The Run-A-Race-This-Summer Challenge

June 3, 2009

Ouch ouch ouch. My body is sore.

I have been treating my body to a variety of activities that it isn’t accustomed to. On Friday morning, a mere six hours after I arrived home from Cambodia, I was pumped full of energy and incredibly antsy from having done nothing except sit on airplanes the day before. So I went out for a two and a half mile run to relieve some of that energy and it felt fantastic.

A bunch of my friends have cooked up a soccer rec league team, so I have joined and we played a game on Sunday night (and won, too!). Between that and a few long walks on Saturday and Sunday, and then another 2 mile run on Monday morning, my body is definitely feeling it. I knew well enough that running on Monday morning after playing soccer the night before probably wasn’t the best idea, but when I feel the urge to run I really like to take advantage of that feeling. I never know when it’s going to crop up again. By the time I’d walked the 50 minutes to work shortly after my run, I could tell that my muscles were very excited about the new exercise that I’ve incorporated into my current lifestyle. They display excitement by being very sore.

I was still sore yesterday evening when I attended an outdoor yoga class, so some of the poses were tricky but it was invigorating at the same time. And it made my muscles feel good to be stretched like that; I think it really helped them.

I’m almost halfway through the One Hundred Day Burpee Challenge. I forgot how difficult it is to perform burpees when it’s sore even just to walk! But it’s that “good sore” feeling and I love it. I love that my body is being challenged right now.

And that brings me to…

The Run a Race this Summer Challenge!

I mentioned previously that I want to defeat my arch-nemesis (aka running) once and for all by participating in a race, and I know that there are a lot of people out there who really enjoy running. Some of you also happen to be training for a race! So I propose this challenge to anyone and everyone: summer is just beginning, and the weather is nice enough (hopefully) to be outside, which means that there is a very good chance that there are races to be found all over whatever city you’re living in, so let’s put on the running shoes and sign up for a race and start training.

This challenge really is just that simple. We’ve got about three months of summer and during that time I challenge us all to train and run a race! It can be any kind of race you like. A short sprint, a relay race, a 5k, a marathon; any kind of race that includes something vaguely resembling running. It’s a good excuse to get into shape and appreciate the strength building in our muscles.

I think that it would also be really great if we can take this challenge outdoors. Sometimes the gym appears to be the only option you have, if you live in an industrial area or if the weather is truly awful. But I’m going to really push that if you are joining in on this challenge, it would be great for your mental health if you enjoy the great outdoors while you’re training.

A year ago when I first began training for the half marathon (and failed in participating in one), I often ran on a treadmill indoors. Partly that was because I was taking the easy way out: setting the treadmill at a specific speed for a predetermined amount of time ensures that I will reach my goal for that day. Running outdoors is more of a challenge (for me, at least) because you really have to push yourself to keep running and not to start walking. Also, if you’re running in your neighbourhood, it takes some mental effort to stop yourself from taking short cuts and deciding not to run an extra loop around the block.

Running outdoors is also fantastic for relaxation purposes. With trees all around or people moving about their daily activities, it gives us something to look at and contemplate while we’re pounding on the pavement/grass. There is so much to see. We miss out on that if we are stuck indoors, staring at the person in front of us and moving mechanically.

Will you be running a race this summer? Are you exercising outdoors these days? Join in the fun of a new challenge with me!


  1. I’m still giving the running world a pass, but I’ll definitely be outside for my walking and biking as long as air quality allows. 🙂

    Good luck with your challenge, Sagan!

  2. Wow! You are really working hard! Good job! I love it when my muscles get excited…

  3. I wont say IM IN because I wouldnt wanna back out but I will say IVE NEVER RUN A RACE BEFORE—-Id love this summer to be when I can no longer say that 🙂

  4. Thanks for the offer Sagan, but I don’t think I can do the running race. The knees don’t hold up as well as they once did and the pounding would stop me well short of any long distance. How about one on two wheels?

  5. Hmmm…I was just thinking about that…I’d love to run a 5k before the end of the summer. I have to find one that I can run in though! Regardless I’m going to train like I’ve got one to run ^_^

  6. I love your first sentence about “treating” your body!!

    I exercise outside every day!

  7. Cammy- biking and walking make life more complete 🙂

    Hanlie- me too! Such a happy feeling.

    MizFit- that’s my way of thinking 😀

    Tom- sounds good to me! Definitely have to protect those knees.

    Meg- that’s the kind of attitude I like to see!

    Dr. J- exercising outdoors is so exhilarating.

  8. I’m with you! I just ran my first 5K in about two years a couple weekends ago. I got back into training in January and now I have my sights set on a 1/2 marathon, probably next year. I’d like to fit in this year, but with our move back to the US I think that will disrupt my training for a bit. Best wishes for your races this summer!

  9. I love challenges and 5K races are so fun! I haven’t done one for a long time… Good for you for always changing up your exercise and making it fun and inspiring!

  10. Does walking count? I’m not a runner but I’ve been walking outdoors a ton lately… I want to get to the point were I can walk for weeks with a heavy pack. I’m thinking about revving my walks by carrying a backpack full of books with me or finding some hills to walk up. A race would be great, though. I used to run 5k’s and 10k’s and I love the energy.

  11. Sounds like a great challenge! I’ll be running with you in spirit;) You’ll do great and I’m excited to hear how it goes!

  12. I hear you on the sore muscles. I switched up my legs-butt routine on Monday and, man o man, I’m sore as if I had never worked out before. I actually woke up on Monday night while tossing in my sleep from the pain. Yesterday I could barely walk, but still pushed myself to go to my circuit boot camp (a bunch of us get together in the park and push each other to crazy circuits). Today I feel btter, but it still hurt to do my stair-climb. I’m not a big fan of “rest if you’re sore”, I’m all about “push past the pain”, but sometimes I’m unwise about it and hurt myself… maybe I’ll learn one day 🙂
    I’m not runnning any races these summer because I have lots of moving around and trips planned, so I didn’t want to commit to a date. But I think this is a great challenge you’re posting! Training for a race is so stimulating and encouraging, plus the race itself fills you with them most wonderful sense of accomplishment!

  13. Lori- that’s fantastic! And thanks for your support.

    Jolene- can I count you in then? 😉

    Monica- absolutely. Walking, as far as I’m concerned, is happiness in an exercise 🙂

    Charlotte- I’ll get in an extra run just for you!

    Marta- yep, I’m after that sense of accomplishment, hehe. Your attitude towards fitness is inspiring.

  14. Yup I’m in on both counts. I’m always perplexed when I see people at the gym on a treadmill when it’s warm all year round, safe and there are lots of bikeways and quiet side streets. I don’t get it, but you do make a good point about motivation on a treadmill.

    I was wondering, do you find running a treadmill physically easier than on the pavement? When I have jogged on a treadmill for say 20 minutes, I could never translate that to the outside world so I’ve always been curious if that was just in my head or if having the belt move by itself instead of having to push your body forward requires a different amount of effort.

  15. It’s like I read your mind. I signed up for a 10k a week ago. I figure if I can hike for 6 hours non stop, I can handle a 10k. Did I mention I hate running and I’m not a runner AT ALL? I am a hardcore walker 🙂 And I live in San Francisco, so the hills are built in interval training. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself…

  16. I love that the weather is getting nice. Will be taking the workout outdoors with some runs mixed in for sure. You are a hard worker.

  17. Hi Sagan,

    Welcome home (a few days late)!

    I’m in! In fact, I ran a 5K just a couple of weekends ago. And today I signed up for a sprint triathlon in July (and planning on another sprint tri this summer as well). Plus I’m signed up for a 5K – and plan to do one or two more of them as well. I love the atmosphere at the runs and the tri’s. The one I did two weeks ago – in very rural Wisconsin – they had homemade cookies for everyone after the race! Delicious (I think I race for the food afterward!)

    Good luck to you! And the soccer league sounds like an awesome way to stay healthy and have some fun at the same time!

  18. Spring Girl- hurray! And interesting question about the treadmill… you know, I think there might be something to that. I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s a great point. I think the same thing applies for me, too, but I’m not sure what the proportion of it being a mental thing or it being physically easier is. I think there are proponents of both present, however.

    Rachel- I think we might be the same person 😉 And hilly ground really does make a surprisingly huge difference.

    Kristisummer- excellent, glad to hear it!

    Lance- wow, good for you! That’s really impressive. And cookies are a great incentive 😀

  19. Good luck! I know you can do this!!!!

  20. I am in, but my race isn’t until October – I ran it last year at 165 pounds, so I am hoping to be closer to my goal weight and see how I do.

    Great challenge though!

  21. I’ll also be running with you in spirit! It’s a great challenge for everyone, I love it! 🙂

  22. I think that is so great, Sagan. I’m anxious to hear more about your running!

    I’m trying not to run with the whole knee thing, but I’m definitely making it a point to get outside and either walk or bike. I LOVE to be outside. Any reason to get me out there (even mowing the yard! I’m weird), and I’m in!

  23. What a cool idea! I’m not in, but hopefully by next summer I will be running!

  24. There’s good sore and there is bad sore. That pleasant ache you feel after exerting yourself through exercise is worthwhile, especially when you start to heal and feel so much better. It’s those lingering aches and pains that we have to watch.


  25. I have a bad back, so I can’t run much, but I LOVE being outside when the weather is nice! I walk, and do interval training with a little jogging.

    BTW, I think you need a massage! 😉

  26. Hangry Pants & Workout Mommy- thanks!

    Biz319- good luck!!

    Holly- you like mowing the lawn too? HUGS.

    Mary- sounds good 🙂

    Mike- completely agree. And this is the good stuff 😉

    FatFighterTV- I second that, a massage would be excellent 😀

  27. I love any kind of Challenge! I’m a marathoner training to qualify for Boston (on a vegetarian diet no less!), but for the sake of a good challenge, I’ll throw in a 5k in August that I’ve been sitting on the fence about.
    Thanks for the motivation!

  28. i’ve already done two 5ks this year, have another one on july 4th, a triathlon on july 25th … and another 5k and hopefully a duathlon in late august/early september.

    soooo yeah, i’m with you already! 😉

  29. […] love how my blogging friend Sagan describes it: I could tell that my muscles were very excited about the new exercise that I’ve […]

  30. i am trying to do all my running outside, so long as it’s not raining 🙂 i signed up for one sprint tri, but i need to look for some others! and maybe a 5k!

  31. […] Life Lessons: The motivation to run begins with a smile June 22, 2009 How is the Run A Race This Summer Challenge going for all of you challengers out there? Yesterday was the Manitoba Marathon. Many people that I […]

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