I Chose the #AFMarathon Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge
My #FlyFightWin Virtual Air Force Challenge included a 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon. Since this was a virtual race, participants could choose to run their races when and where they wanted any time in September.
I decided to run all three races on the original race weekend. I wanted to challenge myself, and create a race weekend vibe as much as possible. It was fun!
The Air Force Marathon has special significance to me. I wanted to honor my favorite Air Force Peeps. There are a bunch of them, and my efforts celebrated every single one of them! I'm so proud and thankful for them all.
Air Force Marathon 2020 Virtual 5K
My first race was the 5K. I ran mine in beautiful downtown St. Pete along the waterfront.
Disclaimer: I received registration for the Air Force Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews
My route was in and around Albert Whitted Airport, so the planes in the background felt appropriate for an Air Force race.
It was a gorgeous morning with blue skies, white puffy clouds, and lots of humidity! I think running wherever you like is one of the best parts of a virtual race.
Air Force Marathon 2020 Virtual 10K
My second race was the 10K. I decided to run around my favorite lake because it has a 1.25 mile loop. It would be easy to run 6 circles around the lake. I was also hopeful there would be a nice breeze off the water. (There was!)
It was another humid run, but went smoothly. I felt strong and oh so optimistic about my half marathon!
By the way, I want to mention fueling and hydration. I carried water on all my races and planned out where I could refill my bottle. That's a big deal when you're on your own for a virtual race. I carry water + electrolytes when run long distances in the Florida heat.
Air Force Marathon 2020 Virtual Half Marathon
I was a bit nervous about the half marathon. But, I was determined. It always helps me when I run for someone other than myself.
This race was to honor my Dad, nieces and nephew who all serve or served in the USAF. There was no way I wasn't going to finish all the miles for these people I love.
So, off I went on Day 3 for Race 3.
I Channeled #EverySingleStreet for My Half
I like to add a twist to my virtual races to keep them interesting. Sometimes I turn the race into a Scavenger Hunt.
For the 2020 Air Force Half Marathon I decided to run #EverySingleStreet Rickey Gates Style. I live in a great big city, so I broke it down into neighborhoods. I chose two neighborhoods I never run in for my half marathon route. Below are a just a few of the new things I saw.
I recommend adding your own twist to any virtual race. It makes it easier to stay engaged. Run in a new-to-you place or challenge yourself somehow to add another layer to your experience.
SWAG, More SWAG and a Virtual Expo
Even though the 2020 Air Force Marathon was virtual, there was plenty of SWAG!
I earned a medal for each race, PLUS a Challenge Medal featuring the HH-60G PAVE HAWK. The challenge medal has moving helicopter blades.
All participants receive a race shirt. 2020 Fly! Fight! Win! Challengers also get a quarter zip!
There was a Virtual Expo for runners and the public. Everyone can shop the expo from September 1 through September 30 to take advantage of discounts and great products.
There was a LIVE Facebook Stream on Saturday, September 19. It was a great way to feel part of the larger race community. If you missed the live event, watch the AFMarathon Race Day here.
I really enjoyed this challenge. Race management did a great job of keeping everyone engaged throughout the training period. They sent regular emails and newsletters. They also liked and commented on social media posts. I love when a race organization interacts with me!
The virtual expo and live stream on race day were great extras. Add that to all the SWAG that mails to runners in early October, and I'd def call this event a winner. Sure, the Air Force has a special place in my heart, but even if it didn't I'd run this event again!
Thanks to the Air Force Marathon for making this a special event in a very weird year.
#KeepMoving #BestDamnRace #BrighterDaysAhead #BibChat #RunStPete #RunFlorida #RunPA #WeRunSocial #MovePittsburgh #Run412 #OptOutside #FLRunner #ThisOldRunner #HoorayRunning #BibRavePro #EverySingleStreet #RunEveryStreet #RunYourTown #BDRChallenge #VirtualRace #BDRFloridaChallenge #EverySinglePerson #AFMaraBR #FlyAFM #AirForceMarathon #AFMara #USAF
Everyone around here is all in on weather talk. I can't find anyone who doesn't mention how hot it is outside. That's because it's full blast in-your-face Summer heat time in Florida.
I don't mind the heat, but when the temps reach "feels like" numbers above 100 degrees it's time to rethink workouts. Recently, I traded in my long runs for garden projects.
You may wonder, if I'm still outside in the heat, how is gardening better than running? The difference is I can take plenty of breaks, go inside, and sit down and rest as needed.
So, cross-training projects became my workouts the past couple of weeks.
Cross-Training Project #1: Dig a Trench
I dug a trench. I pulled our circa 1960 axe out of the shed and swung it for hours. When I was done I had a hole that was 6 feet long and 3 feet deep.
Why did I dig a trench? Because my neighbor has bamboo. It's along the fence line next to one of my border gardens. The bamboo likes to sneak underground and pop up on my side of the fence.
I looked out my kitchen window one day and saw a huge 4-5 foot bamboo stalk in the middle of my plumbago border. Yikes! Closer examination revealed there were 5 more stalks.
I did research and learned that the best remedy was to dig a trench so new shoots were seen right away. Now, if a shoot comes out I can cut it off before it crosses the trench. It should only happen a couple of times a year. Fingers are crossed.
The trench digging was in a shaded area, but it was a sweat fest. It took me a couple of days to complete. I added safety trellises at each end of the ditch so no one falls into it.
Cross-Training Project #2: Create a Butterfly Garden
While I was digging my bamboo trench I decided I wanted to add another butterfly garden bed to our yard. Putting in a garden is an excellent upper body workout.
I created a 10 x 15 foot garden. You can see it in the photos above and below. I dug up existing turf, worked the soil, and laid a short walkway and rock border. Then, I installed 50 butterfly-attracting and host plants.
Now, when I look across the side yard I see more beautiful flowers and butterflies. This garden, like the trench, produced a sweat-fest. But, I feel stronger and more tolerant of the heat than I did a couple of weeks earlier. I consider yard work a major contributor to my fitness.
Now, It's Time to Run Again!
I'm happy to report that my first run after my cross-training week felt great! Next up is some virtual RACING for my Air Force Marathon Fly! Fight! Win! Half Marathon Challenge next week!
#FaceMask #ExtremeFitBR #KeepMoving #BestDamnRace #BrighterDaysAhead #BibChat #RunStPete #RunFlorida #RunPA #WeRunSocial #MovePittsburgh #Run412 #OptOutside #FLRunner #ThisOldRunner #HoorayRunning #BibRavePro #EverySingleStreet #RunEveryStreet #RunYourTown #VirtualRace #BDRFloridaChallenge #EverySinglePerson #AFMaraBR #FlyAFM #USAF #AirForceMarathon #AFMarathonChallenge
-------> UPDATE <-------
If you already signed up, take a look at what you'll receive for running this virtual event!
Every participant gets:
Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge Series participants (Full and Half Challenges) get two bonus items:
Register now to challenge yourself and get the goods!
Last month, the Air Force Marathon converted into a virtual race. That was great news for me.
It means, I can run to honor all the brilliant Air Force Officers I know and love without traveling to Dayton, OH.
This opportunity feels especially poignant for me because my favorite AF officer died last month.
Running the #AFMarathon this year feels exactly right. So, I went all in with the Fly! Fight! Win! Half Challenge. That's a 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon in honor of all my favorite flyers!
Keep reading to learn more and get a discount for your race!
All Challenge Series participants who register for the virtual event receive:
2018 Race Plans
2019 Pittsburgh Half
2020 Paris Marathon
2021 BDR Events
305 Half Marathon
465 Virtual Race Challenge
Air Force Half Marathon
Air Force Marathon
AJC Peachtree Road Race
Best Damn Leftover 5k
Best Damn Race
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First Watch Sarasota Half
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FL Beachathon Half
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Gasparilla Distance Classic
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K9s United Race
Kettle Krush 5K
Key West Half
Legoland Brick Dash 5k
Madeira Beach 5K Series
May Day Races 10K
Miami Beach Half
Napa Valley Marathon
NuGo Protein Bars
Obstacle Course Race
One Step Closer 10K
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Par 4 Miler
PB & J 10K Run
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