So today I ran my first “virtual race.” I read quite a few other people’s blogs, and one of the blogs I read is this guy named Adam from Phoenix who calls himself the boring runner. Today he hosted a “virtual race” with random drawings for prizes and such if you ran the race, wrote about it, and send him the link. So here we are! I wasn’t entirely sure I would do it as I just got back from my week in Ottawa, KS last night, but I woke up this morning feeling good, and wanted to run either way, so I figured, let’s make it a race!
I didn’t notice that he had posted a race bib template until just a few minutes ago.
Oops. So I had already made my own!
Confession: I did not wear it during the race. Why? Because a) it would have been somewhat embarrassing 🙁 and b) I didn’t think the paper would hold up well.
I gave myself the number 110 because that was the number I had for the race I didn’t make it to in February (due to my boyfriend proposing the night before and being up quite late celebrating!) It’s also Chris’s birthday. I suppose if I had used the template I’d be #1 but oh well! I did win the local part of the virtual race, so I was #1 either way.
I decided to run through Tower Grove Park, my usual running route. I planned to walk to the park, hit start on my Garmin, and then run 3.1 miles as fast as I could. I took the outer route since Pridefest was happening in the park and it was super crowded in the middle.
Now, I didn’t get a picture of myself before the race. I tried, but I failed, and then gave up. I was wearing an orange sports bra and green shorts, my iPod shuffle, and my blue mizunos. Plus my skull and crossbones hair band because I am awesome and hardcore like that! I have true grit. Luckily it actually wasn’t THAT hot.
I am not a really fast runner. I think of myself as a tortoise. I’ll get there, but it’ll take me awhile. I love the long run. But I want to get better at 5k’s, and generally, I want to run faster. I decided to really push myself today, and to go out fast. I figured I’d run pretty fast and then just try to hold on to that. Worse case, I’d get super tired and have to slow down, and would learn my lesson for the next time. Best case, I’d keep it up and get an awesome workout/race in.
My last 5k was a PR, 31:11 on May 14. That was a flatter course than today would be. Though I was in costume for that one.
I started out really fast—I ran the first mile in 9:31. I was seriously breathing hard but felt pretty good. The second mile was TOUGH, and I managed it in 10:09 even though I was about to die. Right after the 2 mile beep on my watch I had to stop and catch my breath and debate if I needed to throw up. I knew I was getting a great run if I was on the verge of puking. I did not puke, but I tried. I then realized that I was in a race so I should get moving again. My knee hurt a tad, and I walked about .1 mile, and then hit the lap button on my Garmin so the next time it would beep would be at 3.1 miles and therefore, the end! I walked just a touch more and then decided I would just want to suffer through and run the rest of the way. My knee felt okay again (I was a little worried, but it seemed absolutely fine after the short walk break) so I pushed through. The hills were getting worse, and in fact, the last stretch of the race was (in true St Louis fashion) a steep uphill. I couldn’t sprint, in fact, I was barely moving as I was “running” up hill. But I finished the 3rd mile in 10:28 for an unofficial PR of 31:07!!
That’s 3.1 miles in 31:07, average speed 10:02 miles.
Right after I “finished” there was a bench to sit on. I collapsed briefly, then realized I was still about 3/4 of a mile from home. So I set off walking really slowly. When I got home I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures.
Running a virtual race was really odd, but fun! I definitely pushed myself more than I would have if I were simply out for a run, and I felt GREAT afterwards. I also really rocked out on my speed so I’m super proud. Thanks Adam, for a great race!