Monday, May 27, 2013

Race #4: Fit, Fab, and Lean in 2013 Virtual Half Marathon

The Official Medal

As I continue to stick to my 12 Race Challenge I find that each one in it’s own way becomes more fun yet more challenging. I spent January and February training for this year of races which thus means I’d have to double up in some months to reach my goal of 12. Racing can be expensive and time consuming considering travel to each location. I completed the Divas Half Marathon in early May and now here I am 2 weeks later doing another. On a fluke while perusing the Black Girls Run Bay Area facebook page I seen a post for a virtual run. I had never heard of a virtual run before, so I instantly became intrigued.

My race bib

Virtual runs provide convenience and a bit of leniency for runners on the go who still want some structure, a medal, and desire a form of communal support. Similar to normal races virtual runs require people to sign up and choose their race distance. However, unlike other races runners can choose their own course be it on a racetrack, a treadmill, or in their neighborhood. Also, runners get up to 2 weeks to complete the race. Some virtual runs allow you to be apart of another race at the same time while getting run credit for theirs.

  • Choose own course
  • Run with friends or dogs without having to register them
  • Easier to gather a support group
  • Anytime desired (don’t have to wake up early)
  • Don’t have to rush to packet-pick up
  • Save money/half the price of normal races (average race is $75-$150)
  • Still get a medal
  • 1-2 weeks to complete

  • No water stations
  • No race shirt (some offer shirts)
  • No sideline support or attractions
  • No post-race after party
  • Motivate yourself the WHOLE WAAAAY (13.1 miles)
  • No professional photographers or cute photo booths
  • No free treats from packet-pick up day

    Pre-Race at Oakland's Lake Merrit

The pros and cons are pretty even so it truly depends on the person. I spent the first week of the allotted time trying to gather up 4 of my friends, to coerce each into running a 3 mile stint with me- yet it was difficult getting folks schedules to coincide. So, I eventually ran it alone. However, I did manage to gather a small sideline support group (with a sign and all) to sit on the lake and watch me as I ran past.

It was a nice run, I didn't train as usual being that I completed a half marathon 2 weeks prior. So, it got real at mile 8. Although, I didn't have a running group to motivate me, there were many familiar faces in the community offering support.

I would do a virtual run again however, I’d prefer to gather a group of friends or a running group together to help build motivation for when it starts to get tough, which is somewhere between mile 7 and 10.

I cannot wait to get my medal which is said to come sometime in mid-June. I will post it here once it comes. YAY!!!

Time: 2:26

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