Showing posts with label virtual race. Show all posts
Showing posts with label virtual race. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2016

Let's Talk About The Incredible Virtual Run!

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.)
Cons: I don't feel like I can call this race time a true PR, because it wasn't done with an official timing chip, and because I got to set my own race conditions--something that is not reflective of a "true" race setting.  Not a huge deal, but something to consider if you really want 100% confirmation of a PR goal.  My only other caveat is that, other than the race medal, the other swag I received was a $25 gift certificate to SLS3--something I was very excited about.  However, when I received it, I was bummed to find it was more of a coupon than a gift certificate--I can't use it in conjunction with any sales (and they are having a ton of good sales right now), or other promotions, and it does have an expiration date.  I wish they had referred to it as a coupon (granted, a high-value coupon) rather than a gift certificate, because it was a letdown to find that all these stipulations were attached to it.

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??

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Well-Read Runner: Time to try a "virtual" race! + coupon code!

Hola, runners!  How many of you have heard of "virtual" races?  I had never known about such a thing until I started exploring the running blog community in early 2015.  For those that are clueless (as I was), a virtual race is one that you register for, get the swag/medal for...but is completed on your own time, in the location of your choice.  Fun, yes?  Adds a bit of spice to your normal neighborhood run.  Plus, you can mix it up and run it solo, or with friends; in your usual local park, or at a new locale; on the road, on a treadmill, or on trail...the options are many.

After looking into several virtual race options, I finally decided to give one a try.  Level Up Virtual Runs is hosting The Incredible Virtual Run in April.  I took one look at the medal design, and was like, OMG MY KIDS ARE GOING TO BE SO JEALOUS OF ME:
Running + Pixar = basically my life in a nutshell.
Participants choose their desired distance (5K, 10K, or half marathon) and must complete it at some time between April 15-April 30.  I'll be going for the 10K option.  (Yes, I am actually running the Flower City Half during this time period, so I guess I could count that and do the Incredible Virtual Run at the half distance, but it kind of feels like cheating to double count the same race!  Haha.)  The 10K will be good for me, because I will be doing race pace runs leading up to Flower City, so I can use the Incredible Virtual Run as a pace-pusher before my half marathon.

Yes, this requires a bit of scouts-honor accountability...but why pay for a race that you don't intend to really complete?  Go have fun with it!

I'll share my experience here post-virtual-race sometime in late April.  :)

Want to run with me?  Registration for The Incredible Virtual Run is open until April 15th at  The fee is $25: already affordable, BUT my readers can save 10% off their registrations by using the coupon code SAVE10.  And did I mention that all registered runners also get a $25 SLS3 gift certificate?  Sweet swag.  Let me know if you plan to join!  (And if not, have you ever done a virtual race before?  How did it go??)

(Disclaimer: I received a free race entry to the Incredible Virtual Run in exchange for this post--but all the excitement involved is mine-o-mine!  :) )
Imagination Designs