So many potential summer events but no idea what to do…

I have a dilemma.

I really want to sign up for some summer races/rides as motivation and something to look forward to over the next few months, but I’m just not sure if it’s actually worthwhile.

I’m not confident that I’ll actually be able to stay healthy and do enough running workouts to really feel like racing is worthwhile, and I’m not sure if the for-fun style long rides that I’ve looked at as alternatives will really be that fun on my own – what if I end up alone in a crowd of people who are riding with friends? I might as well save the entry fee and just go for a long ride on my own some weekend. What I really want out of a long ride is the challenge, but also the companionship – I just want to get together with some crazy friends, go for a ridiculously long ride and then recover with ice cream, burgers, beer, and banter. But I have no crazy athlete friends here yet :-/

On the competitive side, I’d look at bike races but my bike is 30 years old and doesn’t even have true drop handlebars…and I don’t really feel like I have the technical skill to compete on the bike without terrifying those around me! Triathlons are appealing, but most of the nearby ones require wetsuits (don’t have one) and I have nowhere to train for swimming unless I want to pay for a gym membership.  Duathlons would be sweet as well, but again, there’s the whole issue of keeping my legs/feet healthy enough to complete the running portion. If I could trust that my current upwards mileage-tolerability swing would continue, I’d be set, but I haven’t exactly had a great history with that these last few years…

I think I may just be getting antsy to do some sort of competitive/athletic even since I haven’t done anything of that sort since my rather botched uphill road race way back in January before the Calf Troubles. I just want a free t-shirt and a bib number and some hard-earned post-race food, dang it! It’s been far too long and I miss it.

Little problems, but still…*sigh*

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2 thoughts on “So many potential summer events but no idea what to do…

  1. So I feel like I may have some experience with this; it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that you’re more than welcome to take it, leave it, or split it up however it best works for you.

    I spent summer 2013 in Knoxville, TN, working at Oak Ridge national lab. No Lady, nobody I knew (besides my boss, who I rarely saw), not nearly enough $ to travel back and forth between Pittsburgh regularly to see familiar faces. Also, only two weeks before arriving in Knoxville, I’d busted my IT band really badly. I logged a grand total of 30 running miles in May 2013.

    I reached out to a physical therapist I’d seen in Pittsburgh, asking for some basic IT band exercises I could do. I also brought a foam roller into work; I may have sacrificed some reputation with my cubicle neighbors but the return on my IT band made it more than worthwhile. I also made a point of attending weekly group runs at the local Fleet Feet, and registering for little 5K races in the area. The races were small enough that I was able to strike up conversations with random folks as we waited at the starting line, and chat with a few I’d passed / who’d passed me after we finished. The group runs with Fleet Feet were also amazing. There was a spectrum of talent, so I always ran with the slowest folks (who also seemed to be the most sociable!) and made sure to take care of my IT band: good form running, etc.

    Basically, any activity which puts you with other people, I think, is a net good idea. You can trade war stories, potentially get some advice for working on your injury, but even more so just have some random folks to shoot the breeze with. I found that even a couple awkward conversations with people I never saw again trumped sitting in my empty apartment alone watching Netflix after a day of sitting in my cubicle alone.

    Just my [overly verbose, sorry] $0.02. It was a tough summer, but in looking back I’m proud of what I was able to do given how it started. Also, it was the last time I had the bed all to myself 😛

    • Always welcome your $0.02 🙂 I agree that the social aspects will probably make signing up for something worthwhile, in spite of my misgivings. Part of my reluctance is money based, but I need to remind myself that I can have a bit of fun while still being thrifty…plus I’m not on a measly grad student stipend anymore!

      There are a couple running now groups here but they only meet during the summer…maybe I’ll meet some folks there/at events who are a little more weather-tolerant? I like the pre/post-race chat idea – short enough & with enough common interest to not be awkward, but maybe a good way to find potential training/running adventure/relay buddies. Hm…

      Also, love that you brought a foam roller to lab…that is pure run-nerd ha ha 🙂

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