Earlier this week I found out there was going to be a 5K literally 5 minutes from my house in Wrentham, Mass. called the Wrentham Wroad Wrace. Of course I immediately signed up because usually I have to travel for races but this one was so close!
As I said it was just a 5K so nothing too crazy but it was really great to get out there and race. It’s hard to believe but I actually haven’t “raced” many road races. I’ve done a few since I started running in March but I can literally count them on one hand. This is not OK, I realize this. While I went into this race just wanting to have fun and get to know some of the local runners I came away from it with so much more.
I love to run! But I also really enjoy racing. I love all of it from the pre-race prep and dynamic stretching to the gun going off at the start line and the cheers at the finish. Nothing better. This race also made me realize the only way to get better at racing is to race often. There’s such a science behind where to line up at the start and how much water to drink, what to bring on race day and how to pass other runners without being obnoxious. And frankly, the only way to get better at these details of racing is to get out there and race.
While I absolutely love my long runs and going for longer distances, I think running these shorter, faster distances are the only way to improve on racing techniques. I know I’m never going to be a sub-3 marathoner (unless I’m talking about my Paul Ryan time) and I’m fine with that because more than racing and PRs and time, I just love running. To me, my end goal is to be a runner for life no matter how fast or how slow. If that means not racing for a few months, or racing every weekend I’m OK either way. All I know is today was a great race, and despite awfully high temperatures and unbearable humidity, the camaraderie of the other runners is really what makes it special.
As far as my finish time, well I made a huge racing mistake here because I started my RunKeeper before I got to the start line and forgot to stop it at the finish line. These are the kinds of things you can only learn by racing often. Hopefully they’ll put up the results soon so stay tuned!
If you raced this weekend share it in the comments section below! What did you race? How did it go?