Today is my 1-year race-run-niversary. One year ago, I ran my first official race, the 10k at the Berkeley Half-Marathon Event, with my friend Susi. Like I said (many times) before, I never thought I’d be the person that would sign up for a race, but on a whim, I committed to an new experience.
To be honest, what I thought would happen is that I would feel smug and accomplished for a week, and then move on.
Yeah, that didn’t quite happen, the moving on part.
I knew instantly that I wanted to keep running races. I might not be as hardcore as some of my running friends (who have one or many races lined up every month – or so it seems), but I knew that I wanted to keep challenging myself. And I always, always do better with some sort of goal that I am working towards and races are just the perfect ‘excuse’ to keep up the work.
Earlier this year, I signed up for my first half-marathon (which was in July) and also ran two more local 10k races. I also participated in 3 virtual races (one 5k, two 10ks) this summer. One was in honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service and if that wasn’t a good enough reason to run, I also received a pretty cool t-shirt and medal for that.
While I only ran a total of 6 races this year, I know I already have decided that this is something I want to keep up and I am looking forward to more race experiences in the future.
Here are 5 things thatI learned since my first official race:
- I enjoy having a set training schedule, which makes it easier for me to stick to a regular exercise routine. Win-win.
- I am getting more out of my gym membership again. Hallelujah.
- Drinking more water has become so much easier.
- I know from first-hand experience what it means to be ‘hangry’. Haha.
- I started liking early morning workouts. Who knew? (NOT me!)
I know, I know, when I look at my more experienced (and accomplished) running friends, I am just a greenhorn starting out with the races and all, but I’ve really come to love the running community and all the new blogs (and amazing people behind them) that I found in the process. As you might know, I also started an Instagram account dedicated to running (@san_runs_in_ca) (as to not annoy my regular Instagram followers with all the running stuff all the time), and I found an amazing community there, too. I love how encouraging and positive all the other runners are and how everyone’s journey is validated and cheered on.
On a side note: I always knew that people who exercise are welcoming and positive people. When I first started out in college, I picked geography and English as my two majors, and two semesters later quickly added Physical Education to my studies, because I knew that I wouldn’t just love the physical component of it, but also the camaraderie and inclusiveness among the sport students + instructors — and I was totally right about that. I have the best memories of that time. If you enjoy – and participate in – any type of physical activity, you know what I mean.
Hey, and if you run and haven’t participated in a race, what’s holding you back?