Do you ever spot a race promotion and immediately want to sign up? At first you may not think about anything else on your plate, or if you're even free that day, but you'll want to Run That Race.

I love races. They keep my training in check and ultimately make me a faster runner. They also provide a welcome change of scenery. (Running along the Charles can get boring to those who do it often.) Every so often, though, I regret signing up for a race. This happens when I register for an event that:

a) Does not fit into my regular routine
b) Doesn't coincide at all with my training
c) Falls on a day when I'd rather be resting

For instance, I walked into my apartment building one day after a 6+ mile run and spotted a mailer for the Boston Marine Corps Honor Run 5K on May 8. Immediate reaction: Sign up! Thoughts to follow on my train ride into work: That's 6 days after my marathon. It's also during a month when I've already signed up for the Run to Home Base 9K on May 23 and the Hyannis Half Marathon on May 30.

I think I have one too many races already planned for May. Must skip Honor Run, but I'm tempted!

Another example: I recently ran the Ras na hEireann 5K on a day when I knew I'd have to run 20 miles for my marathon training. Why would I run a 5K on the day of a scheduled 20 miler? I  decided to compromise by running the 5K followed by a 17 mile run. Not a bad plan, right? Well, I did terrible at both and beat myself up over the decision for days after. I  won't do that again, though I wouldn't be surprised if I did it anyway. If a race sounds fun to me it's hard to resist.

Anything like this ever happen to you or am I the only one who gets sucked up in the excitement of race registration? My nonrunning friends will probably think I'm nuts for even asking that. :)