1/28/10

Are you hung up?

I am. I can honestly say that I am hung up on the numbers. For me, racing has always been about the numbers. Sure I love being outside, the training regime and the friendships I have formed but when you get right down to it, everything I do is geared towards improving my last racing time.


Every so often I'll read an article or hear someone say "don't get hung up on watching the clock", "I don't run for time", "what fun is it if you are racing against a clock". Stuff like that just does not bode well with me. I am ALWAYS watching the clock. I watch several numbers as a matter of fact. And, as of late, I now watch my heart rate numbers of which I happen to find extremely interesting and a little challenging.  The numbers do not get old for me. My body might get old but my numbers are not old.

Recently, I ran the Bill Rogers Jingle Bell run in Boston. This race is not a race, it's a fun run. I can't think of any other race where I have run it as a fun run. Let me tell you something. Racing is a lot more fun than jogging. I'm sorry but it is. There's just no getting around that.

I am also aware that by being all about the numbers you are also certainly all about raw pain. If you are going to race you are going to experience pain. That might not sound so fun however when I think about being in the heat of a race I don't think about the pain I'm feeling. I am thinking about my pace, my end time, how fast am I going, can I go faster, will I PR, is this not a good day to PR..

So, if any racer tells you they are not hung up on the numbers... they are lying. It's that simple. Race on!

10 comments:

Mary IronMatron said...

The key distinction is between those who race and those who don't. Anybody who races is into the numbers--exactly.
Raw Pain is where it's at... ;)
Jogging?
I don't really get it. Like you, I think I'll be competing with the numbers until I go the grave.

cheryl said...

I need to learn how to handle that raw pain when running. How do you do it?

Meg said...

Totally agree. It's like someone racing and saying they aren't competitive. That's such a lie! Sorry but if you're out there, you are IN a race and that involves competition otherwise, you would have gone on a jog.

GoBigGreen said...

I think the key for me, though, is knowing where and how that race may fit into the bigger picture of my goals. When i was younger, sure, every 5k was a chance to bust loose and go hard and see what you could do. But older "me" especially older "me" in colder weather has to let go of some of that number stuff.

Bert said...

Since qualifying for Boston by 1 second (the numbers ARE important...) and running it, I've been trying to run just for fun, no watch etc. It lasted about 8 months and yes it is fun in a different way but nothing is quite as exhilarating as watching your heart rate, pace per minute, total distance elapsed etc. and making the crucial decision whether today is a day for a pr or not...

Heidi Austin said...

i hate numbers! but now i do them... and sometimes i def do NOT like what i see but i guess it's all part of the learning process!

Running and living said...

Exactly! It is always about numbers. Even my training runs. I will not let myself to run a 20 miler slower than the previous one. So far, I have PRed in all my races. I kill myself doing it, and honestly I worry about how am I going to handle NOT getting a PR:) Jogging, can't do it.

Ange said...

what is joggin?
yeah...we are all into our numbers: heart rate,pace, splits, miles, hours... I am constantly looking at numbers.
AZ will be fun...how many more miles to the top of Lemmon? we can count down together. :)

maria conley said...

I'm all about the numbers too!!! Every race I do, is always about how fast I can run.

MaineSport said...

Couldn't agree more, although it's also about beating the next guy.

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