A few weeks ago I signed up for a Virtual 5K race hosted by Toni at Running, Loving, Living. I did a virtual race hosted by her in January, and won my Sparkle Skirt that I wore during my half marathon in May! The race can be completed between June 18th and the 25th, so if you’d like a little motivation to run a 5k or 10k over the next few days, check out her blog and enter to win!

I personally love getting to do these virtual races. They fit into my schedule because they can be completed at any time, but also gives me a little push to get out there and run! This race was fun and tough and a definite first for me!

First of all, I ran with my brother, which was quite a bit of fun! We don’t run together very often; I think the last time we ran together was Thanksgiving. He commented on how much better I was then Thanksgiving, which was nice. I’m glad my training is actually paying off. This was my first race on the beach. That’s right, I got to run along the beach this morning, and it was beautiful. The sand provided a completely different surface to run on, and it took a bit to adjust to. Factors against me included: a migraine (yuck!), the heat, a strong wind  for half the run, and about .5 of the run on very lose sand, forcing my feet to slip around a bit. It was slow moving at first, but we hit hard packed sand around mile 1 and that made it a bit easier.

I could definitely get used to running here every day! Because it had been a week since I had last run, I did a slow and gradual .5 mile warm up before officially starting my 5k run. I also took a bit of time to cool down. I actually ran a solid 4 miles, but officially started my “race time” at 0.5 mile and finished at 3.6 miles, so that it was counted for my time.

Here are my splits. You can tell that the last mile included a very very slow cool down, because that split is not so good at all. I’m pretty happy with my mile 2 and 3 times, especially because I was running on a surface that I had never run on before. My official race time was 36:41. Definitely not as speedy as my 5k PR, but like I said, it was good considering the environment I was running in today.

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s your favorite surface on which you’ve had the chance to run? Have you ever gotten to run on the beach?