What The Hell Was I Thinking Signing Up For This Race?
November 19, 2015
Last night, I registered for the Thanksgiving half marathon in Atlanta and after a gut wrenching $90 transaction, I was left asking, what in the hell am I doing? Why am I PAYING almost $100 to go run in the street?
Ninety dollars can do a lot of things. It could be a really nice dinner, several trips to the movies, a couple tanks of gas, three older video games, or 18 DVDs if you hit Wal-Mart at the right time. That amount of money can do a lot of things and thinking about that after I completed my registration gave me a little sticker shock.
With all those thoughts though, I wasn't going to back out of it and that's tied to the most important reason that it's worth every penny of $91.74.
I've been training for this specific race with a clearly defined training plan for three full months. In mid-August, I started planning and executing workouts for this, five days a week. I made my Thanksgiving travel plans largely around this race. I've quite literally poured my sweat and blood - sorry, toes - into pounding out over 200 miles of training runs.
This is some of the best money I've ever spent.
Aside from the sweet workout hoodie, finisher medal, and new bib(!); I've gotten months of motivation, a goal to push for, and an opportunity to be in a massive race with the chance to set a personal record. I can't imagine getting so much value from that level of monetary investment somewhere else.
Would I have started incorporating increasingly long tempo runs and 400 meter interval speed training if I hadn't committed myself mentally to doing this race and aiming for a personal best time? Possibly, but probably not. Would I be waking up to crank out 10+ mile runs before the Panthers play on Sundays if my training didn't require it? That one is a no. Since I have been doing these things, among others, I'm feeling great on my long runs and my pace is picking up faster than I predicted. Crushing my time record from my first half is looking better all the time.
I love running and I love getting better at running so if it takes a little cash now and then to get into a race that will light a fire under my ass, it's definitely worth it. As tired and cliché as it sounds, I won't remember spending that money years from now, but I will absolutely remember my first Thanksgiving half marathon and, if all goes well, I'll have a new PR to remember it by as well.