Regaining my Love for Running with a Virtual Challenge

I’ve been running for nearly a decade now. Like anyone, each year has been different and posed different challenges.

Some years I run fast…in 2016 I set most of my PRs. In 2018, I ran a PR in the half and full marathons. But also some years I’m injured (a good portion of 2014). Some years I’m meh (2019 and a good portion of 2020).

Regaining my Love for Running with a Virtual Challenge

So on to now!

Early in 2020, I declared this was the year I was “getting back in shape”. I was going to attempt to run a sub 1:25 half marathon. I was going to train hard. On January 1st, I won a 10k in Rohebeth Beach and I was ready for my comeback.

I went into the half in North Carolina ready to run fast at a half marathon. I ran a 1:31 which was ok but not great. Ultimately, it led to Achilles issues, and finally on March 1st, my calcaneus broke. March 1st started 6 weeks of no running due to a stress fracture. That was around the time the coronavirus began rising and races were canceling left and right.

Due to nothing being open and truly resting, my recovery went seamlessly. Many days I didn’t even walk 1000 steps in my house).  Once it was time, I began easing back into running. I did some workouts, I ran decently.

Then we began moving. Moving is not fun, but moving during the pandemic is a whole different story. It was around this time I found out about the GRIT Summer Distance Challenge. Nothing was really motivating me. I didn’t want to do virtual races. I didn’t want to grind out workouts when potential races aren’t for a while. After reading more about the GRIT Summer Challenge, I decided to sign uo for the 300 Miles in 30 days.

At first, I thought can I run 300 miles in 30 days again? I did that for many months in 2016 and 2018 without an issue…but not recently.  That was years ago.

Plus running 300 miles in 30 days while moving? How the heck was I going to do that? But, I realized I don’t really have anything else to do. My husband and I’s plan across the country wasn’t to drive through as fast as possible. We wanted to be safe but also not rush. I had time to run in the morning, I just had to stay motivated to do so.

A Few Things that Helped Me Accomplish Running 300 Miles in 30 Days:

  • Backing off the intensity. I’m not doing hard workouts, races, or intense sessions. Occasionally I’ll do a very short speed workout but nothing too intense.
  • Eating a Lot. I feel like I’m always eating. I adopted the motto: well it’s lunch on someone’s time zone.
  • Sleep. I don’t function on minimal sleep anyway but lately I’ve felt I’m still going to bed on East Coast time zone.

How did the Virtual Challenge Help Me?

While doing a virtual challenge isn’t the best thing for everyone, I’ve found it’s really rekindled my enjoyment for running again. I found myself wanting to run and wanting to successfully complete the challenge. Looking back, I can clearly see how burned out I was in 2018 and 2019. It could be a combination of things including a completely new area and change of pace.

I don’t know what is next for me, but I’m looking forward to whatever that is. If you want to join the GRIT Summer Distance Challenge, registration closes on Sunday 8/22. You can do your own challenge, whether it’s 25 miles, 75, 150, 225, or 300l. Whatever mileage you choose, you’re also elidable to win a lot of cool prizes. Hopefully, you enjoy it as much as I did!

Since I enjoyed the GRIT Summer Distance Challenge so much, they gave me a coupon code of LOLZ5 to save $5 on your own challenge. If you run, let me know!

Questions for you:

Have you done a virtual challenge?

What kind of running are you doing right now?