People always want to know how fast I was. I'm usually embarrassed to say because my time is not great. I'm pleased with it, but it is not in and of itself impressive. Racing is not about winning; although I am competitive. Racing is fun. I saw one or two people I knew, but racing is not really a social event. I don't have people cheering for me at the finish line. I race for myself.
My last race, in October, was a 50 mile ultra marathon with less than 100 people entered. This half marathon had 3,700 people entered and I ran fast. The 50 miles took 12.5 hours. The half marathon took about 2.25 hours. One race went out and back between two rows of trees on a rails to trails course through the Kansas countryside. The other went over a humongous bridge over the Houston ship channel. Such different races. But both gave a sense of satisfaction from the accomplishment.
Yesterday in the half marathon, my Garmin thought I blew off over 1,400 calories. Today, the day after, I did a slow walk jog for 17 miles and used only 1,380 calories. So, yes, my half marathon tired me out; as much as a 50 mile race.
Both races stick in my heart. Different but valuable experience. That is why I do it: it feels good to have the experience.