Confessions of a Running & Racing Addict

I ran my first race in May 2011. I completed 4 total that year, 7 the following year, and then...I fell off the deep end. I crossed 18 finish lines in 2013, 16 in 2014, and 16 (plus 2 still left to go) in 2015. I'm already registered for 8 next year and I have at least that many in italics on my race spreadsheet.

Hi, my name is Tracy, and I'm a racing addict.

And these are my confessions.

- My biggest fear is having a bathroom emergency in the middle of a race. I only need one hand to count the number of times I've used the porta-potty mid-race, but I'm still paranoid about it every single time. More accurately, I'm paranoid about not making it to a porta-potty.

- I check my Garmin I can never tell if I'm running too fast, too slow, or just right. Can I PR? If I run a 10 minute mile from now until the finish, what will be time be? How far have I run? Yeah, I know there are mile markers out on the course but those only come every MILE! And of course there's nothing more pressing when I cross the finish line than checking my final time.

I even got caught checking it on the bike a couple years ago!

- One of my favorite things about running and racing is seeing people of all ages and sizes coming together for the love of a common hobby. Truly. I am competitive with myself but could not care less about how much better or worse my fellow racers are compared to me and I do not judge anyone for getting out their and doing their best, no matter what their best is. I know that everyone out there has a different goal for the day and various ways to achieve them and I am absolutely supportive of whatever those goals and strategies might be, even if that means walking a little or a lot of the race. But for the love of jeebus if I see you walking within a quarter mile from the start, ESPECIALLY if you aren't as far to the right as you could POSSIBLY be, my death stare will burn a hole through the back of your skull. Especially if you're in a group 2-3 abreast and pulling this shit. Some things are just common sense, and this is one of them.

- I take some of the WORST race photos EVER. I'm basically this meme personified.

That strong, never-felt-better run I had at B2B? According to the photographer's lens, it looked like this:

That time I ran gracefully and majestically as a mermaid at the Wicked 10k? It actually looked more like this:

I've even been working on a few series over the years:

The "Everything Hurts and I'm Dying"

The "Awkward Arm Motions"

The "Eyes Wide Shut"

and, the creme de la creme of bad race photos, 
the "Straight Outta The Water"

- I don't race just for the beer at the end, but it's up there on my list of reasons. There is nothing more disappointing than finishing a race and getting to the beer tent to discover that the only options are 2 different crappy light beers. It's 2015 and there's a craft brewery on basically every street corner...Michelob Ultra is not going to cut it, race directors.

- I have accumulated so much race swag that I have started to actively avoid acquiring any more. If you saw the bag of over 40 race/running shirts that I donated to Goodwill last year, you'd understand why. Some races, like the Hokie Half Marathon, have started offering a "No Frills" option (for a discounted price you still get a medal and finisher's shirt but none of the other freebies like the registration shirt), and I chose that when I ran it in September. In just the last couple months, I've politely refused a tumbler from Wicked, because I had just tossed 2 of them from previous years that I never used; hats from City of Oaks and Harbor Lights, because I have exactly one hat from Richmond last year and that's all I need; and registration shirts from City of Oaks (I took the one they gave me but pawned it off on my sister-in-law because it was too big) and my local Turkey Trot.

With that said, there is some swag that's absolutely worth taking. I've gotten everything from a wine glass to pajama pants! And I always hang on to my medals and bibs as keepsakes. Always. My bib/medal holder overfloweth!

- I get nervous before nearly every race. No matter what distance it is, there is always a part of me that wonders, "Can I really finish this whole thing?" Even if I've run the distance 100 times or more, there is a part of me that knows that anything can happen out on the course and there's really no way to know for sure if I'll make it to the finish line until I get there.

Two more races left to round out 2015! Can't stop won't stop.


  1. 18 this year- you go! I've only used a porta once during a race and it was mile 17 of a marathon- I literally couldn't hold it any longer. Agree so hard on the Michelob front... If the line is long and beer is crappy, I will leave.

  2. You're so awesome and should be so proud! I'm not a big runner so I would be more of a "participated" in doing races, but I still think it's fun to get involved especially when it's for a good cause.

  3. I ran a race this summer that had Michelob Ultra at the end and I did not hide my disappointment, haha! What a fun way to document your races! I often don't even look at the photos because if they caught me hocking a loogie or adjusting my bra, I don't want to see it!

  4. The pictures from Richmond are so bad they're good. Like, we're talking even if I wasn't dying of the plague they would be the worst things I've ever seen in my life. Maybe one day I'll be brave like you and post some ! And honestly some of them aren't that bad :)

  5. Ok, the bathroom emergency thing is my #1 fear. Michael rolls his eyes because before every 5k, I try to use the bathroom 75 times. JUST IN CASE.

    And it's nice to know that someone as experienced as you still gets nervous at every race. I know it's silly because I'm not even trying to WIN, but I get sooo nervous sometimes!

  6. Such a fun post to read, I found myself nodding quite often. I haven't done as many races as you [not even close] but I feel you on the watch checking, the walkers 3-4 across [seriously] and the closed eye pictures.

  7. Ah, I love your photos! You've got some pretty good ones there. I don't race as much as you, but I have my fair share of horrible shots. My favorite is probably from my first half, where I looked like I was blowing a snot rocket on the person next to me. Awesome!

    Also, you can donate all those unwanted shirts to your local chapter of Girls on the Run. I did this last summer to thin my stash out a bit. Probably time to do it again!

  8. I feel like I might say this every time I read your posts about races, but you are a freakin' ROCKSTAR. Seriously- can I be you when I grow up?? :) I find it comforting to know you still get nervous before races. I get SO nervous but assumed it was just because I've only completed maybe 8 races in my lifetime. Guess that never goes away?!

  9. oh my gosh i love love love all the photos and the little series things. you're so clever. i take horrible race photos. you have done soooo many races. i love races and i would do more but they can really add up and i still like to do other things, also louisville doesn't offer a lot, and of course i could travel but $$. you have gotten way cooler swag than me! i have only ever gotten shirts. boo. but also, totally okay because i have too many lol

  10. This is great :)
    I hate like 99% of my race pictures.. .but I still buy them. I need proof I did these things :) haha
    Your mermaid outfit still is my all time favorite running costume!

  11. You're registered for 8 next year!? I only have 2... so weak. Is one of yours that Blacksburg race you mentioned in February? I can't remember the details but did want to touch base about that now that I can start planning the spring!

    HAHAHA I love the pictures of you checking the Garmin. And I totally get it.

    SO with you on #3! All of it, the whole thing. You know this as we've discussed at length...

    OMG! Official B2B pictures! Is that one you coming down to the finish or just setting out? I want to see more!

    Eyes wide shut and everything hurts and I'm dying... yup. AKA most of my City of Oaks pictures.

    Can't wait to get that blanket from Richmond next year. Pretty much entirely why I'm running.

  12. Michelob Ultra? Gross, I would rather have water. I have turned in to a true beer snob. But I agree, they should be featuring something local...especially for those that are coming in from out of town for the race so they can experience it. Show of the city.

    I love all of your race photos. you may have funny names for them but you know what I see?? One determined, inspirational, bad ass chicka!

  13. when i did tough mudder, i was so scared of taking a crap mid-race that i booked a hotel to stay the night before, did my routine in the morning as usual just so that i could do my bidness in a swanky, comfortable bathroom!

  14. I really missed racing this year. I'm excited for my half in April! Although I'm nervous about fitting in time to train, but yay for running again!