Yesterday I watched boyziggy set a PR for the 5K race distance, at the very same spot where I set my own 5K PR back in September 2012. I'm very proud of Ziggy, and happy that he's gotten so into racing and fitness in general.
It was a bittersweet moment though, as normally I would have liked to do this race with him, along with the 10K race where I also met him at the finish line two weeks ago. I've taken a hiatus from racing for two reasons. One, as I've already discussed, is because I feel uncomfortable having to specify my sex or gender, especially right now while I'm still legally female but in the early stages of physically transitioning to male.
The other is that all of our club races, as with most races, are on Sundays, and they interfere with my volunteer work at the Free Farm Stand. While I could technically still get to work on time after running a 5K that starts at 9 a.m., I wouldn't have time to shower, relax, or eat a proper post-race breakfast, and would be tired and less effective at work. After a 10K or longer race, I would definitely be too tired, even if I could get to work on time afterwards. When I attend a race I want to really race, not just treat it as a fun run with other people as I used to do. I'd prefer to do that kind of running on my own or with Ziggy.
It's important for me to get to my volunteer shifts on time now because I'm treating this work as my actual job, not as a drop-in activity that can be pre-empted by social occasions or other non-essential things. As I'll write about later, after consulting with Ziggy I've greatly increased my time commitment to the Free Farm Stand and related work (including gardening). I still have the flexibility to take off when I need to, just as with many paid jobs I'd have vacation and sick leave. But racing will now have to be a special occasion, not a regular event, because my life mission of feeding people is more important than keeping my weekends free. And with the farm stand in particular (as opposed to gardening), having people there early to set up all the tables and canopies before the food arrives is really important.
Ziggy and I are still going to do the Beat the Blerch half-marathon together in September, and I might find a couple of short club races in the fall and winter that start earlier and closer to my home, allowing me to still get to work in time. Hopefully by then I'll be in better shape and able to do physically demanding work even after putting in a good effort at a race. For now though, I'll be running mostly on my own, with occasional company from Ziggy.