Normally I don't trust a thing I see from the Weather Channel. Their website will say that it is a calm 7 mph wind in our area, but when you look outside it is windy enough to blow small children into the next area code.
But I finally came across something I did agree with from a Weather Channel meteorologist named Mike Bettes. He said:
"When I first started doing races, I didn't understand why people did them. I thought it was boring. But give it a try. If you're new to the sport, or maybe even an infrequent runner, try it. Once you do it and finish a race, there's such a feeling of self-accomplishment—that's really been one thing I've taken away from doing running events. Because it's just you, and you have just yourself to credit for doing what you did. It's always a great feeling afterward, because you know you did it all yourself."
I absolutely LOVE races. From a logical perspective some people have a hard time understanding races. "So you're telling me that you PAY $70 to run for 26 miles and you get a shirt and medal at the end?" I can see their reasoning. But I get so much more than that. A few of the reasons I love races are:
1) The sense of accomplishment I feel afterward when I know I did something hard.
2) The pride in knowing that even if my time was crappy, I did the very best I could do.
3) The volunteers - they are always so happy and encouraging.
4) The excitement and uncertainty of what will happen when you're standing at the starting line.
5) The crowds and spectators. Having someone cheer you on or give you a high five is a big emotional boost.
6) The medal at the end - proof of what you have achieved.
Signing up for a race is also an incredibly motivating factor. Once you have signed up there is no backing out and the training begins. My recommendations for new runners are:
1) Find a race and sign up. NOW. Even if it's your first 5k. Don't wait until later to register. The sooner you sign up, the sooner your motivation will increase. (Plus the races sometimes fill up.)
2) Sign up for a popular race that lots of people run. Being part of a big crowd of people is an even bigger adreniline rush.
3) Tell your friends and family. They will be a positive support (and maybe you can talk one of them into being your running partner).
4) Be prepared because after you do one - you will be hooked.