I just ran the best virtual race ever. Run Around the Block

Friday, my friend Cathy posted a running challenge on one of many FB running groups I belong to. She was going to run a one km loop around her house, many times over 7 hours. Crazy, right?


Another running friend of mine, Brittany, decided to join her. Well, what can I say, I couldn’t resist the peer pressure. So I decided to join them too.


The next morning, I wasn’t sure about all of this. I really hadn’t ran in a while. My exercise mostly consisted of walking these days. But the challenge sounded fun.


I tried signing up, but from my phone, I got frustrated and gave up. The whole signing up thing seemed complicated. Too many questions to answer, and you needed a ticket. You had to leave the google doc, then come back to it, after you got your ticket.


The whole thing played on my mind, I wasn’t sure if I could do it, or if I even should. After all, It was my favourite human’s birthday. I normally spend the day doing something that he likes to do. Spoiling him, just a little. Making his favourite meals, breakfast and dinner as well as a birthday cake. But this year was a little different. We are quarantined and cannot go anywhere to buy the ingredients I needed.


Sunday morning, I decided, I was going to do this. I had a plan One km each hour for 7 hours. Got it! Sounds easy enough. Running 7km is hardly something that should be too hard for a long distance triathlete, even if I hadn’t ran in a while.

Funny thing is, I am normally an early riser. I get up without an alarm clock before 6am on my days off. For some reason, I slept in till 7:30 am. Crazy! Procrastination set in. Stayed in bed and read my book for a long time. I still wasn’t sure I was doing this. I wasn’t registered after all. Then, as I checked my messages, I saw Cathy’s post on Facebook. I knew I had to do this.

A little late to get started, but I was out the door for my first fun at 10am. It was only after my first run that I officially registered. Three minutes before my next run, I was registered and in the zoom room.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect. But man, did that just exceed all expectations. I had an absolute blast. It’s now Monday morning and I am still pumped by the whole experience, and may legs are a little sore. A good sore.

First, I have to give a should out to the Run Director Liisa Alton and her team. She did an amazing job keeping everyone engaged though all of this. Hopefully, I will be able to interview Liisa and her team for an upcoming podcast.

I met so many new people yesterday. Runners who completed their first 5K, some completing their first half marathon distance and others pushing themselves a little more than they had planned originally. There were people on the call from all over the world.

All of this was to raise money and raise awareness to a non profit organization Soles 4 Souls who collect and provide shoes for those who need them. I look forward to learning more about them.

We shared many laughs and many victories. I had my own personal victory yesterday. I couldn’t believe how well I ran.

The first km was a little tough. At that point, I knew that I could get all of them done. I completed the first km in 6:40 minutes.

The second km was a little faster, 6:14. Naturally, on the 3rd one, I just wanted to get a little faster. I managed to do that one in 6:05. I was still in Zone 2 for most of it and 59 seconds in zone 3.

Just for giggles, and the fact that I am just a smidgen competitive, I wanted to see if I could go faster. I challenged myself to run the 4th km in zone 3, just to see how that felt. I ran the 4th km in 5:53 being in zone 2 70% of the time.

It’s now 2pm and it’s time to run my 5th km of the day. The plan for this one was to stay in zone 3. The results shocked me a little as I was in Zone 2 50% of the time and Zone 3 the other half with a time of 5:33. It was my fastest km of the day yet.

Could I beat that time on the next one. I had come that far, I just had to give it a try. By this time, my legs were getting a little tired, but I knew I just had to try. Because my block is actually 800 meters, I actually have to run just past the 3rd drive way past my house, turn around and come back to complete the 1km. On this particular run, once I passed my driveway, I was tired. I noticed myself slowing down, but looking at my watch, I decided to just kick it up a notch. See what happens. I couldn’t believe it, 5:20 minutes. This time 80% was in zone 2 and only 33 seconds in zone 3. What? How can that be accurate?

What I didn’t realize was that the challenge ended at 4pm. I had completed 6km, planned on running 8 in total, so I set off at 3:30 and 3:45 for my last 2 km. The plan for the last one was just an easy run, kinda like a cool down.

The last 2 km were done in 5:33 minutes, spending 95% in zone 2 and my cool down lap in 6:13, 98% in zone 2.

All in all it was a great day. I had so much fun. I may or may not have commited to doing this again with my new friends.

How’s your training? We would love to hear from you. Share your experiences with virtual races.

Till next time, have a great active week.

Published by Lise Waltenbury

Podcast host, triathlete, wife, mother of 3, commuter, volunteer, hockey coach, triathlon coach, and student. I am a Jane of all trades and a master of some on a journey to higher consciousness.

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