Category Archives: Virtual Race

March

Well here we are in March and I have two things on my calendar, the OCR Wrongens virtual race and the Hastings Half Marathon. Having looked back over February I feel it was all a little negative (with the exception of the Brutal 10 section), this can tend to happen when I get a bit introspective, I’m generally positive about everything but myself, but I want to get back to the “wow that race was amazing” feeling rather than getting so bogged down with how badly I think I’m doing and instead be proud that I’ve managed to do something at all. My only defence is that I was fighting some demons as we moved into Feb, which I’m sure will continue, but every day the sun shines a little brighter and life spins on.

With less actual races this month my training can step up a bit and this first week in March I’ve been on it, 3 circuit classes, 4 runs and a PT session and my legs in particular are feeling the burn. I hope I can continue with this schedule as much as life will allow.

The rest of this blog I’ll split into two sections, the Wrongens virtual run and the Hastings half, so here we go…

OCR Wrongens Virtual Race

This is actually more a challenge than a “race” and the rules are thus… You must do 8 runs in the month of March, one for each letter of “wrongens” Each run must be a minimum of 5km, and for the first run you need to wear or carry something beginning with W or run a W shaped route, the next run is R and so on and so forth.

Now for someone who has issues with not wanting to look stupid and embarrase myself the biggest challenge would be getting out of the house in whatever stupid get up I could come up with, more than the physicality of actually running the distance, nevertheless I did it. So here is what I did:

W – I ran 5km in the park carrying a watermelon, wearing a wrag.

W is for Watermelon
W is for Watermelon

I had originally decided to run in every wrag I own (I seem to have collected a lot over the past couple of years) but as I was settling down to sleep the night before the phrase “I carried a watermelon” from dirty dancing came to me, and I got a new plan. That watermelon got supremely heavy, and was really awkward and slippery to carry, I did consider ditching it under a bush, but I got there in the end, along with some funny looks from some perplexed dog walkers! Next up R..

R – I ran 5km in the park wearing rainbow socks and arm sleeves.

R is for Rainbow
R is for Rainbow

O – I took a 6km run with an inflatable Orca whale.

O is for Orca
O is for Orca

N – Another 5k round the park, this time as a Ninja

N is for Ninja
N is for Ninja

G – This 5k was with a garden gnome

G is for Garden Gnome
G is for Garden Gnome

E was a 5k run/walk catch up with a friend of mine, while I was dressed as an Elf

E is for Elf
E is for Elf

The second N was for Nurse

N is for Nurse
N is for Nurse

Finally S was done wearing stockings and suspenders!

S is for Stockings and Suspenders
S is for Stockings and Suspenders

Overall I had quite a lot of fun doing this, and I’m sure my snapchat friends will really miss my updates… or perhaps not!

The Hastings Half Marathon 2016

I had been a bit worried about this run, anyone who has read any of my blogs, or any of my facebook posts will probably know that I’m often doubtful about my ability to do a race well. I rarely doubt my ability to actually finish a race but I’m often sure that I’ll do badly. I put too much pressure on myself to perform the way I feel I should be performing, and beat myself up if I can’t live up to my own expectations. I’m my own worst enemy. Now leading up to the half I hadn’t felt that my running was strong, I felt like I was struggling a lot, and I was convinced that there was no way I could run this as quickly as I did it last year (1h52.45)

In the end though, this actually worked in my favour for once, as I went in with two definite goals and one hope, that I would finish, that I would manage to get round without falling over and that I might keep my time under 2 hours. Other than that I had such low expectations for myself that I didn’t really care how I did, I just lined up, and ran!

Running down Middle Road
Running down Middle Road

I was worried that I had taken the first couple of miles too quickly as I was running under 8 minute miles, but I soon slowed down up Queensway, still managing to keep it quicker than a 10 minute mile though. I got to the top and was mostly just happy that I had managed to make it this year without tripping over a cats eye! As I ran round I felt comfortable, and as I came to the 10 mile point where there is a clock, I saw that if I could hold 10 minute miles I would beat my time by a matter of seconds. I pushed on, I had been running faster than that the whole way round and it was all downhill, then flat, from there. As I hit the bottom of the hill and started the long slog along the seafront to the finish, I kept an eye on my watch, and if the pace looked like it was dropping I mentally shouted at myself “don’t stop, don’t stop” I kept it in the 8 minute mile bracket until the finish. When I stopped my watch I had done it, a new half marathon PB at 1h47.01, but my chip time was even better at 1h46.55. I had also got my fastest ever mile, 5k and 10k on route. For once I finished a race and I was ecstatic, I was actually proud of what I had achieved. I had surpassed my own expectations and finished in a really good time. It made such a nice change to finish a race and not feel disappointed in myself, I’m still buzzing a couple of days later and I can’t wait for my next race, (Currently a 10mile trail run if I don’t book anything else) and I’m just going to enjoy it!

Really happy after the Half.
Really happy after the Half.

Jedi Challenge Virtual Run – What’s the Virtual Point?

For the 6th time this year I’ve run a virtual race, and since I have run all of these in the same place, and there is only so many ways I can talk about running around similar routes in Alexandra Park, I’m taking a slightly different tack with this blog, by talking more about why I’ve found myself doing these, rather than focusing solely on the run itself.

In case you are unsure, a virtual run is where you sign up to run a certain distance, often with different conditions attached, but you do it in a place and at a time of your choosing, you then submit the evidence in the form of photographs and your route recorded on a GPS device. For your trouble you get sent a shiny new medal through the post, sometimes with additional goodies as well.

Virtual Run Bling: Muddy Race, Nuclear mission 1, Top gun Run, Run into Spring and Muddy Duck
Virtual Run Bling:
Muddy Race, Nuclear mission 1, Top gun Run, Run into Spring and Muddy Duck

But is this all not just us rewarding ourselves for going for a normal run? Why bother? Do we deserve a shiny bit of new bling just for trotting around the park or wherever? Well I can’t talk for everyone but first and foremost for me is that the entry fee for these races, for the most part, includes a donation to charity and it seems like a good way to raise money for good causes. It also actually encourages me to go out and run a certain distance. I’m not always very good at motivating myself to get out and run, I go through phases where I run a lot, but often I’ll find any excuse not to go and unless I’m made to then I tend to take the lazy option and stay at home. They can also be made to be really good fun, especially if you can find a group of people to do them with, and if that wasn’t enough, finally the bling is usually pretty awesome too!

Now I’ve actually had this Jedi Challenge medal for quite some time, but a series of boring circumstances meant that it got put off, put off again and then pushed to one side, but I decided it was about time to go out and earn the medal that has been sat in a draw for months, so I decided to take myself for a 5km run around the park on the day the new Star Wars film hit the cinemas. I also stole one of my geeky husbands Star Wars themed T-shirts to try and make a bit more of an effort!

My run
My run

So I ran, getting myself out of the flat, off the sofa and getting some much needed exercise just before Christmas, as well as knowing that signing up to this run has helped to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (US based charity) and I can now finally display my medal on my overflowing medal holder. Seems like a good deal to me.

Jedi Challenge 2015 Medal
Jedi Challenge 2015 Medal

Muddy Duck Virtual 5 miles

Another Monday evening, and after our usual training a group of us took on another virtual run. This one was organised by the UK.OCR Facebook group to raise money for the Always With a Smile foundation.

Before with Vince James, Zoey Jenks, Sinead Jeavons, Dom Wright and Kev Coda
Before with Vince James, Zoey Jenks, Sinead Jeavons, Dom Wright and Kev Coda

The criteria for this run was to complete a 5 mile run that included water and a climb. We decided to use the park again as a lot of us are carrying injures and the park has nice even paths to run on. We started out on our usual route adding in extra sections to make up the distance.

We settled into an easy pace as we jogged around the park, taking in some of the back paths and trail routes until we found our way to a waterfall which is right at the back end of the park. Here we stopped to take some photos and fulfil the water element of our run. It was quite dark in the trees though, so we decided to try and get a group shot later in a stream more out in the open.

At the waterfall with Dom and Kev
At the waterfall with Dom and Kev

We headed back through the park, around the reservoir and back towards the main section of the park. As we came back around towards the bandstand we stopped for a splash in the stream to get a better water picture.

Stream super selfie
Stream super selfie

Once we had clambered back out of the stream we carried on down the path past the bandstand to where there is a handy wall outside the gents toilets, classy, but it’s something to climb, so up we went, first the boys then us girls, to get some photos.

On the wall with Sinead and Zoey
On the wall with Sinead and Zoey

Once we had all clambered down, after I had suffered a mild panic attack and been rescued by Dom and Kev, we carried on round the front of the park, looping back around the bandstand once more to make up the distance. We finished off with a quick finishers photo, then headed back home. Another virtual run well done.

Finished
Finished