"Hey! The race is already over!" I heard after finishing my 10K race today. Yes, that's me, the idiot who is still running long after the race has finished. On one hand, there is nothing worse than running after a race and on the other hand, there's nothing better. I'll explain.
Training for multiple races at once means I have both short term and long term goals. Races are going to overlap. The Mini-Marathon offers three prep races: a 5K, 10K, and 15K leading up the the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. These races are extremely helpful in getting my speed up, but my mileage for the full marathon is much higher than the race distances. Besides the official prep races, I've signed up for a couple other "shorter" races along the road to Duluth to keep me racing. And, of course, I have three half marathons. (I only had two, but I was already running 13 the week of the recently added race. I figured if I was already going 13, then I should get a medal for it. Oh, and the $40 entry fee suckered me. I couldn't pass up a deal like that!)
Today was the first race where I had to go extra mileage after I crossed the finish line. Race mileage was 6.2, but I needed to get in 9 today. That meant I had to run 2.8 after the race was over. Running further doesn't seem like it should be difficult when I think about it. After all, I would be doing that same 9 miles if I hadn't had a race this morning. However, after running hard at race pace, no matter how long or short the race, any mileage afterward seems taxing. But, there I was running extra. With sore, exhausted legs, running extra was the last thing I wanted to do.
Then, I heard the screams from the runners leaving the race. Thinking they were funny, they told me the race was over. It never fails that someone has something to say every time I've ever had to run over. Then, as much as I didn't want to run, I was suddenly inspired. I have no idea why someone noticing me makes me feel good, but it does. I was struggling through those last few miles, but suddenly, I felt on top of the world. "That's right, look at me go! I'm a real runner!" went through my mind. Running long is never easy, but maybe the audience helps!
How many more times will I put myself through the controversy of whether or not I like or dislike running after a race? Five more times before June! I have another 10K next weekend and will do 9 miles total again. At least I know how that one feels. Then in April, I will run a 15K where I will need to go almost 6 miles after. Ouch! Not looking forward to that one. From there, I have a 10 miler mid-April where I will need to add 4 miles to the end. That seems like a breeze! After that comes the two really fun post-race runs. After the Derby half on April 30, I will have to get in a total of 18 miles. I will conclude my fun of not knowing where the finish line is in May with the local mini where I will have to run a total 20 miles which means 7 after the race! (Excuse me, 6.9 miles...and don't think I'll run a step over that!)
So, I repeat my question. Who is that fool running after the race is over?