The ugly t-shirts, the pre-race nerves, the post-race bananas, the older guy who goes out way too fast; when I first started running I couldn’t get enough of that stuff. I was a race junkie, signing up for a local five or 10k every weekend, often in support of charities. But as I grew as a runner and my goals changed, I stopped racing as much and I started training differently. With the specific workouts I had on my training schedule, I found it harder to fit the fun charity runs in. If a race fit my workout plan, or if it was on Thanksgiving and I’d get a t-shirt with a turkey on it, then I’d make an exception.
The less I raced, the more pressure I put on myself when I did race. I would set almost impossible goals and then make myself sick about it before the race even started. Finally I just gave up. I wasn’t having fun, so what was the point? Then I got snobby, telling myself I was busy running marathons, I didn’t need to be bothered with a local 5k. These are the lies I told myself.
Then I got a different, though unwanted, view that showed me the healing power of the charity run.