I think a lot of people have this "problem." I love the races because I like having a goal in mind and having to work hard to achieve it. I also like having a challenge and being able to overcome that challenge. However, sometimes I resent running because I feel like I "have" to do it. Don't get me wrong, I loooove running. I love how strong I feel, I love when my mind wanders and I forget how long I've been out there, I love the feeling of accomplishing a great workout, and I love the muscle soreness you can only get from running. However, when I have to go run 8 miles when I only feel like running 3, it kind of takes the pleasure away from the run. But, I must admit, it is a fantastic feeling getting more miles in than you felt like doing.
Maybe I worry that if I don't have a race to train for, I won't run as much and I will lose my running mojo, which is what happened a few years ago when the shit hit the fan for me physically. Maybe I need the races to keep me in check and remind me how much I love the sport. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I consider myself a "good" runner. I don't know what that means exactly, but once I got back in to the groove of running, it's like I never stopped. My body just knows how to run. Other people say they just aren't runners. Well, I just am a runner and I never want to forget that again.