Gaspari Nutrition

Margaret Schlachter

Branching Out

With only two more races left before a long six week break from competing, my hands have found themselves searching the internet for some fun and local events to do. Not every race needs to be an obstacle course race, in fact it's fun to take a break, branch out and try something new. I started doing obstacle course races because they were out of the box, and away from anything I had ever done before. Now I find myself searching out races with unique formats many of which have never been done before. It's always good to set out new challenges for yourself even if you might not be the best at it, I have three challenges coming up to do just that.

The first race I found and signed up for feeds 100% at all my weaknesses, I deplore running inside, even more on a track. However, on January 1st at 8:00am I begin a race called New Years Revolution here at the Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah. The race format is pretty simple, the race lasts for five hours and you run around the track as many times as possible. To put it into perspective a marathon is over 90 laps, I get a little dizzy thinking about it. For me it's not going to be the distance of the race but instead the monotony of running around in circles for hours. A true test of grit and will, maybe a little madness as well!

The other two races I signed up for are a new type of race, called virtual racing. I have two virtual half-marathons in the future as well as a 5k treadmill race. These are all totally outside of the norm and one might say outside of the comfort zone on the treadmill race. When I found out about this virtual racing I was intrigued, how does one virtual race? After a lot of reading online it's a pretty cool concept to keep those of us who are hyper competitive engaged in our off-seasons. For the aptly named RunningNerds Winter Blast Series - Virtual Half Marathon and 5K Treadmill Challenge, you have about a weeks tie to complete the race, you get to race where you want, when you want, and then submit your time at the end online. The times go onto the leader board and you see how you did against your competition. Finishers receive a finishers medal, swag, and you even get a race bib for when you run. Totally different but somehow the inner computer geek in me thinks it's such a fun idea. Speaking with the race director she said they expect to have 500-750 people compete.

Still not sure 100% how this whole virtual racing will work, but for nothing else it's a way to hold myself accountable for some longer runs, and knowing the clock is on will definitely raise the stakes for me in intensity. As I am getting ready to step outside of the comfort zone I am thrilled at the opportunity to try something new, something a little bold, and maybe a little crazy. But it's when we step outside of the comfort zone that the living truly begins.

For now it's off to the gym and the trails! See you at the races!

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