I read lots of race reports. Race reports from people I know and don't know. Race reports about races I have no desire to do. Race reports from people far slower and far faster than me. I feel a learn a little from every one of those reports. Sometime it is what to do and a lot of the times it is what not to do. Here is a partial list of things I have come across.
* People are often disappointed in their result no matter what it is. It could be a PR by a huge unexpected margin but they are still not happy. I really find this disheartening because I wonder if they are ever truly happy about anything. I finished a half marathon last weekend 11 minutes slower than my PR and found tons of silver linings.
* People do not seem capable of listening to their own bodies and running within themselves. One particular runner will always go out way faster than they are capable of holding onto for the entire distance, falters and crashes. This is not just once but dozens and dozens of times with the same end result. Yet they steadfastly hold to their ill-conceived, completely irrational plan that has never panned out. I think it is the German in me that gets a tad bit of schadenfreude by watching them never succeed.
* People do not listen to the advice they ask for from others. This is one reason why I hesitate about giving any. Regardless of the fact that everything depends on factors too numerous to list, I just bristle when I am asked for advice, give it, have it not be followed and the person does poorly. A much wiser friend of mine taught me a trick that basically just involves asking someone what they think they want to do and then agreeing with it. Makes you seem like the smartest person on the planet.
* People do seem to be enjoying themselves in a variety of different races. That's good. That's really good. The marathon gets too much attention anyway. I love it. It is a great distance but it has become a tad blase'. I think far too any people take on the distance before they should and then having completed it, don't go back. So when I see all the other distances getting some love, I smile. The more people who race hard at shorter distances means the more people will eventually race hard again at the longer distances. Fast is Fun.
* People seem to enjoy in eating and drinking after a race almost as much as they do running the race. There is nothing wrong with enjoying food (I guess. I am not a foodie so I don't get it.) But, it appears to be very evident that they are not helping their own health as they are vastly underestimating how many calories they are taking in for their "reward" for finishing a race. Finishing a race should be your reward for finishing a race. Not eating something that has three times the calories you burned in the race.
* People are stepping up their writing game a lot. Race Reports used to be awfully short and uninformed. I wrote a race report on how to run the Old Dominion 100 miler 7 years ago because I couldn't find anything other than "There is a hill . You go up it. Drink water." when looking online for help. There are also a lot of people who still think writing is easy and it shows. That makes me feel good about my own writing. :)
Basically, I need to get over the flu so I cannot stop reading and go running. 11 Days and counting. This is not fun.