Sunday, December 2, 2012

When A Fun Run Isn't Fun

Do you like my snow effect? It was 80 degrees! HA!

Don't get me wrong, the Jingle Bell 5K in Fort Worth was great.  It was well organized and it was apparently really fun for a lot of people in support of a good cause. There were lots of families, dogs, and kids.  I always love to see young kids at races, what a great way to teach kids that fitness is fun!

Santa Dog would not look at the camera.

Maybe I was just burnt out. After all, I ran the Rock 'N Roll Half in San Antonio, The Turkey Trot and now this race, the Jingle Bell 5K, back to back weeks.  Three races in a little more than three weeks.  It was a little much.

This was my final race in my 2012 commitment to run 12 races in 12 months.  I actually ended up running 13, but who's counting?  I was glad this race was on December 1st so I would get my December race out of the way.  I was done racing for the year.  Mentally done. It was the first race all year that I wasn't excited about.

The thing about fun runs is that the reason that they are fun is the company.  I've come to the conclusion that the more fun the theme of the run, the more it totally sucks running it alone.  The more serious the race, the more I don't need anyone else. 

I ran the color run this year and felt the same way.  The race itself was fine, but I could see it being a much more fun bonding experience with a big group of friends.  Running it solo was just OK. 

I have friends who run.  I don't have any friends who want to run a race every month of the year like I do.  So some months I recruited friends to run with me, but most of the time I was flying solo.  Most to the time, I was fine with that.

At the Jingle Bell 5K there were a lot of costumes, a lot of walkers and a lot of people in jeans.  I just couldn't get into the holiday spirit. I just wanted to run it, get it over with, and get home to hubby.  What was wrong with me? This was supposed to be fun!  I didn't even experience the start line excitement that I normally do.

Although it was 80 degrees in Fort Worth at 5PM it was relatively cool under the shade of the tall downtown buildings.  I ran my three point one miles as fast I could manage and was relieved when it was over.

In the end, I was really happy that I did it and had my typical race finish runners high.  I was happy with my finish time, although not a PR, pretty respectable none-the-less. I think I ran too many half marathons because now every time I cross a finish line, even a 5K, I feel like I earned a finish line beer.  Ha.

official time was 27:17

All is well that ends well.  In the end I was thrilled with my place.

I came in 5th in my division out of 61
52nd out of 530 women
168 out of 903 overall

This year in racing I learned that any run with a theme, is best run with friends.  Next year I will skip the color runs, the electric runs, the zombie runs, and the holiday fun runs unless I can recruit girlfriends to share these fun experiences.

I am happy to wrap up my 12 races in 2012 and look forward to 13 in 2013.  Running one race a month was a great way to stay motivated through out the year.  Who's with me for 13 in 13? 

Do you prefer to run races with friends or alone?

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  1. That is really an impressive lot of races you chalked up this year! Wowzers. Love the pup in the Santa suit!

  2. I'm thinking of joining a running club for this very reason.

  3. Congratulations! But I agree - I run serious races alone, and 'fun' runs with others. And I get really burnt out after a lot of running or racing. Hope it picks up for you after a bit of a break!

  4. Local races are tough for me because I always run them alone. I agree that the "fun" races are odd when you are on your own, our 5k Jingle Bell run last year was not fun either! This year I am trying to get a few friends to walk and then go to breakfast afterwards!

  5. Racing (and training) with friends is definitely the better way to go. I went alone to the FW Thanksgiving Half but because of my involvement with RVG and DailyMile and other FW runners social events I knew 20-30 people who were there.
    I too was at the Jingle Bell run, but as a volunteer at the sound mixer. Of all the runners there I recognized no one! Sorry I didn't see you. Congratulations on placing fifth.

  6. Great job! And I so can relate to your post, as I almost always run alone...."fun" runs definitely seem less fun when you're by yourself. Might explain why most of my races are "serious" ones! :>)

  7. Half the battle is knowing when to take a break. Great job in your 12 (or 13) for 2012, but sounds like you earned a nice racing break.

  8. I decided not to run this race for that very reason! No one wanted to run with me! Just for future reference...I LOVE the fun/themed races! And if you are willing to take it easy and not try to PR, I would love to have some company!!!! I actually want to do the Dallas Jingle Bell Run on Dec 19th (a Wednesday evening) but no one wants to run it with me! So no Christmas themed race for me this year! Oh and I'm sooo very over this weather!!! What the heck happened to the cold!!! :/

  9. Nice work! I love having running company but try to run solo to get used to it for races

  10. i'm not sure i could run 3 races in 3 weeks and not feel burnt out a little bit (or a lot!) too! and it's really hard to get into the race excitement when running solo - i always try to run with a friend/group for exactly that reason!


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