It’s Not All About The T-Shirt

A lot of people say they do races for the t-shirt.

But did you know volunteering will get you a t-shirt too? And you don’t even have to train for months or get sweaty! You just have to be willing to get up early on a Sunday.


I’ve always wanted to do a duathlon, especially after doing my first and only triathlon a few years ago. But I’ve been forbidden from biking by my doctors because of my broken arm. That doesn’t mean I can’t be involved in the event somehow!


I have this weird relationship with races. I’ve done a tri and several running races, but haven’t done one in a while. I love the adrenaline and excitement that comes with racing. I hate the stress leading up to one and the rising cost of race fees.


I would still like to do another race in the not-so-distant future. I’d actually been thinking of a half marathon in the fall.

But then I realized my fitness is coming back very slowly after the accident. I foolishly thought I’d have maintained my 10k base while recovering from surgery. But it took me almost two months to get up to a 5k again, and right now I’m only doing 4-mile runs with walking breaks.

Part of it is because I’m not pushing myself as hard as I used to. The other part of it is that I can’t push myself as hard as I use to.

Remember when I mentioned working up to using 10lb dumbbells in a post not that long ago?

I was proud of myself at the time. I was not proud in the days that followed, where I experienced awful pain in my broken left elbow. Ten pounds may seem like nothing, but it was enough to keep me in bed with pain for the majority of the long weekend. Enough to have me reach for my painkillers again. Enough to remind me that while I may sometimes feel my body is ready to be challenged again, it’s actually still putting a lot of energy into healing itself. And I have to allow it to do that.

So in the meantime, I will still do my short runs with walking breaks, and get my free t-shirts by volunteering.

Plus, I found a new running trail this weekend. It’s in the middle of the woods. I came out smelling like dirt and grass. It was awesome.


Walking breaks are totally justifiable when you have to stop to climb over log bridges.


Posted on June 6, 2011, in Health, Injury. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. “I will still do my short runs with walking breaks, and get my free t-shirts by volunteering. “–

    YAY for you for running, walking, volunteering, and just getting out there, Susan! :)

  2. The Teenage Taste

    I love race shirts. They are always so fun and pretty-looking!
    Glad to hear you were able to get involved in the race, Susan! I bet it felt great to see the smiling faces of the people finishing!

  3. greensandjeans

    I have dealt with more than just a handful of injuries (including knee surgery and a torn disc in my back) and those “come back” moments, no longer how long it took to get to them always feel amazing!

  4. Gorgeous photo!! Looks like an incredible place to run. :)

  5. Volunteering at a race can be really rewarding! I’m glad you had fun. And once you’re ready to race again, you’ll kick some ass :)

  6. That looks like such a fun place to run. I am glad you can be involved in the races somehow. I’m not too sure I could ever do a duathalon because me and bikes do not get along well ha.

  7. I love the look of your running trail. I love feeling like I’m outside of civilization! :)

  8. That trail looks amazing! I need to find a new path to run- my standard is getting a little boring. I think it’s great that you’re still staying involved in the races- I’m sure it’s that much more motivation to get back into fighting shape. Although, I think it’s pretty awesome that you’re running at all! And 4 miles with or without walking breaks is awesome. :)

  9. You’re really brave for dealing with this injury so maturely… I can honestly say that if I was in your situation, I would probably be out there hurting myself because I’m just completely unwilling to and cannot fathom giving up my exercise or fitness for anything (including the ED I’m currently struggling with). Your mental strength is so admirable.

    • We must be opposites, because my instinct is to use my injury as an excuse to lay in bed all day and give up all commitments. It’s really hard to consistently get myself up and moving these days!

  10. stuffedsillysarah

    very jealous of your running trail… all I get to look at is concrete and factories (when I’m not staring at artex) :D

  11. That trail looks pretty awesome.

    Hey, 4 miles is good! I think you’ve got a good plan of attack there. I’ve always wanted to volunteer for races. I bet it’s such a cool perspective!

  12. Those guys in the third-last pic look HARDCORE.

    And walking/running in the woods is the best! Looks like a beautiful trail. I’ve been craving weekend hikes, but it’s so hard to get to trailheads without a car :(

  13. awesome trail you found, be care with the steps.

    • I know! Every time I run I just keep saying to myself “don’t fall. don’t fall. don’t fall.” Because if I do, I’m screwed.

  14. Ugh, I really want to get back into running! Good luck!

  15. i agree, I love my sport but i don’t like the stress that I feel from races.

    that new trail looks amazing!!! I love finding great new places to run that leave me feeling so good

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