I have had times recently when I was unable to run, due to injury or illness. Other times, I've been unable to cycle for various reasons (like not having a bike!). At these times, you start to think, "How can I call myself a runner/cyclist if I can't run/cycle?".
But I started to ask myself, does it matter what label I put on my exercise habits and preferences?
When I started down that path, it got me thinking, why do I run races?
Cycling for me is different - I don't do cycle races, only sportives and adventure races. So the cycling as a separate sport is not competitive for me.
But why do I run races?
If I just want to run a certain distance, like a marathon, I can do that locally, in my own time. That would save me the race entrance fee, travel, possibly hotel costs etc.
Is it for the PB? If I just want to get a PB, I'd be quite fussy about the races I choose, only going for flat, or net downhill elevations.
So if I'm not doing races to run a certain distance or time, or a combination of both...why do I race?
For the challenge I think. But I must admit, I'm increasingly finding road running a bit boring!
There aren't any trails or mountains or parks near us, just roads and paths.
Also, its not safe to use headphones while running/cycling around our area. A lot of the roads have no paths, no hard shoulders and no street lights, so you really need your wits about you.
So with all that in mind, I'm pretty sure I'll be doing less road races in the coming year, but the ones I will be doing will either be with friends or the race will be a personal challenge - like adventure racing or duathlons.