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Is racing FUN?? (& MWRR report)

anakiwa2010-05-02 04:39:30 +0000 #1
On the way to the Mt Washington Road Race yesterday, the subject came up- Is racing fun? We all think of it as fun- but when we're actually doing it- are we miserable? Is it the activities afterwards, the social time, and any of a number of other aspects that makes racing seem fun?

The race:

'Only one hill' For anyone not familiar with New England, Mt. Washington is the tallest mountain around. The race follows the autoroad. The overall elevation gain is 4650 feet, over 7.6 miles, average grade 11.5%.

My report:

Mile 1- Felt okay. I live in Vermont and run up hills frequently, I'd been told the grade would be steep, but it felt very do-able, still felt uncertain about wheter I could maintain things though. I was surprised that by the first mile marker, some people had already started to walk.

Mile 3- Still felt okay. Almost everyone around me was walking at this point. They seemed to run for brief periods, then walk (a few people even sprinted for <30 second intervals, only to walk quite a bit in between). At this point I'd settled into a slow but steady jog (walking at water stations only) and felt comfortable (and was also enjoying slowly gaining on all the run/walkers).

Mile 5- Started to get tired and thirsty (there was no water stop between mile 4 and 6). Some of the steadier run/walkers were starting to gain on me. I was definitely slowing down a little.

Last mile- I'd made it that far. It flattens out between the 7 mile mark and the headwall (the last short but steep 22% grade to the very top) and I was starting to feel more comfortable that I'd make it. I even managed summon enough energy to run up the headwall.

Total time: 1:46:16 (Pace 13:59/mile)

And something we can all shoot for:

Age of oldest finisher: 87

Age of oldest female finisher: 78

So back to the original question: Did I have fun???

I'm not sure. The day was fun. The feeling of satisfaction I had when it was all over was fun. The race was hard- I was wishing I'd trained more (and taken off a few of the extra pounds I've been carrying around for the last few months). There were moments when it was fun, but particularly around mile 5, they were few and far between. Of course now as I sit here writing, it seems totally FUN.

So does everyone else have fun when she races?

rocknrollgirl2010-05-02 04:42:07 +0000 #2
I think there is a point in almost every race when the fun factor is questionable. I know personally, I always have a chat with myself somewhere in the race that goes know, you do not have to do this.....

The race I did in May was really hard, and I went all out, so the line between fun and tourture was blurred pretty well at one point...but that being said...

I love to race, and I need to race. I need to have a goal to work toward.

I even really like those super hard workouts that make you feel barfy...

OH NO, I AM A PSYCHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kimmyt2010-05-02 04:58:09 +0000 #3
There are points that are fun during the event, but there are also points that aren't fun during the event. However, I think all of these are overshadowed by the feeling you get when you finished.

People that push themselves to the limit have something special that makes them able to do that to themselves and enjoy it. Half the time I think it's selective memory. They forget the bad parts and remember the good parts!

(and the post-event beer is really one of my favorite good parts ever)

Pika2010-05-02 04:55:25 +0000 #4
I agree with the others- some of it is fun- I really like to know my limits pushing them is the fun part

I guess there is part of me that thinks there really is nothing better than a "sufferfest" - at least after the fact
RoadRaven2010-05-02 05:12:38 +0000 #5
A very good question... philosophical almost...

I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun... but how do I explain to someone that having muscles hurt for 2 days, or pushing myself to the point of wanting to throw up and just get it over with, is fun....

Well, it seems kind've contradictory... when is fun no longer fun, and when does it turn back into fun again???

Thats too tough-a-question for me to find an answer to!
Kimmyt2010-05-02 05:15:12 +0000 #6

Originally Posted by RoadRaven

Well, it seems kind've contradictory... when is fun no longer fun, and when does it turn back into fun again???

it's fun the second it's over!! i have a friend that is like that with climbing. she'll be on routes and hollering about how awkward this and that move was, how reachy it was, etc. then she gets down to the bottom and is all, 'oh that was fun!'

selective memory!
teigyr2010-05-02 06:10:26 +0000 #7
Very true. It's been years since I've raced though I did sign up for a sprint tri in Sept! Way back when it was stressful but I was very young and there was a lot of pressure. I don't have fond memories of it at all.

Now though I do the selective memory thing with centuries, etc. I question my sanity during, I whine to myself, I wish it was over. Never do I think about stopping though and once it's done, I think "wow, that was FUN!" and I remark about how I want to do it the next year.

Got to second the beer garden though. THAT makes it worthwhile too!!!



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