Virtual Great North Run

Thanks to my phone dying (and other not-nice factors), the Virtual Great North Run became the most dramatic race of my life. But I did it. Because that's what I do.
Why Virtual Great North Run I was lucky enough to get a place to run the Great North Run back in February. Then this stupid pandemic came.
So I deferred my place to next year, but the organizers put on a virtual race for 2020.
What I was most excited about for this race was that everyone would be running at the same time. Well, one of two start times, but still. It wasn't a run-whenever type of race.
You had to download an app which tracked your mileage, so you would be virtually 'competing' with other racers in real time.  The raceThe routeI was aiming to get a PB for this race (seems laughable in retrospect). I thought the way to do this would be to avoid having to finish running up the massive hill I live on top of, which always slows me down.
So, I decided to run my usual 10k route, followed by my two usual 5…

Edinburgh Virtual Half Marathon

I took part in my first virtual half marathon and am now the proud owner of a 2020 race shirt.
Why Edinburgh Virtual Half Marathon I had signed up to the Edinburgh Half Marathon in February, only for the pandemic to delay it and then force its cancellation.
I had the option to roll my entry over to 2021 or take part in their virtual half. Seeing as I was already running a half a month, I liked the idea of taking part in an official virtual race for one of them.
Plus, I really have missed getting medals. The pre-race treatI had this idea that I would treat this race like I would any other race I traveled to pre-pandemic. I would spend the day before exploring the city I was in, seeing the sights, eating the bites.
So even though I wasn't going anywhere for this virtual race, I'd head into Edinburgh city center and play tourist in my own city. Then I'd write about the experience in my blog.
Playing tourist didn't happen in the end. I just didn't have the motivation to do s…

2020 half marathons: January to June

With no races on the horizon for a while, I decided to recap the first half of my 2020 monthly half marathon runs.
A half marathon a month This year I set myself the challenge to run a half marathon a month. 
It seemed like the next logical step up from 2019, which I spent running a different 10k race each month.
My 2019 10k race recaps
Even before the pandemic, my goal was for a monthly 13.1 mile run, not necessarily a race. Now because of the pandemic, racing (at least, non-virtual racing) is on hold.
Because of this, I've tried to get more creative in my route-planning the past few months to make each half interesting. 
Plus, as I don't own a bike, these long runs are my opportunity to see more of Edinburgh than I usually can while I avoid public transport. January: south west My January half marathon was only my second one ever. The route took me through lots of neighborhoods in south west Edinburgh.
This led to a lovely view of the Queensferry Crossing as I was running thr…

Plan B Virtual 10k

I thought racing was on hold, but then I found a virtual race and asked colleagues to join in on the challenge. 
What is Plan B Plan B is a series of run challenges set up by the website Find A Race, which I use regularly to (wait for it) find races around the UK.
Find A Race website
Since events were getting postponed because of the pandemic ('Plan A' so to speak), Find A Race created Plan B.
The idea is you sign up for and complete a single or cumulative distance challenge, and after submitting evidence, they send you a medal.
All profit from entries went to the World Health Organisation's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Why Plan B Well clearly because Plan A didn't work out!
In all seriousness, I never thought of doing a virtual race. But I really value the Find A Race service, so when I got their email mentioning it, I thought, why not.
Who knows when the next race will be. Forming a pandemic running group After hearing about the race, I started mentioning it to …

Run Falmouth Half Marathon

My first half marathon race took me down to Cornwall. It was the hilliest and toughest course I've ever run, but I'm proud to report I ran it all.
Why Falmouth After a year spent 10k running around the UK, I wanted my first half marathon race to be epic in some way.

I thought going down to Cornwall would check that box. Because that would involve one incredibly long train ride. Even longer than Tenby. 

There were a few other options in the UK on the table, but my friend Jamie (who did the Anglesey run with me last year) wanted to join me on the run, and we agreed on Falmouth.

And just to convey how far Falmouth is away from Edinburgh, here's a screenshot of Google Maps I took while I was there. The blue dot is Falmouth.
Racing in a pandemic Before getting into the details of this trip, I have to acknowledge the elephant in the room: racing during a global pandemic.
It's something that's been making me feel quit nervous generally, and it felt unclear in the days le…