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A virtual run requires running

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Last year one of our sons ran the flying pig marathon and I thought based on running a triathlon with him that I could run the half-marathon as well with him (okay—he could wait for me at the finish line). I joined a running group and began a training program in January 2020, in part so I could finish my planned 5k triathlon actually running the whole time.

The group I joined was motivational for me. I met several runners who ran at my pace; although they had more experience, we were all training for the same goals. Part of the training program was to run the frozen 5k in February and in March we were scheduled to run the Heart mini marathon (a 15k).

 

Forming up as a group prior to the training run. About 200 in the store–prior to social distancing!
With my running group out for a run

The global pandemic had some other ideas for group events and all of the events scheduled for me became virtual as did my running group. Without the training program I would not have contemplated or finished the now virtual runs that I have completed.

As much as I am happy to have completed these runs, I know that it would have been much more fun with the crowd. I ran all of these events in my neighborhood with limited running area; running the same loop can get challenging. Fortunately for me, my wife came out and cheered me on and provided water about every 20-30 minutes as I made another loop. She even wrote with sidewalk chalk some congratulatory notes.

Encouragement with sidewalk chalk

My times are nothing to brag about, but I am pleased with my results. Each week in the training program I would say, this is the farthest I have ever run. Now that I have completed a half-marathon, I think a 10K is a good distance for me.

You still have to run to participate in a virtual running event.

Virtual runs:

Heart Mini: 15k

Flying Pig half Marathon

Real half marathon finishing medal

Big 10, 10k for Michigan State University

After finishing the Big Ten–Michigan State University 10k

Lessons learned:

I have been enjoying running. As the gyms were closed, this was a great way to stay in shape and meet some of my neighbors. Running with others is so much easier the running solo. I will look forward to being in a group if we can figure out how to do it safely.

Walk and warm up. Who cares how fast? My goal was to finish the half marathon.

No bike riding discussed in this blog. I am now able to bike one day and run another day. This has been a good mix as the weather has warmed up and it is better on a bike in the heat, at least for me, than running. I am sure running will pick up in the fall again. 


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