arts Festival this year, which are both held on the same day. Due to the time-consuming nature of setting up our booth for this outdoor festival, I wouldn't have had enough time to have done both activities, unless I had someone else who could take care of the bulk of the setup. The other reason is that I've been doing this arts festival almost every year for the past few years, & my customers from this area tell me that they look forward to seeing me there every year. So, it looks like I'll be choosing to do the festival again this year!

So, right now, it looks like I'll be entering two road races:

Saturday, June 21, 2008, 8:00 am - Run For the Roses 5K. I plan to run this race with my CT5K running buddy (i.e., the same person I've been blogging about here!).

Saturday, July 19, 2008, 8:45 pm - Rockville Twilighter 8K (a.k.a., the Rockville Rotary Twilight 8k). This is a favorite race of my friend, Janice. Hope she runs it this year!

Also, I've decided to post my race calendar on the left sidebar of this blog, which I'll be adding very shortly, so be on the lookout for that update as well.

11 comments:

Eric Gervase said...

Any reason for such a short list of races? Not knocking, just curious. Races are the driving force behind my running. But, I realize they are not everyone else's cup o' tea.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Eric,

Well, I wasn't going to get into that, but since you asked, how about these reasons? ;-)

(1) I'm possibly planning my wedding in 5 months or less, & as of yet have made no arrangements of any sort at this time. Since you've already gone through this, I guess you already know how time-consuming this can be. ;-)
(2) I'm currently looking for a job & simultaneously freelance-writing.
(3) Add to that list a few more plans & projects: I'm currently writing a novel & also a cookbook with all-original recipes by yours truly, run 3 businesses, maintain & write 6 blogs, have a full social calendar, maintain a household, and have got more projects & irons in the fire than most normal human beings. ;-)
And lastly....
(4) I'm not sure where I'll be physically located or what I'll be doing in 6 months to a year's time.

Mind you, these aren't excuses, just reasons. You asked! ;-)

I do in fact like racing very much, & find it motivational, especially since I plan to run a marathon in 2 years time, & need to use these lower-mileage races as building blocks to work up to the longer distances.

Right now, I'm starting small, as my training time is currently limited & there are so many unknown variables for me & my longterm calendar. Also, I find that I work best when I take things a few months at a time, & plan only a few months ahead. Plus, the races I plan to enter right now will be relatively small, local races, so it's not like I need to register a year in advance. Or, let's hope not, or I & others running with me will be in trouble. ;-)

Mister Scott said...

c-
your reasons for not signing up for many races are very valid and i, too, unlike previous years have not signed up for much... mostly because i'm at the point now where i look for unique running experiences more so than a competitive opportunity--when i started registering it was all about the finsiher's medals and t-shirts! There are 5ks nearly every week during the summer locally and i dont feel the need to always sign-up early enough for the t-shirts anymore... i'm actually thinking about giving volunteering during the runs a try. in the end,
the important thing is that your running goals are your own ;)

cheers!
mr. scott

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Mister Scott,

Very well put as usual. 8-)

I think it's great that you've decided to volunteer for races. It's a great way to give back to the sport, as well as an enjoyable social outlet.

I like what you said about looking for unique running experiences & ensuring that your running goals are your own.

Of course, running is many different things to many different people. And everyone has different reasons/motivations for running, & different goals they'd like to achieve as well. As they say, to each his (or her) own.

Of course, Eric G.’s reasons are certainly just as valid as yours or mine. I think it’s great that he uses racing as a means to motivate himself. There's definitely something to be said for doing this. There's nothing like a race to hone your focus & for many of us, it's something exciting to look forward to accomplishing. As for how many races per year are needed to adequately do the trick, I think it’s an individual thing & that there's no "right answer."

I think it’s generally a good idea to run in several smaller races as a precursor/testing-ground for performance, in preparation for an upcoming marathon. Right now, it’s easier for me to think in terms of building base mileage, & just work on achieving that singular goal right now, regardless of how many races I enter while I’m in the building phase.

Frankly, I know part of the reason I haven’t scheduled more races, other than my busy schedule (!), is that I don’t want to hurriedly enter races (just for the sake of having “x” number of races to run per year), & as a direct result, find myself ill-prepared, & then finish “badly.” Now, of course, I mean that in reference to my own yardstick of self-measurement, & am not meaning to suggest that I’m judging finishing times as an absolute. I’m sure that my finishing goals would probably be considered “awful” by most competitive running standards, but then again, my goal isn’t to place in the top three! ;-) Likewise, to another set of people, my goals might seem admirable. Again, I don’t really care what other people think about my goals, as they are mine. ;-)

I find that while I am perfectly happy to run for the sake of running in & of itself, & I also enjoy challenging myself to run races. It's not so much that I race to compete with others (although it definitely spurs me on to achieve!), but rather that I race to compete with myself.

Since my initial goals are to build distance & then gradually, see how much I can improve my times, I'm not so concerned about exactly when I run my first marathon. I'd rather take my time & do it right, then end up getting injured or prematurely ending my running career for various reasons (burn-out, injury, etc.).

When people I know find out that I'm training for a marathon, they inevitably ask me, "So when's the marathon?" They are often surprised when I tell them it's 2 years away! ;-) It’s like they think you can just wake up one day & decide to run the marathon, & then the next day just go out & do it! ;-) The absurdity of this idea always makes me chuckle. Most non-runners don't realize just how much time & preparation is needed to build up base mileage, before the subject of marathon-training even enters into the equation. Even for a well-seasoned athlete who's moderately in shape, it still takes a decent amount of time to train.

I find that a lot of people I talk to (particularly those individuals outside of the running community, that is) don't understand my approach, & frankly, that's just fine with me. I don't feel the need to justify my approach to marathon-training (or the marathon itself!) to others. Of course, I'm not running the marathon for these particular people, I'm running it for me, & also, to feel connected to my grandfather's legacy as an athlete/runner/track-star.

Thanks so much for your insightful comments! I always look forward to hearing your comments, as you’ve got a lot of meaningful words of wisdom to share.

Eric Gervase said...

I'm pretty sure you didn't take any offense to my comment... But, just in case, I apologize if I ruffled feathers. I was truly curious. You've got so much going on right now and there is nothing wrong with not littering your training with races.

Me, on the other hand, will probably do more races than I should. But, I love to race and push my PRs. But, that may be part of the reason I'm finding myself injured lately.

Anyhow, you've got some exciting stuff on your plate. Good luck with it all (especially the wedding planning). Also... I saw you commenting to Nate that you once lived in Harrisburg. Nice, I'm from Lancaster. Not too far away. Small world..

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Eric,
You're correct. No offense taken. It takes quite a lot to get my feathers ruffled. ;-) But thanks for being so thoughtful to mention your concern.

Well, I guess it can be hard to assess someone's tone in digital format, unless someone writes in all caps. ;-)

So no prob at all. I was happy to explain, although it made me wonder how I'm going to get everything on that list done! ;-)

I think it's great that you've got lots of races planned. That's what excites & motivates you; as soon as you heal from your injuries, I know you'll be looking forward to getting back to your training. I'll look forward to reading about your racing experiences, but until then, I hope you won't rush into running before you're ready. Of course, you're probably all the more eager because you're in your current situation. I know how that is: I was benched as the result of a knee injury back in October 2006 & couldn't wait to get moving again!

Also, thanks for your well-wishes regarding my 5 zillion projects & wedding planning.

Well, what a small world it is, indeed! Actually, it's more likely that I wrote that I used to live near Harrisburg, but no matter. ;-) Wow, you are a stone's throw away from my hometown (Lewisburg). Ever been there? I've been to Lancaster several times. We're practically neighbors. LOL.

cymrusteve said...

Eric: you sound just like me :)

"Me, on the other hand, will probably do more races than I should. But, I love to race and push my PRs."

Haha..what are we like eh?

Corey: I really don't understand how you fit everything in. Keep up the great work and I'm sure your races will be a huge success!

--Steve

cyberpenguin said...

Thanks, Steve! I often wonder that myself. ;-)

It seems like you certainly have a full life yourself, but the important thing is that you still manage to fit in your training!

cyberpenguin said...

Just a word on task-juggling:

Not that I am by any means perfect at simultaneously juggling all of these tasks, but I do take comfort in the fact that many of those projects on the list are long-term goals. It just takes some prioritizing, & a lot of deep breaths! ;-)

Of course, good time management, advance planning, & remaining flexible in one's schedule & approach, all help too!

I think all of you -- Steve, Eric G., & Mister Scott -- sound like you're really good at all of the above, as you've train for marathons & still manage to have a full life. And, additionally, some of you have (small) children, & still manage to get so much done in a day. So that's a big accomplishment in & of until itself! I don't know how you manage it all. Frankly, I'm in awe of all of you. So how 'bout that! ;-)

And of course, let's not forget the other people in the equation that help us achieve our goals: It helps greatly to have a good support system behind all of us -- our families, friends, & all of the others who cheer us on & encourage us to keep going. I think it's so important to show our appreciation to these people.

So, on that note, thanks so much for your friendship & for being so supportive! 8-)

Eric Gervase said...

Let me tell you... I have more help than I know what to do with. My wife is a saint. I do have a lot on my plate though. I have a pretty challenging job, I'm finishing up my MBA and I love to run (then there's this blogging thing, but I think that's therapy). Anyhow, it's nice to know that other people struggle to get it all in too.

You're welcome and thank you...

cyberpenguin said...

Your wife sounds like a wonderful person. It must be great to have her in your corner, especially with all of the stuff you've got on your plate!

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