Monday night seemed like as good a time as any to finally fit in my virtual race! With my half looming this weekend and my last long run under my belt, I was in the mood to just get out there and pound some pavement.
My last 5k was rough for multiple reasons and I really wanted to redeem myself. My goal was to run the race under thirty minutes; I wasn't necessarily aiming for a PR because it's been awhile since I've raced a 5k in good condition for it, but I didn't want to give myself the wiggle room to ease up on the pace just because the race was virtual.
|There's still time to sign up and run if you're interested! Click here!|
I've never run a virtual race, but I was happy to run one that would benefit a cause I truly care about. (On a side note, I chose not to run the 10k because I've discovered I don't really like racing that distance; it may be the hardest for me at this point...mentally it's just pretty daunting.)
Anyway, the weather was nice Monday evening. After a big salad for a pre-race snack - I was starving after work - I headed out to run at 7pm. It was getting gloomy and a few errant drops of rain made an appearance during the run, but it wasn't raining, unfortunately. It was warm, but there was a nice breeze.
|This was perfect fuel...I'm trying so hard to eat more like an athlete!|
I did a half mile warmup in the park, then went to the bathroom and got ready to race.
Mile 1: I wanted to feel uncomfortable in the first mile, but I had forgotten to set my Nike+ to tell me my pace at every quarter mile...so when the little feedback voice told me my first mile was 8:35, I literally shouted, "OH NO!" I wanted to be uncomfortable, and lately that has meant running in the 9:50s...9:40s if I'm having a good day.
I didn't plan to run any of my miles sub-9!
|Look at that sky! I was hoping for real rain the entire time, but no luck!|
Mile 2: I reined it in for the second mile, knowing I'd be paying for this crazy start in the third. I always hit a little wall around mile two of a 5k, and this race was no different. I had made the turn-around and was now heading into the wind. This was probably the hardest part of the race. I tucked my head down and gulped air as I ran; I reminded myself over and over that 5ks may be painful, but at least they're short!
Mile 3: Sure enough, my third mile was a pain-fest. I looped through the park once and ended the 3.11 miles perfectly, right back at my car! (That's a benefit of a virtual race!)
The Good: Each mile was sub-10 and I was very happy with my final time! It wasn't a PR, or even my second-best time, but it was definitely a nice reminder to myself that I still know how to race 5ks and that maybe a new PR is in the cards for me this year.
The Not-So-Good: That said, I have clearly forgotten how to manage my pace in shorter races. My splits were crazy.
It was hard to stay motivated and keep moving when I hit a mini-wall at mile two; clearly having crowd support is helpful, but I'd call this virtual race a success!
|Post-race "glow" ;o)|
Thanks for setting this race up, Kristina! I really enjoyed having an "excuse" to really push myself on what could have ended up being just another weekday run!
Have you ever run a virtual race?