Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Running, Loving, Living's Summer Virtual Run

The lovely Toni over at Running, Loving, Living was awesome enough to host a virtual 5k and 10k race this past week. Given the opportunity to do a race, I will never say no (unless I already have plans). The race "ran" from June 18 until June 25, and I managed to complete both. One was a bit unintentional and was far from race pace (the 10k). The other was a pain in the butt since my normal running loop is around 5 miles and running at 5k pace for the first 3.1 miles surely meant sudden death for the next 2.

And that was quite accurate! Now, I'm not really the best run-tographer (Oh yeah, you like how I merged those two words? You like that?!), so I didn't actually take any pictures. More like, I forgot, oops! These days, getting ready for a run means the following: waking up, taking the dogs out for their morning poos, getting a little something-something in my stomach, hydrating, actually putting on workout gear, getting my ipod (which lives in my car), and making the house dog-proof before heading out the door. Gasp! Out of breath before I even start running! I kid--my lung capacity is a bit greater than that!

Believe it or not, my 10k run was my first run back from almost a week hiatus. This was unintentional, but I was just having trouble finding the time and settle into VB. It pretty much started out as me saying to myself, "I think I want to go on a long run today. Let's see how far I can go if I make the following turns..." The answer: 6.2 miles. Interesting! I don't really have much to complain about during that run--it was nice having a slightly different route than the usual one I run around my mother's neighborhood. It also tested my memory from back during the school bus days. And I got to see what exactly changed. Let me tell you--lots did! Hence my slower (for me) time! I may have gotten "lost" a few times (aka I thought a few roads connected that didn't quite...).

The 5k run was actually a progression of 5ks over the course of the week. I started out around 24-25 minutes, which is nowhere near my race pace, but all I could manage in the 90+ degree heat knowing that 3 miles out meant 2 miles back home. Why not just select a shorter route? Well, at that point I had not joined a gym, and right after 3 miles, there is a conveniently-located playground. Or makeshift gym, as I just decided to refer to it as. 10-15 pull ups on the monkey bars, 25 pushups, some stretching, and another set of 25 pushups upon completion of my run. It's like rubbing salt in the wound (or more realistically sweat in the eyes). But I don't dare complain! No pain, and there sure as hell will be no gain! So over the next few days, I saw my 5k time drop by several seconds here and there. The route was never exactly the same--I had to dodge an inmate workforce one time that was doing some landscape work... Normally, I wouldn't really be that creeped out by that, but normally I'm in my car driving, and not running in a sports bra within feet of these men. Uh, I'll take the long route for $800, Alex! But yes, 5k done at 22:07. I could be a bit prouder, but I know I have better in me. The heat was just the unfortunate deciding factor, and it decided to slow me down. Oh well!

I have to say though, I love the feeling of racing, even in a virtual "setting." I'm so thankful that Toni organized this event (and got some great sponsors)! Make sure you click on the link above and check out her blog! It is well worth your time!

That's all for now, folks, but expect a recap/review of my new gym SOON!!!!


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