Race Decisions – When Are You Being Too Picky?

Decisions, decisions.

UGH.

Lawd help me…

I’ve been running races on and off since high school.  Which, considering that took place in another millennium, that adds up to a lot of racing.  ALOT.  Some were awesome (all the Disney races), some stunk, (I Care I Cure 5k), and some were someplace in between, (Race for Women’s Wellness Half Marathon).  Each one a learning experience in it’s own right.

As I start looking at the calendar to pick my races for this year – and I’d like there to be more than the 1 or 2 I did last year, because, ya know……..LIFE – I get this feeling I may have set my requirements for races just a tad high.  By all means, please weigh in here.

Now, I’m not talking I need to have Disney-level race insanity for every race – nice as that may be – but my wallet certainly couldn’t afford said insanity.  But a few racer-friendly perks are always a good thing in my opinion.  Here are my top requests in case any race directors happen to be paying attention:

Manned water stations and/or appropriately supplied:  I did a 10k on New Year’s Eve 2017 along the beach in Boca Raton.  The two minutes you could actually watch the sun rise over the ocean was lovely, but once you turned off into one of the local neighborhoods, the scene wasn’t so pretty.  The one water station around Mile 4ish had one poor guy and his young son ferverishly trying to get water poured and out to the few hundred saps slogging by.  A couple of miles through the neighborhood brought us back to the same water station, only to find it both unmanned and out of water.  I was pretty much running in the middle of the pack, so I can only imagine how much worse it got for the runners behind me in the typical south Florida humidity that never seems to go away.  Now I know how difficult it can be to find enough volunteers for events like this.  However, this race has been taking place every year for the past 39 years.  Yes, 39 YEARS.  You think just maybe they might have stuff like this figured out by now, especially in the tropics?

Kids get their own race:   Make no mistake, I am ALL about kids putting down their phones and getting outside to move.  But if you’re doing everything you can to keep from running them over because they’re fully engaged in the “let’s sprint for 50 yards then come to a dead stop in front of some poor, unsuspecting sap whose brakes don’t work as well” mode, then the kiddies need to have their own kid moment of glory, if for no other reason than this poor unsuspecting sap’s knees can’t take emergency braking every 50 yards.

If you’re doing swag, do it right:  One word. DriFit.  I’ll pay an extra few bucks on the reg fees.

Use your outside voice:  Let it rip at the start people.  Especially for those saps like me who prefer to start at the back of the pack and haven’t had any mochaccinos before the start.  We can’t hear you chatting it up with the serious speed queens in the front row when you suddenly drop a “oh, let’s get this race started shall we?”  And pack up those obnoxious bullhorns.  They don’t work either.  Good option – put that local cheerleading squad to work.  Megaphones aren’t just for football anymore.

Take that constructive criticism seriously:   I can only imagine some of the ridiculous requests race directors see when they get their post-race surveys back.  However, there may be one or two that are actually good ideas that don’t cost anything extra to incorporate into the race day planning.  Like perhaps noting on the race website that drivers in the area ARE CRAZY AND DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE THEY’RE GOING SO FOR GAWD’S SAKE, KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL.

No lady, I’m not sorry for scaring the crap out of you when I slammed a paw on the hood of your car as you looked right at me and hit the gas anyway.

All of the above noted requests, along with a few others (location, cost, registration fees, charity, etc) help me determine which races will hit my calendar in any given year.  My question for you is this.

Am I being too picky in what I want/need/expect from a race?

In my immediate area, 5k’s are rampant, 10k’s practically non-existent, half marathons are not too bad, and full marathons seem to be everywhere.  As I have yet to PR my half, I always have a few to choose from to maybe someday actually get it done.  My hesitation mainly stems from most of them, while geographically desirable, are not always the most convenient to actually get to, requiring one of those classic Disney 3am wake up alarms in order to have enough time to get ready, travel, park, get to the start, and warm up.  Plus, I know for logistical reasons, many in this area are held on Sundays.  Having a Monday-Friday desk job, a Sunday half doesn’t always equate to feeling so well the next day when you’re stuck in a chair and can’t really keep loose to fight off the DOMS.

It’s a conundrum.

Not this kind. Sadly.

As 2019 brings me to yet another year of debating which races will hit my schedule, I can only say this.  Every year I am eternally grateful that I have the ability and the resources to keep up with this crazy little hobby of mine.  Like anyone, I like to get the most bang for my buck and that is true for each race I consider.  Sometimes I wonder though.

Maybe I’d be better off just closing my eyes and pointing a finger?  Seems to always work well in my wine cooler.

Who’s a happy girl?

 

Enjoy the ride.

 

What helps you determine what races you will participate in? What are your race pet peeves?  Have you ever responded to a race survey?

You Do You – The Kid/No Kid Version

Ahhhhhhh, life stuff.  That invisible line all bloggers face when trying to decide how much of their personal crap they want to divulge in their writing.  Being the strong-minded, opinionated, occasionally quite vocally opinionated female that I am – or as Grouper likes to call me “concrete-headed” – I try to keep my opinions somewhat under control here in my little corner of the world.  We are all well aware of how much we seem to be living in the Land of Negativity and the Easily Offended these days, so I try to keep things light-hearted and humorous here.  Besides who can’t crack a smile over this silliness?

blech

               Blech!

All that being said, take it as a warning that I’m going to touch on a subject that many find not only offensive, but get truly puzzled over, and at times, outright angry and demeaning in their wonderfully judgmental ways that so many human beings have.

I have not, nor have I ever wanted to, have kids.

There.  I said it.

I’d love to see everyone’s faces right now to see the emotions written all over them.  And believe me, I have seen – and been subjected to – ALL of them.

Let me start by saying I have no problem with people who make what is supposed to be a very personal decision one way or the other.  You do you and I’ll do me.  I completely respect how you choose to live your life and I simply ask the same from you.  But holy dogpoop Batman – it never ceases to amaze me how:

  1. People find it completely acceptable to ask – “so when are you going to have kids?”  I’ve always wanted to respond with “would you like to also know how often and in what positions we plan on making said kids”?  Personal is personal people and it is not alright in my book to get so personal, especially when you barely know the person you’re speaking to.
  2. People make their kid/no kid decisions for their own reasons.  Those decisions are for no one to judge, comment on, or my personal fave, try to change their mind about.  Again, you do you.  That right there in my opinion, earns you all the respect in the world.
  3. Everyone has their opinions on the subject.  Everyone.  AND THAT IS PERFECTLY OK.  You now what else is perfectly ok?  Not voicing said opinion unless asked for it.  Being the type that often likes to keep things close to the vest, and having no desire back in the day to discuss said subject with hardly anyone, I was always amazed, and yes, at times pretty freaking shocked, how someone would literally go off on a rant about how –  a) I was the most selfish person they had ever met, b) I didn’t know what I was missing and would regret my choice one day, 3) who did I expect to take care of me someday, (uh, me perhaps?), and my personal favorite, 4) why bother getting married then?

   I’m sorry. What??

At this point I’m pretty sure you’ve either exited this blog in disgust, screamed at whatever device you’re reading this on, or thrown a high five in my general direction.  And you know what?  Those reactions are all totally okay with me.  Why?

Because you do you.

One thing I do have to mention here.  Whether or not people choose to have kids, both sides have to understand one basic concept.  Whatever your choice is, it’s just that – YOUR choice.  It’s nobody else’s business why you made that decision, nor is it anyone else’s place to judge that decision.  If someone chooses to not have them, it does not mean they are missing out on anything.  All it means is their life is different.  For what it’s worth, I LOVE my life and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything.  I wake up every damn day thankful for the people I have in my life, the life I am living, how I’m living that life, and I wouldn’t change a damn thing about it

That’s me doing me by the way.

I know plenty of parents who feel they would have missed out if the didn’t have kids.  Guess what?  THAT’S OK TOO.

You do you.

One thing I have begun to notice more and more these days?  People are much less likely to ask about something so personal, and, if the conversation does take place and opinions differ, those decisions are much more accepted – and respected – by both sides. (Don’t be mistaken, I think this only applies to such personal subjects.  Everything else?  Well, that just turns into a Twitter free-for-all.) The whole concept of “you do you” seems to actually mean something every so often.  And moments like that?  Well, suffice it to say my faith in humanity is momentarily restored.

And that is all anyone can ask for.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Do you find people are asking more or less personal questions these days?  What subjects get you fired up?  Do you feel like you need to say something to people who believe the opposite of you on touchy subjects?