It doesn’t appear that Covid is going to allow any in-person races any time soon, so even though I’m not the hugest fan of the virtual thing, I decided to run a few this fall. First up on my list was the Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run. This used to be called something like the Great Pumpkin Run, and the swag I saw out of 2019 was frickin’ awesome. I was less enamored with the medal this year, but the shirt swayed me. Heh. And I figured this would work well as an “autumn” event for my Running Bingo, since the event evokes images of pumpkin patches and turning leaves and apple cider.
The problem with virtual 5Ks is that you can do them whenever, and there’s no festivity or cheerleaders to sweep you up into that excitement of a true race. There’s also no one to map out a specific course for you, or hand you water/snacks throughout. Really, there’s no difference between a virtual 5K and just going out for a practice run. So that’s essentially what I did. I decided on a date (9/30), mapped a route (8x around my running park is 3.12 miles), and set out.
The weather started quite chilly at 52 degrees – hence why I chose that date! – but I wore a tank top anyway, knowing it would be almost 70 degrees by the time I finished. It took a full half-5K for the weather to warm up. The second half was much warmer, with lots of direct sun in places. I was glad I chose the tank top! I was less glad that I chose my newer shoes instead of my older Hokas. The Saucony pair was only 12 miles old, and while it didn’t cause problems due to newness (I’ve used Saucony for ages), these shoes seem better suited to walking. Even when I tie them loosely, my feet swell when I run, and then there’s too much pressure on the tops. It caused a lot of leg strain for most of the 5K, a strain that I don’t feel in the Hokas. Lesson learned.
I stuck to general 60:30 run:walk intervals for this event. Honestly, I think I prefer longer intervals for longer distances (and a 5k, for my slow-runner self, is a longer distance!). Still, I didn’t do too bad for time, considering that I only managed about a dozen runs since finishing C25K in May, and have only run seven times in the last ten weeks. (Thank goodness for cooling temps and potentially getting out there more regularly again!) I finished the Gourdy’s 5K in 50:12 – just shy of the under-50 mark that I strive for – with a mile average of 16:05. Not my best time ever, but I’m really okay with that. Especially, as I said, with how little I’ve been running, not to mention the leg strain re: my shoes.
My swag package (above) with my shirt, medal, etc finally arrived on 10/24 – almost a full month after running the 5K! Sheesh. I do really love the shirt, especially the unexpected little zipper pocket on the left side seam. The medal is excruciatingly heavy, though – it probably could have been smaller, but I guess they wanted runners to feel like they were getting their money’s worth, heh.
And lastly, here is my updated Running Bingo card:
The Gourdy’s Pumpkin 5k completes my 5th square of the Bingo – that orange one off to the right – with more to come soon! This is the first of at least three virtual 5Ks I’ll be doing through the rest of 2020.