Random Thoughts Thursday – Running Topics

Yes, I know that today is not Thursday but I did not post this entry in time. 😉


After running (pun intended) this blog for a few years, sometimes it is a bit tough to come up with topics to write about. Fortunately for me, Sara Kurth has published a massive list of potential blog topics that focuses on running (check out her blog here, ***). The list of the running topics can be found in the Running Topics of my site (Link: ***).

How do races fit into your running (if at all)?

When I started regularly running, I did it (in a way) as a form of transportation. Basically, I started running because one morning my bicycle’s tires were flat, and I did not feel like changing them before biking to work. Once I started running to work on a regular basis a co-worker asked if I was planning to run a marathon. She mentioned that New York Road Runners (NYRR) had a 9+1 program where you could gain guaranteed entry into NYC’s Marathon. For this program, one has to run nine races and volunteer for one race to complete the program.

While I had no intention of running a marathon, I figure why not give the program a shot. I mean, there was nothing in the rules that said I HAD to actually run a marathon upon completing NYRR’s 9+1 program.

At first, I kind of saw running NYRR races as something to do just to complete the 9+1. After a few races, I started competing with myself to see if I could perform better than my previous races. Since NYRR uses a corral system based on time, I remember always wondering if I ran a race fast enough to move into a faster corral upon finishing. B corral was the faster one that I’ve ever reached. If memory serves me correctly, I think the corrals went: AA (elite/professional), A, B, C . . .

Looking back, I wished that I had ventured outside of my “comfort” zone and ran more non-NYRR races. Looking back (again), I guess it was easier to run NYRR races for a few reasons:

  1. There were not too many non-NYRR races in the city. I do not think NYCRuns was around back in 2012.
  2. I was working part-time as an adjunct professor, and most of my classes were scheduled on Sundays (anywhere between the hours of 9 am and 3:00 pm). This made it a bit difficult to plan for races outside of NYC.
  3. I was too lazy to look into non-NYRR races during the summer when I was not teaching my college biology course.

Come to think of it: It took me about three years after I started racing to run a non-NYRR, which happened to be Rock n Roll Montreal Half Marathon. I believe that I originally planned to run the marathon, but an injury derailed those plans.

Wait, wasn’t I supposed to look into running a half marathon in Montreal this fall? Yeah, Beneva Montreal has a full and half marathon in late September . . . I knew that I did not make it up.

Ok, back to the topic at hand:

In late 2019, I made plans to race outside of my NYC comfort zone and decided to run a few non-NYRR races and run at least three half marathons outside of NYC during 2020. Well, that plan was going well until March when everything shut down because of the pandemic. Eh, I tried.

Thanks to Rock n Roll, this year has been pretty adventurous in regards to running outside of NYC with half marathons in Va Beach, New Orleans, and Madrid. Actually, I think that I still have one more race in my Rock n Roll Tour Pass (or whatever the hell it’s called).

Where am I with racing:

Simple answer

I guess that I am back to where I started – running races just to meet NYRR’s 9+1 program for NYC Marathon 2023. Since I’m moving to Virginia pretty soon, it’s going to be tough to fit in all of the races before Dec. 31, 2022. Based on my previous races for the year and what I have registered for, I think that I need to find a way to run two more races if I want to complete this program. Perhaps, a couple of weekend trips to NYC are in my future.

That said, our impending move to VA might be good for my racing mentally because I will have to force myself to find races in the state. From my limited knowledge, I do not think the Hampton Roads area has some sort of racing organization similar to NYRR.

Question(s) for the Day?

-How do races fit into your running routine?

-What do you have planned for the weekend?

Social Media Plug:


  1. Now that I’ve run a half marathon in all 50 states, racing has changed drastically for me. I used to be on a regular schedule with 4 races a year then 3 races after I had run all of the southern states. Now it’s random. I’ve heard the Virginia Beach running community is awesome. You won’t be far from there, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t do races at all now – well, I did one last October and fell over, and I want to do the Reykjavik Marathon again, perhaps next year, but I am lucky in that I can happily run around all week, all year, without a race to train for. I enjoy hearing other people’s race stories, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • During the pandemic when in-person races were canceled, I realized that I need races from time to time in order to push (or punish) myself. Plus, rewarding myself with brunch afterwards is a great motivational tool. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think moving will be beneficial to your running – new routes to explore, new races to find! I know that was one thing I liked when I moved to Scranton, finding new running routes.

    I tend to limit myself sometimes with races as far as not wanting to drive more than a certain distance especially if it’s only a 5k. My thought is why do I want to spend an hour driving to a place that I’ll be finished racing in under 30 mins? The farthest I’ve traveled to race was the End of the Road half marathon which was about an hour and 40 mins away I think.

    Right now there are no races on my schedule, but I’m likely signing up for a half in October and Jason found a 10k in Nov., a hot cider hustle, that we’re likely going to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going back to Va beach will be interesting in terms of running because I already know that most of my training runs will take place in Mt. Trashmore Park, which is where cross country practices were held back in high school. The funny or sad thing: the park looks exactly the same as it did during the mid to late 90s.

      After running a half marathon near the Rockaways Beach, which was about 2 hrs each way via public transportation, I was like why did I sign up to do this. Well . . . going there was not too bad, it was the getting back part that was annoying.

      Hot cider hustle is a cute name for a race.

      Liked by 1 person

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