#StayAtHome Virtual Races

It’s been months now since our last in person race, the Los Angeles Marathon on March 8.  I never actually recapped that race, maybe I’ll do it soon.  In any case since that time, like everyone else, we’ve had all of our races cancelled for the year.

So what does a serial racer do?  Sign up for a bunch of virtual races, that’s what!

So what races have I done or signed up for?

The Hot Chocolate 15k/5k became a virtual run so I ran my 5k virtually on the treadmill back in March.  They sent our entire kit to us in the mail so it was just like if we had been there, except no bowl of chocolate at the end ;).  Although I have a feeling it’s not vegan so it’s probably for the best LOL.

They sent us our whole kit with bib, medal, goodie bag sweatshirt & some treats.  I was signed up for the 5k & ended up running a PR race on the treadmill.

Next up was the Aravaipa Strong run in mid April.  I decided to just go for the half marathon & managed to pull out a nice sub 2 half!  It was hard but I did it!!

Then I did the Hood to Coast Movement 10k that started on May 1. I didn’t go too hard on this one but knocked it out the first day as soon as I woke up so it was fun. Photo from the first time we visited Mount Hood ;).

The biggest race/challenge that I signed up for was the Great Virtual Race Across Tennesse 1000k.  Put on by the Laz of the infamous Barkley race.  Around 20,000 runners signed up for this one!!  It started on May 1 and continues until August 31.  I’m on the back end, after 2 months of incredible miles (May: 184 & June: 191) my body needed a break in July.  I think I’m about 150 miles from the finish.

At the end of May, Sean & I did the Aravaipa/Run Steep Get High Limitless Challenge where you pick an mountain that you want to climb to & then go as fast as you can to get there.  We were super lucky having a Nordictrack Incline Treadmill because it goes to 40% incline!  Sean was the overall winner with just over 150,000 ft!!! I was the female & I think overall indoor winner of the Everest level (29,029 ft).  It was a blast and we had such a good time doing this challenge.

You can still sign up for this one as people had such a good time with it that they opened it up for a second summer session.  I will say this was probably the most fun of all the challenges, probably because it was different.

I also signed up for some of the Aravaipa Insomniac Series virtuals in June & July.  In June I did the Hypnosis Dawnbreaker Challenge where I did 5 races over 7 days for a total of 128k!!  I’ve never run that many miles in a week before so it was tough!  I honestly wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it but I pulled it out & finished the whole thing!

We also did the 100 miles to Auburn run in June to help support the Western States 100 organization.  It was fun and we got a cool buckle for finishing 100 miles.  It was one of those challenges that you can complete over the full month, not necessarily in one run.

In July, I signed up for the Aravaipa Stunner Dawnbreaker challenge as well but when it came time to actually run last week, I was burnt out and not at all excited about it.  I ended up only running one of the 4 races, the 12k & taking the majority of the week to recover from all the miles I’ve done the last 2 months.

I’ve signed up for a few other virtual races for the coming months.

July: The Running is Not  Cancelled 461 mile race from the start of the Sean O’Brien 100k to the start of the Lake Sonoma 50 mile – this one goes until early October so I can keep my mileage & motivation up.

Wharf to Wharf 6 miler to be able to run virtually with my Arete teammates.

August: The SeaWheeze Half Marathon – Aug 15 – 23 which I did last year and would have been running in person. For the first time they have a 10k as well!  This one is always fun!

September: The Santa Monica Classic on Sept 13.  I’m an ambassador for the Los Angeles Marathon so if you sign up for this one or their other races, you can save 10% using JENNY2021.  This one is going to be really fun & unique because it’s going to be a live virtual race where we can all run together virtually on the LA Marathon & Santa Monica Classic Facebook pages. I’m super excited because I’ve never run the Santa Monica Classic before because I’m always in Tahoe for Tahoe 200 the same weekend.

The Head Up, Heart Forward 10 miler with my Arete Teammates on September 19.

The Big Surreal Virtual Challenge from the Big Sur Marathon.  This one looks really fun.  You can choose to run 1 to 5 events (5k, 12k, 11 miler, 21 miler & marathon) from Sept 1 – 30 and the more you run, the more swag you get. The medal you get corresponds to the longest race you finish as well.

I don’t have anything picked out for October or November yet, but I’m sure something will come up ;).  Maybe we’ll do the NYC Marathon virtual since we were supposed to race it this year.

Of all the virtual races, my favorite are the ones where there is a specific distance (typically a shorter distance) or time that you have to finish in. Like the Limitless Challenge, that was a lot of fun & I would do another climbing challenge. I’m also really excited about the Santa Monica Classic because it is going to be streamed live & that’s super cool.

Are you running virtual races?  And if so which ones have been your favorite? What would you recommend?

Half Marathon Training: Week 4

This week was an odd week, starting off with a holiday and then I was traveling pretty much the full week so I didn’t exactly adhere to my plan – oops ;).

Monday – Easy Recovery Run

I woke up with sore legs from the long run the day before and didn’t feel right so I decided to just skip the run this day and hung out in the pool for the majority of the day.

Tuesday – Rest Day

I took a red-eye to Atlanta so I was supposed to rest, but I ended up doing about 20-30 mins of yoga and then a nice 2.4 mi run on the treadmill in the afternoon between meetings.

Wednesday – 45 min run – 8:45/9:00 min pace

Ended up doing 53 mins – 5.7 miles – 9.20min pace – includes a 1/4 mile walk in mile 3.  It was super hilly & 100% humidity. Oh and I walked and was on my feet in 4 in heels from 7am until 11:30pm 🙂

Humid, Run, Buckhead, Georgia, May, 2014
This is what it looks like after a super humid run – my hair was straight before I left!!

Thursday – Rest Day

I actually did not exercise per say – but I was on my feet in those darn heels again – LOL – from 6:45p until I changed at the airport around 4:30p.

Friday – Easy Run – 9-10:00 pace, sprinkle in 2 minute pick ups to race pace effort x 4-5.

This didn’t happen, instead I worked, rode in the car for 5.5 hours and then walked the RnR San Diego expo.

Saturday – Walk around expo a bit, keep legs loose

Actual: 3 mile run with Meb (so much fun, recap coming) – I forgot to turn on my Garmin until late so I only registered 2.82 miles, 25:09, 8:54 average pace.  Walking around La Jolla & then Little Italy area of SD.

Hanging out in La Jolla Cove
Hanging out in La Jolla Cove
San Diego Marina
San Diego Marina

Sunday – Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon

I finally, after 18 half marathons, achieved goal #1 for my half marathon training!!  I ran my first sub 2 hour race. Recap coming on that!

Now, my next goal is to conquer the hills of San Francisco in about 7 weeks.

Half Marathon Training Weeks 1 – 2

I mentioned this in my last post but I’ve decided to focus on my half marathon time for the rest of the year and focus on getting stronger and hopefully faster before training for my next marathon.

I’ve worked with 3 different coaches over the last year and a half and I think I’ve finally found someone who is going to be the best fit for my goals, etc.  It also helps that for the first time in a long time, I’m finally mostly healthy so I can actually focus on things other than just endurance.  Focusing on the half marathon for an extended period of time, gives me a lot more flexibility in my workouts, I don’t have to worry about doing 20+ mile runs in the extreme heat this year – yea!!

Now why do I work with a coach?  I equate it to having a personal trainer, someone there who will motivate me, push me and keep me accountable.  I have run a lot of races, so could I do my own training plan? Sure, but I really like having someone with more experience do it for me.

My newest coach, is also my physical therapist and thus, knows me and my injuries well so I think that it is a pretty good fit.

My schedule is given to me via an app/website called Training Peaks, at first I wasn’t very impressed, but now that I’ve started using it pretty consistently, I like it.  I can download my workouts from my Garmin.

Week 1 (May 5 – 11)

Sunrise Run

Mon: Easy Recovery Run 30 min – I did 2.85 mi in 31:17 – tried to keep low heartrate but didn’t succeed – ended up walking a lot to keep it down

Tues: 30 minute Core Work out

Wed: 45 min run – negative splits – 5.08 mi – 9:09, 9:08, 8:57, 8:48, 8:22 and then 7:45 for the .08 mi

Thur: 30 min Leg Strengthening Workout – 3 sets of 12

Fri: Rest Day

Sat: Night Run 10K – Read more about that here 🙂

Sun: 75 min run 9:30 – 10 min pace – actual 7.86 mi – 10:07, 9:47, 9:39, 9:39, 9:37, 9:23, 9:18, last .86 8:57

Total: 22 miles running, 60 min cross training

Week 2 (May 12 – 18)

midrun selfie

Mon: Rest Day

Tues: Tempo Run – didn’t quite work out the way it was supposed to – I wanted to run on the treadmill at work, but they were all full so I went outside, my Garmin says it was only 84 but it felt way hotter and so windy.  I ended up walking a lot so 5.01 miles 45:01

Wed: 30 min Negative Split Run – 3.46 mi – 9:16, 8:46, 8:16, last .46 8:04

Thur: Strength Workout: 30 minutes – 3 x 12 reps of each of these :

Squats, One arm rows, modified push-ups, overhead presses, bicep curls, burpees, tricep dips, crunches, reverse crunches, side arm plank with hip touch, tick tocks, superman

Fri: Was supposed to be spin class but I don’t belong to a gym so I used my dad’s total gym bike for 50 min/18.3 mi

Sat: Hill Repeats – 2.3 mi warm-up, 1.78 mi hill repeats (90 sec up, 3 min down) x 6, 2 mile cool-down walk

Sun: 75 min run 9:30 – 10 min pace – again a bit faster than I was supposed to be – negative splits 9:41, 9:44, 9:23, 9:09, 9:13, 8:54, 8:54, 8:28, last .2 8:11

Totals: 20.5 mi run, 18.3 mi bike, 30 min strength workout

All in all both weeks went well.  My legs are tired, but I feel really good, surprisingly good. Now let me find some wood to knock on – LOL. A little recovery in & by the pool and I’m ready to start week 3 🙂

Recovery