I participated in a virtual 5 mile race this morning! Virtual race does not mean that you sit on your couch and think about running five miles. No ma’am. It means that you run your race on your own, or with your own friends, or, as in my case, with your own cross country team, and send in your results.
This little Labor Day weekend event was put together by Laura over at Mommy Run Fast. You can read all about it here, but, basically Laura put together a virtual 5 or 10 mile race to be completed between August 31 and September 4. We signed up ahead of time (I signed up for the 10 miler, but since I’ve not been increasing my mileage decided it would be much smarter to do the 5 mile race), she created a “bib” we could wear if we choose, and we submit our results when we’re done. You still have a couple days left to compete if you sign up now!
Laura has also put together some great prizes (thanks to some awesome sponsors)! Fortunately the prizes will be drawn randomly (although she will announce the race winners). I’m not very lucky, but I’m not very fast either, and I think I have a better chance of winning with the drawing. And I think I’m earning an extra entry by writing this post!
Now, onto the race. It was a regular cross country practice day (our meets start next week so Saturday runs will be a thing of the past for a while). The original plan was a long, flat road run for the team. I thought that would be a perfect format for my virtual race, so I mentally got myself ready to rock and roll.
Then, a plan change. My co-coach (also known as my husband) decided to have the team run up into the hills (fortunately not to the cross), which basically entails (for a five mile run) two miles uphill, 1/2 mile slightly downhill, turn around, then 1/2 mile slightly uphill then finish with two miles downhill. On the trails. I know a downhill finish sounds great, but as someone once said, “you never make up on the downhill what you lose on the uphill.” (I can’t find any attributes for that, so maybe I made it up.)
So, off we went. I felt pretty good. I was running with Penny (not sure if that’s cheating, she’s faster than me but my feet still have to keep pace), and we kept a steady 10 minute per mile pace up the hill (great for me, I’m usually in the 11+ range up that 5-8% grade). At the two mile mark we turned and enjoyed a slight downhill for the next 1/2 mile. At one point I looked at my Garmin and I was running 7:44! Of course, I didn’t realize that my pace was because of the downhill until the turn around point (I just thought I was awesome). I sure could feel that uphill grade (probably only around 2-3%) on the way back.
Then, finally, the downhill. It is on trails, so I couldn’t go all-out, but I still made up some time. It was also starting to get hotter (it was about 87 when I finished), and I felt like Penny was getting a little tired. Still we kept up a good pace all the way to the finish. I finished my virtual race in 46:50, about a 9:22 pace. I’ll take that, especially considering the route and the trails.
I had a great time and want to express my thanks to Laura for coordinating the race. If you want to see reports for the other participants, check out Laura’s blog and her facebook page. I had so much fun, I plan to do it all over again tomorrow. This time it will be a flat road route.
I hope you’ll check back tomorrow to see if I can improve on my time.
Have you ever run a virtual race?