When I go to the gym, my goal is to get soaked. Sweaty soaked. So I run and lift, use the AMT, and do sprints. I try to move a lot and push myself. There are regulars at the gym, so I have a lot of friends that I talk to. One guy asked me if I was a runner. I said, "Not really, but I try." Now I realize that I am a runner. I run against myself. I try to go longer distance sometimes and faster other times.
I would say that I am a runner and not a racer. I don't do a bunch of races, just a couple a year and try to PR. I think I would like to be a racer. So I will keep running and try to get stronger and faster. Signing up for races gives me goal to work toward rather than just exercising. Races are fun when you have trained enough to make them easy on your body.
My husband and I just did a half marathon and it was fun. We trained so we were never really tired and it was a fun experience. 8 months after I had my second child, I tried to do a half marathon after only running 6 miles at once. That was miserable! My best advice is to race against yourself and listen to your body. Go slow if you need a break. Be realistic with your goal pace.
My dream run right now would be a Disney run. Can't go wrong with Disneyland!