The Casual Runner

runDisney Virtual Running Shorts

2016 RunDisney Virtual Running Short Series
May 15th, 2016 thru June 30th, 2016
Event Location: Anywhere!

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Why I decided to run this race.

Four words… “runDisney take my money!”  I have a slight problem, I want to do everything runDisney has to offer.  You offer me the medals of runDisney without having to travel and I get to do it on my own time, why wouldn’t I run this series?  Mike, however, has a different opinion on these virtual races though, so you may not want to bring up the topic around him.

What is this race?

The RunDisney Virtual Running Shorts Series is comprised of running three 5Ks over a month and a half at your own leisure.  The first race is the Yellow Shoes 5K that was supposed to be run between May 15th, 2016 and June 1st, 2016. Part 2 is the Red Shorts 5K, to be completed between June 5th, 2016 and June 18th, 2016. Last is the White Gloves 5K, to be completed June 19th, 2016 and June 30th, 2016.  If you complete all three races then you will have completed the challenge and receive an extra medal.

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(Editor’s Note: The event title of “Running Shorts” is, for those who know their Disney history, a clever pun. Mickey Mouse got his start, not in feature length films, but in films created to run in theaters along with feature films, called “shorts.”) 

Swag review

Four downloadable race bibs were available to print and place your name on.  I chose to not print mine, instead I just made a digital photo of them.  For each 5K a medal was awarded plus a bonus medal for completing the challenge.  A tumbler glass was also included for those completing the challenge.

RunDisney Virtual Running Shorts – Yellow Shoes
Where: Berlin Lake Trail, North Benton, Ohio
Date Completed: May 27th, 2016

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After taking a little under a month off of running following the Cap City Half Marathon, I decided I really needed to get my butt back in gear before the Run and Ride Cedar Point Half Marathon.  I figured this race was a perfect way to get back in it.  For running inspiration I decided to wear my outfit from the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon (go look at my race review, but hurry back!)

Mike and I drove to the trail from our place on the lake.  Typically we would run to the trail then run back on the trail, but this a 10K route and neither of us were up for a 10K after our running hiatus.  Plus remember, this is a 5K.  This would be a down and back course that would pass over Lake Berlin and made for nice scenery on a bright and sunny day.  Seemed like it would make for a nice 5K.

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Unfortunately taking almost a month off of running is not well-advised.  This was a long, torturous 5K that I was not ready for.  Coming off a PR from the 2016 Cap City Half Marathon I figured I would be able to use my run/walk pace from that race which was about a 5 minute run to a 30 second walk.  Well after about 2 minutes of running I realized this would not be happening.  I tried to stick to running as long as possible with 30 second walks which worked well for the first half.  However, during the last mile, my walks were becoming longer and longer, but you know what?  I finished, in an upright position, and just like that I was a runner once again.

RunDisney Virtual Running Shorts – Red Pants
Where: Heritage Trail, Dublin, Ohio,
Date Completed: June 9th, 2016

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Let me start by saying, this went much better than the the Yellow Shoes 5K.  For this race I decided to channel my inner Mike Wazowski by wearing a tank top featuring him along with black running capris.  This 5K was going to serve as a shakeout run before heading to Cedar Point for the weekend for the Run and Ride 5K and Half Marathon.

This running trail is close to my house, which Mike and I frequent quite often.  We typically run this trail heading west but I decided to change it up today and run east on the trail just for a change of scenery.  For the most part since the Yellow Shoes 5K I had been running distances ranging from 2 to 4 miles while trying to cut back on my running intervals.  

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The first half of the run I felt went pretty well, but after finishing my 5K I realized my third mile was actually my fastest mile.  I have started to realize over running the past few months my first two miles tend to me my roughest miles of any distance.  I think it takes me about two miles to actually get my legs feeling good and my breathing pretty regular.  I definitely felt at the end I was ready to run the Cedar Point Run and Ride 5K that coming Saturday, however I was worried about the half marathon that was to follow on Sunday.

RunDisney Virtual Running Shorts – White Gloves
Where – The Treadmill (or as some like to call it, The Dreadmill)
Date Completed – June 29th, 2016

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I was coming down to the wire on finishing this series and only had a few days left to do it.  I was waiting for a day where the temps were not in the 90s so I could find another trail to run on, however the weather just didn’t want to cooperate with me.  So, what’s a girl to do? The treadmill it is.

Since running the Cedar Point half marathon I had been trying to keep my miles at longer distances.  I ran seven miles he day prior to running this virtual race so my legs were a little tired for this.  I decided to run five minutes, walk a minute, run five minutes, walk a minute, etc. This ended up being my fastest race of the three and I was pretty happy with the improvement in my speed I had made over this series.

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Looking Back

Would I do this again?  Probably not.  After doing this series I have learned that I really do not like doing Virtual 5Ks.  I was never excited about getting out to do these like I would to be go run an actual race.  However, I love SMOs and these are some pretty amazing SMOs.

Historically, runDisney’s on-property 5K SMOs have be pretty weak, opting to give out rubber medallions instead of quality medals. After this virtual series concluded, runDisney announced that, going forward, all 5K race finishers will receive actual medals. This may prove to be the most long-lasting legacy of this experimental virtual race series.  

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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