This weekend I did something I haven’t done before: I ran a race without looking at my Garmin, pace, or time goal in mind & just ran for fun. Coming into the Winter Park Road Race 10K I knew I was under trained. I had originally planned to run the 2 miler + 10K but knowing I haven’t been following my training plan I opted out of the 2 miler.
When it comes to racing I’m a firm believer of training accordingly, it’s one of the best ways to run injury free. I reminded myself of this the morning of the race, keeping in mind I have the Iron Girl Half Marathon coming up I didn’t want to risk injury so I decided to take it easy. Real easy. I told myself I would run when I felt like it, walk if I wanted to, enjoy the scenery. I have a tendency to zone out when I run, I get lost in my thoughts & sometimes don’t soak in what’s going on around me. This happens because I either have a particular time goal in mind, want to make sure I’m keeping on pace, breathing correctly, hydrating, etc…all that changes when you run without any goal in mind.
About a mile in I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years (Hi Brit!) — it was so good to catch up! She was running/walking the race, her very first, so I walked a big chunk of it with her taking advantage of our time to share what we’re each up to. We ran/walked for about 3 miles before I decided to run a little so I said my goodbyes & started to run. Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” came on my iPhone & there’s something about that song that really pumps me up. I ran the next mile or so before I ran into another friend (Hi Cindy!). We talked, we walked, we laughed our way all the way to mile 5ish. At that point she wanted to walk & I wanted to run so I kept going, ran the rest of the race. I finished the race feeling energetic, like I could go run another 3 or 4 miles, & I loved that. This was, hands down, the most fun I’ve had in a race.
After the race I met up with more friends (Hi Erin & Caroline!) & had a delicious breakfast at The Briarpatch. After taking a nap (naps after races are the BEST aren’t they?!) I watched The Hunger Games — loved it! Any Hunger Games fans out there? What did you think of the movie? But I digress…
This year’s Winter Park Road Race taught me that sometimes a girl just needs to have fun. Sure, running to break PRs & personal goals is great, but so is running just to run. I loved meeting friends along the way & running together (I typically run alone), it’s so refreshing to have someone to talk to while you run. Track Shack put on a great race through beautiful Winter Park, gave us awesome medals at the end, commerative glasses (it was the 35th anniversary of this race), all in a perfect Saturday morning. Major win!
Have you ran a race just to run it, with no goal in mind? Tell me about it, would love to hear your experience!