November 23, 2010

The Black Knight Army Virtual 10k

I broke down and did it.  Today, I ran my first virtual race.  Stefano at Run with the Black Knight is hosting a virtual 10k and, having seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail a million too many times, I couldn't resist.  ("Look, you stupid Bastard. You've got no arms left!")  Luckily, this race involved only having to wear black and covering the 10k distance.  No loss of limbs necessary.  That was on the agenda for today anyway.  (I try not to chop off any body parts on runs whenever possible.)

First things first, here's what I wore:

Of course, despite the recent unusually "warm" weather here in Cleveland, after today it's going to get colder and colder.  When I left it was in the high 40s and windy.  So despite my best attempt to dress all in black I had to throw on the outer layer of an old ski coat.  (You only have to wear one item for the virtual race, but what the heck... why not go overboard?)  I also wore my new Bondi Band (which says "Dig Deep") that I won from Julie at Hotlegs Runner.  Bonus.

So I ran out bravely into the tundra and discovered that I was running directly into the wind.  I also made a point to hit all of the hills in the small 'burb my parents live in... If you're running with the Black Knight, I figure it should be something of a challenge.

For the first mile, I felt like I was running in slow motion.  (You know those dreams where you can't move?  Kinda like that.)  It was SO windy, and the beginning of my run took me right along the lake where there's nothing to block the gusts.  Bring it on!

Then, I turned off the lake in order to tackle my biggest hill - down along a creek and back up.  It also happens to be beautiful.  It's a little hard to see, but you can watch the road drop down to the left and then veer back up in the distance.  Missed my hill repeats last week?  No problem.

No hurry?
Then I was back to facing my worst challenge:  the boredom of the 'burbs.  Not much distraction.  It's just me, the sidewalk and the well kept lawns.  At least in NOLA I get to keep myself occupied watching the local crazies flavor that makes the city great.  The best I can do for entertainment here is challenged myself to racing the recycling truck.  Clearly, that wasn't much of a challenge as you can see.  I'm guessing they get paid by the hour - that truck wasn't moving so fast.  Ah well.

I ran a simple out and back, hitting the hills a second time and headed home with the wind at my back.  Mission Accomplished.

But it doesn't stop there.  When I got home, I stole Barefoot Neil Z's idea of using my Garmin for something non-running.  He plowed... I raked the lawn.  Every time I watch my parents rake leaves images of heart attacks swim in my head.  Especially when the lawn looks like this:

But after racing the Black Knight?  No problem!  I was up for the challenge.  40 minutes later the leaves were in the compost pile, the lawn was immaculate and all my limbs were still attached:

Have you gotten in any "cross-training" this week?  What about a virtual race?  What are you doing to ward off the Thanksgiving pounds?


  1. I love the Monty Python movie! My favourite scene is when they start to dance "Hot Stuff" while being in queue. Thanks for entering the virtual race. I like the photo with the "comments". Ciao

  2. Nice run!

    I hit the track hardcore this morning. Going with the "preburn-make-space" method this year.

    Of course that entire blueberry pie I ate in 3 days probably put me in the hole for the next month! haha!

  3. Cool! I've never done a virtual race...and no cross training for me this week...just my usual: running and core! I do plan to get a little more creative in 2011, though. :)

    AS far as the extra holiday pounds, I'm thinking I'll worry about that in 2011 too. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Ward off calories? Crap! I guess I am supposed to do that. :) I'm running a 10miler race in the morning and I'm so glad you reminded me of the virtual race. I'll wear all black tomorrow to participate.

  5. Awesome run!! I have been doing pure cross-training....lots of spin, strength training and elliptical.
    Good call on using a candy cane to stir, that sounds amazing.