Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Are you ready to race?

Have you been fitness walking, speed walking or running for a while now?  Been hearing a few of your friends talk about doing races?  Are you considering signing up for a race?

I know.  That's a lot of questions.

If you've been considering participating in a race, I strongly urge you to...do it!  The feeling I get when I cross the finish line is such a "high" for me.  What a sense of accomplishment.  I did it!  I finished!  I gotta tell you, racing can be habit forming.

You can make it as competitive as you want.  Or you can do it to compete only with yourself.  Whichever you choose, it can be such a confidence builder.  Oh...and don't think that you have to be in top physical shape to participate in a race.  You'll see that people of all ages, fitness levels and body types do these races.

I've said it before...I'll probably never win a medal for 1st, 2nd or even 3rd place.  That's okay with me, since I love competing with me.  Working at shaving a minute or so off my previous minutes per mile.  Heck, maybe even a few seconds.

All this being said, my most recent race was last Saturday.  I have to say, this one was different than any of the others I've done.  It was The Biggest Loser Run/Walk Race 2015.  These races are held in many cities across the USA.  The one I walked was in Rockford, IL.  HERE is a link to the BL website.
The other races I've done were pretty low-key compared to this one.  Packet pick-up (your race day bib, t-shirt and various other goodies) was the evening before.  But in addition to our packets, there were merchandise booths and various speakers.  I'm always excited about an upcoming race, but this bumped up that excitement even more.

I got to the race venue quite early the next morning, since I know that this part of downtown Rockford has limited parking.  Quite a few parking lots and garages but they would fill up quickly for an event like this.  By the way, there were 921 runners/walkers in this race.  Wow.

Several of the Biggest Loser show contestants and a trainer spoke before the race and then as the start time neared, they moved to the stage near the starting line.  Lots of encouragement and lots of humor, made for a very motivating start to the race!

Later, as we neared the finish line, I could see that Sonya Jones was there cheering on each and every one of us as we finished.  That was so cool!  Especially considering that I have never even watched The Biggest Loser TV show.  I had to do a bit of research on line to see who these people were. :)

It was just such a positive, uplifting experience.  As I said, other races I've done are not as "hyped" as this race series.  BUT each and every one of them has been a great experience for me.  I'm ready for another one.  Oh yeah.

The Biggest Loser Race website uploaded the photos from Saturday's race today.  I keyed in my race bib number to look for my photos.  Well, there are 7 or 8 of them.  But...in most of them I had a very stern (or maybe even a grimaced) expression on my face.  Ugh!  In two photos my eyes were closed.  Geesh!
I finally found two that aren't too bad.  These are both at the finish line...and I finally smiled!

I finished in about the same time as the race I walked a couple of weeks ago.  I was pleased with that, because it was an improvement from my race times last year.  This race included a couple pretty steep hills (or maybe they just seemed steep!), so those slowed me down for a while.

So, have I talked you into signing up for a 5k?  Maybe?   Talk a friend into signing up with you and it's even more fun.  You can find races in your area by doing a google search for races by state.  I'm just sayin'.  :)

Later,


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