Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 2, 2013
I did it. In the last week or two I’ve signed up for no fewer than five races.
Crazy, maybe, but I’ve found that committing to future events keeps me honest. Maybe it’s the fear of public humiliation, but if I know I have to run a 5K or a 10K or a half marathon, I’m less apt to skip a workout.
Hey, whatever works.
We’re lucky in Austin. We’ve got tons of events to keep us on track, from open-water swims to charity bike rides to foot races of all distances. Think of them as carrots dangling on a bouncy fishing rod just out of reach.
Here’s my advice. Pick a handful of events - stuff that sounds like fun, not work - and register. Don’t dwell on it, just go to website and sign up. It’s about your health, after all.
(Note: I’m not suggesting that you sign up for an Ironman Triathlon if the farthest you’ve ever run is 5 miles. Make it something attainable. And give yourself some slack, because when living in Austin, you have to scale things back in the summer.)
Pick a few events, and space them out over the coming months. Better yet, join a group that encourages you to run races. That’s why I registered for a few of the events below. (I’m now part of the Austin American-Statesman running team. That alone got me to the start line of the Autism 5K a few weeks ago, which I thoroughly enjoyed.)
Here’s what I’ve got on my race calendar so far:
1 and 2. National Blueberry Jam 5K (and 10K) in South Haven, Mich. - I do the Blueberry Jam every year. It’s a great way to measure my fitness year to year. (That’s why I suggest picking an event as your ‘measuring stick event.’) This year, race organizers added a 10K. I couldn’t decide which to do, so I signed up for both. There’s enough time - at least 15 minutes, by my calculations - between the races that I can do both! And when I run really slow in the 10K, I’ll have an excuse. (Aug. 10; www.blueberryfestival.com)
3. CASA Superhero Run - I’ll need a cape or magic wand or something before I join all the super men and women gathering to support abused or neglected kids. (Sept. 21; www.casasuperherorun.com)
4. Run by the Creek - I’ve pedaled down Creek Road in Dripping Springs a dozen times. Now I’m going to run it. Race organizers offer a 5K and 10K option. I chose the 10K. I hope that wasn’t a mistake. Last year marked the first year of the event, and the race drew 350 runners. Expect a larger crowd this year. (Sept. 22; www.runbythecreek.com)
5. Komen Race for the Cure - Yes, that big ribbon of pink that snakes through the city every November. I’ve never done it. It’s about time. (Nov. 10; www.komenaustin.org).
At the end of the summer, I’ll sign up for another batch of races.
Already on my radar? The Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot, the Big Bend Ultra, The Austin Marathon & Half Marathon presented by Motorola (halfie, please), the Zooma Half Marathon, the 3M Half Marathon and the Davy Crockett Bear Chase Half Marathon in East Texas.
Bring them on!