I think I’m well on my way to becoming a race-aholic; or at least a swag-aholic. As you know, I signed up for the Monster Dash 10 miler because of the jacket…well, that and the finisher’s metal. This morning, I signed up for a New Year’s Eve race because of the jacket. I pick my races now based on the swag. Any race that encourages costumes also ranks pretty high, but mostly it’s the shirt or jacket involved that gets me drooling.

Monster Dash jacket.

Because of the gear, I signed up for the New Year’s Eve race and have every intention of signing up for a New Year’s Day race as well. I’m sick, I know it. Nate would say it’s my OCD, which although I’ve never been diagnosed, I definitely have tendencies. At least I’m focused on running instead of something less beneficial.

The New Year's Eve jacket.

In considering all of this, I think it’s safe to say I am addicted to running gear. However, I want running gear that not everyone has. Something in my mind tells me that unless I had to earn it, it isn’t as cool. Anyone, including non-runners, can go buy a Nike jacket and look like a runner but to me, only runners get the swag with race names on it. Sure, people can walk a lot of the events, but race gear is like a badge of honor. I had to do something for it. It makes me feel confident and fit when I wear it. Plus, it can be a great conversation starter.

To be honest, if I had more money and more time, I’m sure I would sign up for a lot more races that I do. I truly thought my challenge to myself (completing one running event per month for the year of 2011) would suck. I figured I would struggle through a race once per month, doing the bare minimum to fulfill the challenge and then would be done racing forever sometime in December.


Apparently the running bug has sunk its teeth in. Instead of doing one race per month, I’m running two races some months and am already planning next year’s events. Since next year’s challenges are going to be bigger, I doubt they’ll involve monthly races but who knows. The OCD may decide otherwise.

So far, I have dreams of doing the Team Ortho Monster Series, the Race for the Dream half marathon in Williamsburg, the Gopher to Badger half marathon, running a sub 30 minute 5k and finishing Warrior Dash 2012 ten minutes faster than I did in 2011. Yep, big dreams. Dreams that I never imagined I would have. It honestly amazes me every single day when I think about how I’ve gone from hating running to actually liking it! Okay, maybe even loving it…



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