I had never run a virtual race prior to this morning. In fact, I never even heard of such a thing. But, when Meg brought it to my attention I thought it was a fantastic idea. Now, upon telling some folks about it, I received some questionable glares. Like, they didn’t understand the point. The point, as far as I could see, was adding a little spice to our running routine. Together, we have collectively run 133 miles since we started at the end of June. Sometimes, all that pavement can get a little boring. Yes, there have been mornings with beautiful sunrises, deers prancing, turkeys passing by as well as other early morning phenomenons but that’s not everyday. Certain mornings, I won’t speak of in too much detail, have been difficult and things like a virtual race, keep things light and fun. It also enticed us to try to reach new personal goals, which is always great. This race is called : The Cupcake Classic and is a 5K, it goes on for a week, celebrating fitness and the fact that as runners who work hard, we all deserve a damn cupcake. It was created by a woman, who has already inspired me. An average gal, going for the long haul, writing about pertinent running issues, bringing us all along for the ride. I have read her blog everyday since I was led to it, excited about all that she has to offer.
For our virtual 5K, Casey baked the cupcakes which looked and smelled delicious (I am saving mine for later, it’s still very early). Meg motivated us to get up extra early and I gave every one the “talk”‘ before beginning. We ran our 3.1 in the dark, adorned by our bibs, excited to see what we could accomplish. Our time was 29’35”, which required a last dash down Meg’s street because we took a wrong turn somewhere. I was hoping for a little less in time but proud of us none the less. As a group, we have come so far together. We have gained so much momentum and changed so much as runners over three months.
The one thing however, that I always have to stress is the importance of the warm-up mile. Now, most people say it’s best to warm up before you even start your run but when you are on a pressed schedule, there is no time for that. We all have to be at work pretty early, so if we want to get the mileage in we have to take some shortcuts. So for me, the first mile is where I warm up, get my heart rate increased, my legs use to the motion and then by miles two and three I am in a groove, ready to finish strong. Even at races, I do the same thing and it has yet to fail me. If you start too strong, no matter what you do after that, it will be difficult to recover and your finish will suffer, especially if you are doing a long run. It is important to work yourself up slowly, letting your body get used to what you are asking of it. You get what you give. Period. If you work yourself too hard too early, you are going to feel it. For me, warm up pace is a 10’30” mile, then I like to come down slowly closer to 9. I don’t consider myself a “fast” runner, although that term is relative. As a distance runner, I have always aired on the side of slow and steady. For me, it’s about get to the finish line and work on the time later. So for all you speed demons out there (you know who you are) who go strong early and lag at mile two, your body is telling you something. Slow down. Take it easy. Then rev up. Your body will give you everything you need, if you listen to it.
Anyways, that’s my “lecture” for the day. (ha ha) I will be writing about a delicious and healthy blueberry coffee cake later on to start your morning right. Today started off with a bang thanks to the Cupcake Classic. Couldn’t be happier we participated. Hopefully, there will be many more to follow!!!