So I mentioned several times that I have been taking up running again after a long hiatus. I have been using the treadmill at the gym and I have enjoyed the experience tremendously. I bought new running shoes (two pairs!), new running shorts and t-shirts, the whole shebang to kick start my fitness regime. It’s been close to two months since I started my runs every other day and so far, I have been consistent with my routine.
Physically, I feel so much better now. I am even gaining muscle! I look leaner. Emotionally and psychologically, I am now more resilient and I feel more upbeat. The gains from exercise are multitudes and I can feel the benefits already.
Strangely, Facebook has been showing me ads for virtual runs on my feeds. Sign up for a virtual run (for a fee of course) complete the run at your own pace by logging your activities (be it running, walking, rowing, swimming, basically any distance-based activity) and once you achieve the desired milestone, you get a medal shipped to your home.
I have never run an actual marathon before (and never will, because I think the sheer distance and the need to run non-stop scares me), but joining a virtual run, and doing it at your own pace, now that is something I can try.
So I did. I signed up for a virtual run designed by The Conqueror. The website has a series of running challenges that anyone can take sign up with varying distances for one to achieve. Once achieved, they will send you a medal as a symbol of completing the virtual run.
I signed up for my first challenge, The English Channel. It’s a simple, 33KM distance (21 miles), which I completed in mere days since I run at the gym every other day, and in addition to runs, I log my walks on my daily commute.
Three weeks later, I had my first medal.
It felt great.
There is an actual sense of achievement.
The medal is heavy. Solid even.
Since then, I have signed up for two more challenges with many more on the way as I progressed through the various challenges. I recently completed the Inca Trail, clocking at 42KM. That is also relatively simple for me. I am just waiting for the medal to arrive.
My next challenge is to complete Hadrian’s Wall, at 145KM. That will take me about a few weeks to complete, but I am almost there.
The Conqueror has close to 30 different challenges that you can register for. Some are short distances. Some are awfully long. Take the Pacific Crest Trail challenge.
It’s a whopping 4000KM! If I were to clock in about 150KM of combined walking and running in a month, it will take me two years, possibly more to complete this challenge. And the Pacific Crest Trail is one of several challenges that are in the thousand KM range.
I plan to tackle the short distances first, before making my way up, each one longer than before, each new challenge taking longer to complete than the previous one. I do not know if I am able to reach the penultimate medal, Pacific Crest Trail (there is no order to the challenges you can take on, you have complete freedom to choose whatever challenges that fancies you). But it’s a challenge that I am willing to take.