I love races. They keep my training in check and ultimately make me a faster runner. They also provide a welcome change of scenery. (Running along the Charles can get boring to those who do it often.) Every so often, though, I regret signing up for a race. This happens when I register for an event that:
a) Does not fit into my regular routine
b) Doesn't coincide at all with my training
c) Falls on a day when I'd rather be resting
For instance, I walked into my apartment building one day after a 6+ mile run and spotted a mailer for the Boston Marine Corps Honor Run 5K on May 8. Immediate reaction: Sign up! Thoughts to follow on my train ride into work: That's 6 days after my marathon. It's also during a month when I've already signed up for the Run to Home Base 9K on May 23 and the Hyannis Half Marathon on May 30.
I think I have one too many races already planned for May. Must skip Honor Run, but I'm tempted!
Another example: I recently ran the Ras na hEireann 5K on a day when I knew I'd have to run 20 miles for my marathon training. Why would I run a 5K on the day of a scheduled 20 miler? I decided to compromise by running the 5K followed by a 17 mile run. Not a bad plan, right? Well, I did terrible at both and beat myself up over the decision for days after. I won't do that again, though I wouldn't be surprised if I did it anyway. If a race sounds fun to me it's hard to resist.
Anything like this ever happen to you or am I the only one who gets sucked up in the excitement of race registration? My nonrunning friends will probably think I'm nuts for even asking that. :)