Friday, November 6, 2009

End of the Racing Season Part I

Oddly enough, for a competitive person, I've never really had an annual racing calendar. But, looking back, this year I guess I did. Eugene Marathon in May, rowing regionals in June, Red Dress 5K in July, a 10K and Hood to Coast in August, the Merrell Oyster adventure race in September, and the banner month of October with two rowing races (both golds!) and the Nike Women's half marathon.

And now it's come to an end.

Usually, having no foreseeable race would put me into a tailspin of dejection and depression. (I'm talking relative terms here, as I'm a sunny person by nature.) Instead, I can't remember the last time I felt so happy and alive during my morning runs and bike rides. I literally sometimes burst into song on my outtings. I know part of it has to do with the time change--now the sky is pinking up as I head out the door. And part of it may be the tunes I'm playing: On my hour-long run on Wednesday, I listened exclusively to songs from my new favorite show, Glee. (Yes, that's me as Coach Sue Sylvester on Halloween with my burgeoning Cheerios!)

I feel liberated. Not in a racing-was-wearing-me-down way because it wasn't--I approached each race with excitement and exuberance. (Like I said: I'm an upbeat person.) But I do feel footloose and fancy free running without any agenda. I've extended most of my weekday runs, going for an hour instead of 45-50 minutes, yet I'm not watching the time. I'm running for a feeling. I decide on a route I maybe haven't done in a while, then do it. On my recent Glee-fueled run, I paused to watch the sun rise next to majestic Mount Hood.

My plan is to start adding in hill repeats next week, then head back to the track the following week as I'm racing the Cascade Half Marathon in mid-January. But, who knows, maybe I'll just cue up "Can't Fight This Feeling" for the hundredth time and go for a just-for-the-hell-of-it run along the river.



Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

What a great way to run. "just for the hell of it" That's how all runs should be. Enjoy running just for the journey!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

GLEE..I love it. Eveyone needs more Glee in their life.

Eugene...what did you think of it. I am TORN trying to decide which race to earm my Marathon redemption. I will train with Fleet Feet for a race in late April early May.. My options as I see them are:

Whidbey Island
Vancouver BC

any thoughts.. I am stearing toward Eugene because it seems like a great event overall

Katie A. said...

Love the costume! Very funny! Glad your racing season was a success, and enjoy the little break. Sometimes that is exactly what we need! :)

Megan said...

It is nice to run just because you want to not b/c its part of the training. I've been train for months and now my race is done. I ran last sunday unconcerned with speed or distance. It was so freeing and fun. It reminded me of why I love it.

Kate said...

Love the costume Sarah - it's spot on!

Even better is the idea of running just for the hell of it. I am trying to find the balance between all out training and slothdom - so far so good.

Can't wait to hear what you have to say about PS... and Run Like a Mother.

Katie said...

I'm new here. You mention rowing and running. I'm wondering If you've found any correlation between your rowing 5K time and running 5K time? I've been a runner for a long time, but decided to get a row machine about 5 years ago for cross-training. I know rowing and running are nothing alike, but when I row hard (cardio wise) it feel just like it does when I run hard. I've been wondering if the times are at all comparable? Any thoughts?