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Announcement: Big SURreal Virtual Challenge!

Big SURreal Virtual Challenge

I’m excited to announce that the Big Sur Marathon Foundation is putting out the Big SURreal Virtual challenge! The Big Surreal is a month-long (September), interactive virtual experience where you’ll be invited to complete a series of challenges and earn awesome swag along the way! The distances mirror those offered for the Big Sur Marathon, a 5K, 12K, 11-Miler, 21-Miler, and Marathon! Find more information here:


Initial Thoughts: Finally something to train for! I got a lot more excited than I thought I would from a virtual race, but it presents the type of character-building challenge that I could use right now (more on that below). A big theme of this year has been intrinsic motivation (i.e. how consistent can you be when you don’t have medals and a bunch of people congratulation you), which has served quite well during the pandemic, as I’ve found a love for the process of my training without needing a race to train for. But after all this time, it’s surprisingly nice to have something on the calendar and shift my goals/routines around for!


My goal: To run all 5 virtual challenges – a 5K, 12K, 11-Miler, 21-Miler, and a Marathon in the month of September! In October, I plan on running 30 miles for my 30th birthday, so the marathon will be a peak before tapering for the 30 miler.


My schedule: tentative schedule lines my distances up to peak at 21M early September and run the marathon in late September. After the challenge is over, it’s basically a taper for my 30th birthday run (30 miles):

  • 9/4: 21 Miler
  • 9/11: 11M
  • 9/16: 5K
  • 9/18: 12K
  • 9/26: Marathon
  • 10/22: 30M


Current Training: I’ve been on a 5K/day run streak and haven’t run any distance in a long time! Since the shelter-in-place started, I decided to focus on consistency, recovery, and overall health over distance and made a conscious decision to cut the long Saturday/Sunday runs.


Roadblocks: Ultimately, it got really hard to “not train for anything”, so my run streak became about more than just consistency – I started picking up the pace and working on my speed (and was making great progress!). Unfortunately, the speed training led to some injuries. I’ve been dealing with some nagging hamstring injuries about 3 weeks ago and ran through it all the way until today, which has also now flared up some shin splints and other injuries that I can’t even pinpoint.


Course of Action: So, as of today, I’m ending my run streak and taking at least 3 days off to see how I feel and then I’m going to go ahead and try to tackle these goals! It’s certainly going to be an uphill climb, but it’s nothing that I haven’t done before!