Why is it that we all want to take the easy way out? Working hard can be so unappealing. Too much time. Too much effort. Or maybe it’s the fear of failure…? Personally I think the last one can lead us to cheat more than the other two. We cheat to succeed and we also cheat ourselves out of opportunities for fun and adventure because we say to ourselves “I could never do that!”
Jennifer is a great planner and I really enjoyed learning about what she has planned for 2017. As for me, well I’m a little unfocused. I can’t really find an event that catches my eye as a must have. Of course my MAJOR goal is to stay injury free but that doesn’t count as a big race. I’m not saying I don’t have anything on my calendar, but nothing that is huge…maybe this will be the year of lots of little things…we’ll see.
Yes, we are both type A and have several plans already for the new year…I may even have some for 2018. Siobhan and I also have goals we share. After our last few years, we have one ultimate objective – get through the year healthy and injury free. We’ve yet to accomplish that, but maybe 2017 is the year! I know we’d also like to expand our Miles with Moms following and to do that we need to become more active on our social media accounts and do a better job of promoting – so look for all of that in the next few months. Then, of course we have some individual plans:
Although the kids are in school and summer ended a few weeks ago, it’s still hot enough to remind me of my summer vacation. As such, I thought I would talk about two books I read over the summer that were inspirational in different ways. The books I read were Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness and Chrissie Wellington’s A Life Without Limits: A World Champions Journey.
This weekend I turn 40. I still remember when my parents turned 40. It seemed so old! But, I think I’m still so young…until I realize how my body isn’t exactly holding up the way I want it to. Yes, part of that is the normal woes – saggy boobs, wrinkles, gray hair – but the more disturbing part is the increased ability I seem to have towards injury and fatigue.
If you read our blog often, you know Siobhan and I are Skirt Sports Ambassador Captains. If you know us personally, I bet you would never suspect either of us would run in a skirt. And yes, at first I used to think it was too girly, and didn’t see the point. Then I tired one…(and I must mention we get no kickpacks from recommending Skirt Sports!)
Over the last few years I’ve gotten wise with my older age. I’ve learned I can plan a race and vacation in one. A “race-cation”! Which not only helps justify the expense, but provides a greater experience for me, as well as opportunities and fun for the family members who accompany me.
- Big races are world class events with all the bells and whitsltes.
- Usually the big races are in big cities which can make for an awesome vacation around the event.
- The expos are huge and there is excitement about the event throughout the whole city.
- You will meet runners of all speeds, from every state, and every country. Everyone has a story and it’s fun to get to hear so many runners journeys.
- The lines for porta-pottys are actually not too long because there are so many – even in the corals. At least this is true for NY and Chicago.
- There are pace leaders and organized corral starts so ideally you are running with a group at the same pace you intend to run.
- You can pay more and get more. For example there are heated tents to wait in before the race, with food, for an extra cost. You can get every kind of running apparel, available in a multitude of styles, with the race logo.
- The Crowd support is electrafiying. There is hardly a spot on the race course not supported by cheering people. The energy of the crowd definitly keeps you going.
- If you forget to pack something you need for race day, you will be able to find it at the expo.
- Finishing such a prestigious event and being able to add that medal to your collection is an honor, and a bucket list item you can check off your list.
- It costs a lot of money – not only for race entery, but flights, hotels, travel expenses, merchindise, etc. If there is a major race in your hometown, huge bonus!
- Its hard to get into – most major races require qualification, lottery, or large chartiable donations.
- The journey to the start can take as long as the race itself – I know this to be true for NY and Boston. It took us over 3 hours to get to the start, then once there we waited for another 75 min. Or at Disney you have about a mile walk from the racer waiting area to the start.
- The course is crowded. It’s hard to get into a grove because there are runners all around you all the time. I got elbowed a few times, not on purpose, but when people were going to wipe their face or adjust their hat – thats how close we all were.
- Which leads to the fact that it is difficult to obtain a PR in a big race. Not only because of the crowded course, but the events all around often mean you are not as mentally focused on only the race like you might be at a smaller event. Also the start time of some big races can be very different than times you normally run which can change your nutrition. Boston and NY start after 10, and Disney starts around 5:00 in the monring.
- You really have to strategically plan where to meet people – family watching, meeting up after, etc.
- Very strict rules! For example (and some make a lot of safety sense) all items had to be in clear bags or they were taken. No dark trash bags could be worn. There were security screenings like at the airport, and even dog sniffing bags. Snipers were on roof tops, and corrals were only open for 10 min then closed 50 min before start times (I missed mine!).
- The journey home/back to the hotel can be a long process.
So, in conclusion, I do love big races, but I feel like they are a one time, amazing experience, bucket list item. (Except for Boston – that is worth doing as many times as you can.) While there are just as many pros and cons to smaller races, I think I’ll focus more on doing different events and seeing new places. The key is to treasure each experecience and all that big and small races have to offer.