Week One Done

Ok, so I’m a day late in completing Week 1 of Couch to 5K, but it’s only a day, right?

Frustrating as it is to be back running stupidly short intervals, it is nice to be running again, so I decided that I would use one of my Week 1 Couch to 5K runs for this month’s 2K Bonus Race for Virtual Running UK. I haven’t logged any results on there for a while so I needed the points and besides, the medal is pretty cool!

2K Virtual Race Medal
2K Virtual Race Medal

It was a bit grimy outside this evening, with the rain drizzling on and off all day, so I decided to avoid the seafront and head for Hove Rec instead. The paths around the rugby pitch were predictably quiet, with just a couple of dog walkers and people cutting through on their way home from work, so I didn’t have to dodge anyone.

I was, however, slowed down a bit by the leaves that have just started to fall on the path. Soggy leaves on wet tarmac aren’t great for running on, but luckily I survived unscathed and managed to complete 2.7 kilometres in about 21 minutes.

After looking at my stats, it was pretty clear that this run wasn’t as good as the last one, so I’ll use Saturday’s for my virtual race. 15:19 for the first 2K as opposed to today’s 15:41.

I plan to try to get up to 3K with this week’s sessions as there’s a 3K Virtual Race this month too and the medal for that one a massive 7cm in diameter, so it would be rude not to have one.

3K Virtual Race Medal
3K Virtual Race Medal

How’s your training going? How do you keep yourself motivated when the training is slow? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

It’s A Bling Thing

JG 13.1With all of last week’s running avoidance, I completely forgot to mention that I finally received my Jeff Galloway 13.1 race medal!

I ran the JG 13.1 back in December and it has taken this long for the medal to arrive, but it was well worth the wait. The medal is pretty big compared to any of my other medals and has a really nice silk ribbon too. My only gripe, however, is that the t-shirt is massive! I ordered a men’s medium because women’s t-shirts tend to be fitted and I like my clothes to be fairly loose, but this is more like a tent than a t-shirt. Still, I suppose I can always use it as a night shirt.

Talking of bling and virtual racing, I’ve also been developing my virtual running website and recently partnered up with UK Run Chat to host some virtual races for them. I even designed my first Virtual Running medal! It’s not as big and colourful as the Jeff Galloway medal, but it’s certainly very shiny and I think it looks pretty cool with the white ribbon too.

UK Run Chat MedalAlthough the medal was designed for the February Virtual Race Series, we’ve still got a few left so we’re keeping it going for March and April too. If you’d like one, all you have to do is visit Virtual Running UK, sign up for the UK Run Chat Race and then run 5K, 10K or a Half Marathon before 22nd March.

Shameless plugs aside though, I really need to find a better way of displaying my race bling. At the moment I’m using an old canvas covered in red fabric which is sitting on a shelf above the fireplace in my bedroom. I think it looks ok, but the medals keep falling off every time I try to add a new one, so any ideas about how to display medals would be much appreciated.

Medal Display

How’s your training going? Have you ever taken part in a virtual race? What’s your favourite race bling that you’ve won so far? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Another Long Run

2014-12-07_OverviewWith only a few weeks left to complete the Virtual Jeff Galloway 13.1 by the end of the year, I really needed to get a long run in this morning. So, at around 8:00 am, I headed for the seafront for a nice slow 19K.

I was expecting it to be cold and windy (which it was) so I took a pair of gloves with me to stop my hands from freezing off. Unfortunately the only gloves I have are the fleece type, which were a bit too warm once I got going. I tried taking them off during my walk breaks but they got pretty sweaty and were difficult to put back on again, so in the end I just carried them. Note to self: buy some gloves for running!

The run itself was pretty good. I was aiming for 19K using a 3:1 run:walk ratio and decided to start off with the wind behind me. Usually I do it the other way round, to get a helping hand from the tailwind on the way back, but I felt I needed to push myself a bit more this time.

So, I headed East along the seafront, through Brighton Marina and the undercliff path towards Saltdean. Despite the chalk surface on the undercliff path, I love running this route and, judging by the smiles and ‘good mornings’ from the other runners, cyclists and dog walkers I encountered on the way, I’m not the only one.

At my 10K turning point, however, I discovered that the headwind was much stronger than I had anticipated. That’s the problem with running on that path – you’re right on the sea and there’s absolutely no protection from the elements!

Still, I needed this to get my head back into training mode. Recently, I haven’t really been pushing myself hard enough and it has been too easy to say ‘that will do’ when I feel like I’ve had enough; but as I was 10K from home, that wasn’t really an option.

So, I pushed on against the headwind, sticking to the 3:1 ratio that I’ve been using and tried to stay relaxed. And, funnily enough, I actually enjoyed it!

It took 2 hours 17 minutes to complete the distance and my legs were pretty much done by the end of it, but apart from that, it felt really good.

I plan to do the Virtual Jeff Galloway 13.1 in two weeks time to give myself a benchmark for the Brighton Half Marathon in February. Ideally, I’d like to complete this one in under 2 hours 30 minutes, as the only other time I completed the distance was back in April with a time of 2:33:36. It will be interesting to see what difference (if any) it makes using run-walk-run before making a final decision on what strategy to use for February’s race.

How’s your training going? Do you have any more races before the end of the year? Have you taken part in a virtual race? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

This post is part of the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop. To join the fun and meet new running bloggers, click here.

Jeff Galloway Virtual 13.1

Circle HopAs today is Virtual Running UK blog hop day, I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a virtual race.

I’ve been using Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method to get back to training after injury and, now that I’m back to running again regularly, I figured it would be interesting to see how close I can get to my goal half-marathon time using run-walk-run.

JG131It just so happens that Jeff Galloway himself is hosting a Virtual Half Marathon, so joining his race seemed like a good way of giving pay back for the help that his training strategy has given me over the last few months – that, and the fact that you get a medal and a t-shirt for taking part!

I plan to run the virtual half-marathon in December, which should be do-able if I stick to my current training plan, and of course I will submit my time to Virtual Running UK as well, just for good measure. I don’t expect it to be particularly fast, but it will give me an idea about how fast I can run using run-walk-run.

In other news, Virtual Running UK are hosting their first annual Blog Awards next month. Of course, I’m exempt from this as Virtual Running UK is my website, but if you want to nominate your own or someone else’s blog you can do so by clicking this link; or you can click here to join the weekly blog hop. Either way, it’s a great way to connect with more running bloggers and who knows, you may even win a prize!

So, that’s it for today’s post. No run for me today as I ran last night, but hopefully I’ll get one in tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Fancy A Shuffle, Santa?

santa shuffleOh, I know. It’s still only November but I thought I’d better get into the spirit of the old yule tide season, and what better way to raise some festive cheer than to indulge in a little bit of festive running… or shuffling… with Santa?

Over the next few weeks, many towns and cities across the UK will find themselves overrun with Mr and Mrs Clauses shuffling through their streets in the name of the Santa Dash. And, while these events seem to grow and spread year upon year, it’s a sad fact that there are still many towns and cities across the world that have yet to experience such a joyful sight.

So, in the name of spreading the festive cheer, I’ve decided to host my very own Virtual Santa Shuffle over at my virtual running website (Virtual Running UK). The idea is to run 5K, 10K, a Half Marathon or in fact any distance you like dressed as Santa and, in return (for a small fee), you’ll receive a lovely piece of festive bling from yours truly.

Ok, so you don’t have to dress up as Santa if you don’t want to and, lets face it, you may get a few strange looks if you’re running on your own, but maybe a Santa hat? Or a bit of tinsel? Or persuade your dog to wear some reindeer antlers?

Better still, why not get a bunch of friends to do it with you? Or wear a festive costume to your Christmas Day parkrun? Who knows? You might even start a new tradition in your own town!

So, wherever you are in the world, if you want to join in the fun, head over to Virtual Running UK and get yourself registered. Places are limited so you’ll have to get in there quickly if you don’t want to miss out.

Happy Running!

 

Virtual Running Update

Run. Blog. Hop.

Circle HopIt has been a while since I wrote a Virtual Running post, partly because I’ve not been running much, but also because I kept forgetting to post on the first Saturday of every month! So, for that reason, I thought it might be a good idea to change the format of the old blog hop and make it easier for everyone (myself included) to take part.

Now, instead of having to remember to send a link with your race results and visit the other participants on the first Saturday of the month, there will be a blog hop every week that anyone can join in with, whether you take part in a virtual race or not. All you have to do is fill out the form on the blog hop page at Virtual Running UK and I’ll add your link to the list of  Blog Hop Particpants.

There will still be a list of each month’s runners for those who want to highlight a specific post about their virtual run, but with weekly posts it will mean that you don’t have to wait as long until the link appears on the website.

If you would like to join the blog hop, click here and fill out the form on the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop page.

Competition

As well as updating the Blog Hop, I also thought it would nice to give something back to our Virtual Runners, so we’re also running a competition for the most improved runner for the final quarter of the year.

You can read all about it by clicking here, but basically the runner who improves their 5K time the most between October and December will win one of these Android tablets.

E-Ceros Create Bk-02

There will also be some other prizes and giveaways over the next couple of months, but I’m still working out the details. In the meantime though, if you fancy taking part in a virtual race you can find out more by clicking here.

Happy running! 🙂

 

Make It Snappy

SNAPPY-logoTraining has been going pretty well over the last few weeks. I’m picking up the pace again, increasing my distance and am even adding a bit of cross training in the form of brisk walking into the mix. On the whole, things are looking good.

The only problem, however, is that the little twinge that I picked up on Thursday’s run doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I thought I could get away with it by switching my walking and running days around this weekend, but I can feel it when I walk. It’s nothing serious, but it’s there, niggling away every time I take a step. So, no running (or brisk walking) for me for a few days. Still, it’s no big deal and it does give me some time to work on my website.

For those of you who don’t know, I run a little virtual running website called VirtualRunningUK. Unlike a lot of virtual running and virtual racing websites, it’s not about making money. While we do raise a bit of money for charity by selling medals to those who like collecting bling, there’s no profit in it. And that’s the way I like it.

There are free races, points, prizes and even a little blog hop for those of us who like to blog about our running adventures; but one of the things I like best about it is when these two worlds, The Blog Runner world and the Virtual Running UK world come together to do good things for other people. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s great when it does.

This month, for example, we’re helping a fellow blogger, Fiona Sefton, raise money for her chosen charity, SNAPPY. Fiona and her son will be taking part in the York 10K on 3rd August for this small local charity which provides out of school care for children with disabilities.

It would be great if we could help Fiona and her son achieve their fundraising goal so, if you would like to join a virtual race, earn some bling and support them at the same time, please click here.

Or, if you don’t mind about the bling and just want to donate, you can go directly to Fiona’s fundraising page by clicking here.

Please note, you don’t have to pay to race with Virtual Running UK. Our monthly 5K, 10K and Half Marathon races are free to enter and the fundraiser is completely optional.