I love racing.
How many times have I done this one, I have no idea. At least twice.
Back in 2017 and 2018, I ran every race that is available held by the local running store (Potomac Running).
As I took on bigger races, I mean longer distances, like 50 mile and 100 mile races, I don’t have time for the local ones. I still run them whenever I can. I sign them up on the spur moment.
Reston 10 Miler is a familiar course to me. I ran many 5Ks and 10Ks there year after years. The 10 mile course mostly was stitched together from 5K and a 10K. I recognize every turns and every hills.
Timewise, I was not impressive with my finishing time. It was not any record shattering. I was not slow. I haven’t had the heart to dig up past races to compare. I finished at 1:40. It is a 10 min pace so I should be glad, especially after running a 50K last weekend.
Yet I remember my fastest 10 miler was under 1:20. I used to be able to run at a 8 min pace. That was impressive.
Everything’s relative. I have to live with the body I have today, not the one I had a year ago or 10 years ago.
Sometimes I feel like I am in an arm race with myself. I improve my time, yet I get heavier. So I trained harder to be stronger. I do improve. Then I get a faster time again and then I get heavier. The cycle starts again. The last two years, I know I improved. Yet this time, my body has overtaken me. I gained too much weight over the pandemic. Not sure if it is something related to that or just I am just getting older.
A 60 year old man beat me innlbthis race. I recognized him from prior races. Note, because I live in Northern Virginia, people don’t make casual comments, unlike when I do races farther way. People avoid eye contact here in the big city. I have seen this guy many times in other races, but he acted he doesn’t know me and I same. Not complaining, just saying. I have been in the area for at least 20 years and that how we work. (Remember both Jeffs I met at the other races, how nice people are in the country side).
True everyone is racing against their own. But if a 60 year old man could out run a 40 year old, it means something.
On one hand, it is not hopeless for me. I could work harder to be able to run like that when I am 60.
The flip side is the dude is impressive.
As I stepped on to the course today, I was thinking what was I trying to get out of this. It is cool to set records and such. It is cool to run fast. I ran pretty fast, faster than any of my usual training runs. I usually go 15 mins or slower per mile and today I pulled a 10 min mile for whole 10 mile. I enjoyed the weather. I enjoyed the morning run. Only a race could get me up at 6 am in the morning. Normally, if left to my own device, I do not get out the house until like 3 or 4 pm in the afternoon. I am a lazy runner.
One thought I reminded myself was yes running a 50K last weekend was impressive. Today running a 10 miler was no less an accomplishment. I told myself many times, if I could run just one more race, I would be in heaven.
In this view, I should only run 5Ks or 10Ks, to save money and time because it gives the same utility, from an economic standpoint. Nah, I believe, if I have the ability to run longer distances, I should do it. This is the reason I am grateful and happy that I do have the means and the ability to do something extraordinary.
If I close out the blog here, it would be good. I have just a bit more to say. Things or an idea seems to be at the tip of my tongue but I just couldn’t bring forth. I have been searching something all weekend. It has been a recurring theme since I finished the last big race (MMT) of last year. It is related to motivation and of why I do things. I wrote a post on new year’s day about my resolutions and all.
I think, things have gotten a bit easier lately, after I ran the 100 mile. I still have tons of goals to do and some are out of this world hard, but overall, a lot of my goals, I thought was impossible are a bit easier. I mentioned about the 50 states marathon goal. If I really want to, I think I could do it in a year. Many of my goals are like that. If I really want to do it, I have now the means to do them. So they seem a bit boring. And I keep asking myself, what’s next. What is the next badass thing to do? The answer is not that I don’t know, but I am afraid to look.
This blog post like any others will be closed with a hanging. To be continue. I wish life would be simplier. I could wake up and say I would do this and that and do them. That is it for now.
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