As I’ve previously shared, after the Twin Cities Marathon went virtual this year, I decided that I still wanted to run the race. Training this year feels a little different, but I’ve been trying my hardest to stay focused and prepare for a different type of race. I thought I would share a few of the strategies that I am working on, in case you are considering a virtual race.
Last weekend, I ran my first “virtual” race. I usually run a few races during the spring and summer, but this year all races were canceled or moved to virtual due to the pandemic. Part of me was excited to finally race, but part of me was nervous about pushing myself in a race that I was running all by myself.
The Red White and Boom half marathon is one of my favorite races of the year. It’s always on the 4th of July and usually really hot, but its so festive and a fun way to kick off the holiday. I’ve been working with a running coach the last few months, so I was excited to test my fitness to see if my work is paying off.
One of my favorite races of the year is the Red, White, and Boom half marathon in Minneapolis. This was the race that I first broke a 2:00 half marathon, on my second race ever. It usually ends up being a super hot and humid day, but something about the excitement of the race makes up for the weather! The race also follows a pretty flat and scenic course, with lots of people coming out to celebrate the event. The race finishes by running across the historic stone arch bridge which is always a great ending!
As I shared after my last half marathon, it’s been a rough season of racing for me. After having a great 10 mile race at goal pace, and feeling like my training was going so well, I got sick and it all fell apart in 2 half marathon attempts after that. I also discovered that I had an iron deficiency, and suspect that I was overtraining and exhausting my body between the two half marathon attempts.
A few weeks ago, I shared that I was running the Birdtown Half marathon—one of my favorite races. I had run 10 miles at my goal pace in March, and my training went really well, so I was optimistic about reaching my time goal for the race.
And then I came down with the flu the week of the race…
It was the most sick I have been in years and I didn’t get out of bed for 3 days! I was hopeful that by resting the entire week that my body would be ready to run the race by that weekend. By race day, I felt okay. Not great, but I have run before while not feeling great and I really wanted to reach my goal.
Running your first marathon is a nerve wracking experience, especially on the night before and morning of the race. To help battle as many nerves as possible, I begin to prepare for the race weeks before to help ensure that I am as prepared as possible.
For the past few years, I have been running a half marathon on the 4th of July, called the Red White and Boom half marathon. I’m not one to get into themed races, but it usually falls in a perfect spot in my training cycle about a month after the Birdtown half marathon. It’s nice to get another month of training in after the Birdtown and see how my fitness level has improved. I ran my first sub-2 hour half marathon at the Red White and Boom a few years ago!
The race is always a hot one since it’s on the 4th of July, and this year it was supposed to be near 100 on race day. The race starts at 6:30am which is a little early for me, but its the coolest part of the day. Knowing how hot it was going to be, I came to terms that I probably wouldn’t beat my PR of 1:41 that I set at Birdtown this year during perfect weather conditions, but I was okay with that. Once you get into the mindset of training for a full marathon, you’d rather focus on that long term goal anyways!