Would you run a race if you were not in very good shape? I have been wondering since the last few days if I should run the Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K that is about 10 days from now. I was wondering if should run the race because I am not in very good shape when it comes to running. During the summer, although I was active playing badminton and doing push-ups kind of exercise at home, I didn't run much. Recently, I started learning Hapkido, but again it is not the same as running: to do well in running you have to run - other games and exercises may be helpful, but nothing can substitute running to do better at running. You may say, "Come on - it's just a 5K, go do the race, don't think too much about it." And you are right, I probably should not be "wondering" so much about such a small distance race, but then wondering is what I do best (not in the normative sense, but in comparison to some of the other things I do), so how can I stop wondering? Anyway, to cut the long story short, there are primarily two things to consider: the registration fees - being a poor grad student, I think I have a legitimate right to worry about money matters; not being in satisfactory shape means poor performance compared to my previous races - this translates into likelihood of dissatisfaction with myself after the race.
They say when you have a mental conflict, it's a good idea to write down your thoughts - it clears up your thoughts. And looks like my thoughts are getting clearer with each additional word that I am typing. I am thinking, "Although I will most likely not perform as well as I have on previous similar distance races, my current race will give me an opportunity to get back in shape, and may be I will be able to beat my own timings in other forthcoming races." "$25 of registration fee and some dissatisfaction should be a good price to pay for the improvement in performance that may result in participating in the race." That sounds reasonable to me - what do you think? You would probably reply, "If you think it's reasonable, then it is." Yeh, I can run the race now!!!
Now, hold on I was trying to clear up my mind through writing, but may be all that I was seeking was some justification to do what I would have done anyway. Hasn't the 400 odd words of pondering whether or not to run, virtually ensured that I would choose to run? In the end, it seems like all that our thinking brain needs is a reason to do what we want to do - if we cannot find one, we invent one and make a blog post out of it.