It is certainly fine to run and not do races. Besides health reason, I like racing though. Not as a competion, because I am never that fast, but racing keeps me honest in my training.
I started running when I was young when I was in high school. I was never part of organized running group. I didn’t join track or do community races.
I do love running early on. I think I was influenced by couple earlier friends. One who impressed me was Dan who went for a try-out. The other was Jitty, who ran from his house to church, I think maybe about a mile or two, but at the time in my mind it was a marathon distance. Later, I was impressed by someone at church, Sarah, who completed a marathon when she was in college. She was only a few years older than me, but I felt like I was floored by her achievement. Later in college, I happened to meet some ultra runners, and again, the distances they spoke of seemed too foreign to me – 24 hour run, 100 mile, they were beyond my comprehension. Yet, little did I know, they were the early seeds planted in me and led me to become who I am today. This didn’t happen until for another 15 years.
As a teenager, I just went out and ran. It has been something I always enjoyed even in my adult life. It was something I could do and did not require a lot of things, money or someone to do it with. I was always a self sufficient person.
Racing against time and other people, the concept itself was introduced to me much later in life, in 2016 (fairly recent depending on your perspective). Not that I didn’t know about it, but I had no interest and mostly due to lack of money at the time I was growing up to even as early adult. I did a 5K in college and a 10 miler and I ran them because it was kind of required in one of the course I took. What kind of class? Well…
I run not to be faster than others but mostly to beat my own records. Now as I am older, beating the records is out of the question, I ran to finish the race by the required time.
It was very natural for me to signup for a race, once I became more interested in it. I found out about a local 10k race from a friend who was doing it. After the first one, I wanted to do more. Last few years, races like these were part of my training for longer distance races.
Though I don’t care much about records now, but they are a way to keep track of my performance at the specific moment in time. I devoted a page to for the milestones of my running history, for the likes of what my personal best for a particular distance.
I have done 5Ks, 10Ks, and even longer formats. Much longer races. My current quest is some day to do a 200 mile.
I ventured into marathons (26.2 miles) and by now i have like 20 ish of them. I did about 30-ish of the half marathons (13.1 miles). These distances no longer a challenge for me. My goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states. So far I have run in 11 states. A few of my favorites: Carlsbad Marathon in California, Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon in North Bend, Washington.
From marathons, it was a natural progression to try something longer. I had a few 50k too, but I count them to be similar to marathons since the distance for 50K is almost the same as a marathon.
As for 50 milers, these do challenge me. JFK (2019) was my first. Stone Mill ultra (2000), and Grayson Highlands (2021). After doing 5-6 of these, they became less scary. So I moved onto longer distance. 70 mile, I did the Laurel Highlands the entire trail from beginning to the end. Ultra gave you a feel of accomplishment when you ran a distance on a day what used to take me a week to go through. It felt really good once I had that ability to go for any distances.
So far I have done a few 100 milers: Rocky Raccoon (my first), and Rim to River. I attempted the MMT. My forth was Blackbeard’s Revenge. I found longer distances more enjoyable.
My next evolution is to run more 100 mile races.
I am looking to run more and more races each year. Usually I prepare my schedule six months to a year in advance. I am into what is called a ‘race-cation’, which basically I look for places to go where I can run.
[to do] I do hope when I have time to link to more particular pages about my progression.
- Here is a brief summary of my runs in recent years from fall of 2017 to fall 2021 [run1]
- a list if runs I remembered [all]
- some notable highlights of my runs [best]