Friday, June 15, 2012

Racing for all the right reasons.

A dear friend mentioned on her Blog that she had ran a personal best at a 5K and had someone tell her that it didn't count because the course was mostly down hill.  That got me thinking about why we race or rather we do the group events that are commonly called races.

All courses are different, no two are ever going to be identical.  Some are measured by a certified race course official, some are measured by someone using the odometer of their car, others are simply guesstimated.  Some have a lot of hills and others are flat as a Denise Austin's tummy.  But every course has it's own personality and visual stimulus.  There are courses that are very peaceful, others with breath taking views, still others with nothing but urban streets.  What is important is that each gives us the opportunity to gather with other adult athletes to celebrate our hard earned good health and our fitness.

One of the best ways to gauge your speed is to go to a measured track like those at a high school or collage and do the measured distance.  You can also look at races you do regularly and log your time for that particular course.  Or there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling your fastest time at an event as your personal best, for that distance, like my friend did with that 5K. 

There is a wonderful 5K that I do annually in Franklin Ky that has a walk category and draws some good competition, but the course has changed 4 times in the 6 years I've been doing it.  One of those was my personal best for the 5K, I personally don't give a flippin frog whether the course that day might have been a little short or a little more down hill, I was awesome that day and I took home a second place trophy and $60 in prize money, I also took home a personal record.

My all time favorite was a race at our airport that went along with the annual Hot Air Balloon Fest.  The instructions went like this:  Y'all see that truck parked way over there?  You circle around it and then go to that man standing over there by the blue and white air plane, then you head straight back here.  This was a walk race and I race walked that "2 Mile" in 11 min and 34 seconds, I think it might have been a tad short.

Thanks for reading.

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