Hey, remember when I signed up for that 10K virtual race back in March? Yeah, I ran that! Let's talk about it!
To refresh your memory, the race was The Incredible Virtual Run, organized by Level Up Runs. This was the first virtual run I ever participated in, and it was a unique experience. I signed up for the 10K option because I thought it would be easy-peasy to fit in a 6-ish mile run during the last couple weeks of training for the Flower City Half. (This run was supposed to be completed between April 15-30, and Flower City was the 24th.) Um, that was not a good plan, because I kiiiiind of forgot to factor in the pre-race taper, so I wasn't running a whole lot the week before Flower City. That meant that I had to save the run for the last possible day--April 30, because it was far enough from Flower City that I felt recovered and was able to put in a good effort.
Even though this race wasn't "officially" timed (beyond what I saw on my Garmin), I still had a goal to try to beat my current 10K PR of 55:55. Because I was making up my own race course, I could have totally cheesed out and done a flat/downhill route, but I didn't! I purposely worked in some of the bigger hills in my area, because I wanted the challenge.
Long story short: goal achieved! I finished in 54:16. :)
Not a huge gain on my PR, but a gain nonetheless! And I considered it a win, given the hills I threw in and the fact that I was only 1 week post-half-marathon.
So, given that this was my first virtual race, what did I think?
Pros: I loved that I had a big window in which to fit the race--you can plan around various weather conditions and scheduling conflicts to find a time that works for you. You also get the advantage of running your race on whatever surface or route you prefer. I liked that I was "racing" without all the pre-race adrenaline/pressure that comes from racing in a large crowd. I was more in control of my pace than I usually am at a big, chaotic starting line. And because there was a (pretty awesome!) medal coming to me at the end, I was motivated to hit my goal, even without the cheering crowds.
|(As predicted, my kids are totally jealous of this medal and have already tried to steal it from me 5,462 times.)|
Overall, this was a fun experience, and I think if I find myself between road races and need a motivational boost, another virtual race could be a great option.
Have you ever done a virtual race? What other races do you have coming up??