Did you race last weekend? What did you do afterward? Maybe a big meal? Or a nap? How about putting pen to paper?
Guys, I’m here to talk about race reports, and to tell you that you should be writing them.
Perhaps, you’re thinking, “But I don’t have a blog!”
Don’t need one. Get a 99-cent notebook. Or open a Word doc.
You might be thinking, “But I can’t write!”
Nonsense. You can write. Nobody said you have to be Toni Morrison or J.K. Rowling. You are writing for you. Don’t even need to use complete sentences. (See?) This isn’t a sixth-grade book report. It’s your race recap! You’re simply reporting to yourself about what happened during the race.
I recently read my race report from my last marathon, and I got all warm and fuzzy inside…and I don’t remember it being a good race.
Writing about a race is therapeutic and can put it into perspective. For example, maybe you also did not have a good marathon. If you don’t write about, all you’ll remember in your mind is that it was bad. But what if you did write about it?
Perhaps some details were, oh let’s say…you couldn’t eat what you brought for fuel after mile 8. You could only stomach bananas, and unfortunately, you didn’t have any and had to rely on whether or not there were bananas at the water stops. Also, your hips felt like the Tin Man without an oil can and you cried at Mile 21 because you missed your family (and the couch). This is all hypothetical, of course. *ahem*
But, in writing about the race, you also noted these things: saw the sunrise above the river, met a woman who has run 134 marathons, a runner gave you a pep talk during the tough miles, your friends surprised you at the finish line, and even though you hurt, you finished the race!
Four months later, you occasionally think about that bad race. You decide to read your report, and what you see, surprises you. Yes, there were some dark times during that race, but there were also some really bright spots.
Do you get what I’m trying to say here? Our brains aren’t wired to remember all those details that long after something happened. It’s just going to label the whole thing as bad, even though that wasn’t true! Our brains can be real liars sometimes!
Reading the report got me thinking about signing up for another race. It won’t be a marathon—let’s not get crazy—but, maybe a 5K.
One of my favorite race reports is from a 5K, in fact. Every time I read it, I relive the joy (and pain) that I was in during those fast-for-me 3.1 miles.
Writing about your race will also help you have a better next race. You’ll have details on fuel, gear and more.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you write your own race report. Reading through them before a race, too, may help you be more mindful as you run.
Once you start writing, you may be amazed at the details you remember. A couple of other tips:
Stay mindful during your race. When you hit “start,” on your watch, let that be a reminder to begin being in the moment, as well. Tell yourself that you’ll be writing about it later.
Break your recaps down mile by mile. It’s much easier to write about races, especially really long ones, if they are broken into chunks. If you’re writing in a paper journal, leave a little space on the page because you may remember something later that you want to go back and add. I also like to jot down my pace for each mile.
Do you already write race recaps? What details do you like to add?
Kerrie Turcic is a runner from Maple Valley, Wash. Kerrie is currently a copywriter by day, and also a