When the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (GVRAT) was announced, I wanted to register. The cumulative distance of running 1021 kilometres in 4 months is a challenging goal and it is different from races that I normally do as it is the overall distance that matters, not how fast you are running. A lot of friends had already registered and I thought it would be fun to share our runs and encourage each other. I was all set to sign up.
“Wait! Slow down, Cynthia!” My voice of reason spoke up. “You have spent the last two years recovering from a hamstring tear and you still are not 100%. You are not ready to run 250 kilometres a month.” I sighed.
My friend, Lee, suggested that I register anyway. “You can run and walk it. A lot of people are doing that.” I thought about it but felt that I would only be letting myself down if I did GVRAT as a walk/run event. As much as I wanted to virtually race across Tennessee, I decided against it.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) set in. My voice of reason spoke louder and louder. I was listening to it but I felt like a teen arguing with her parents. On Day 2 of the race that I hadn’t registered for, I took Zeda out for a walk – a long walk – and continued to think about registering; I really wanted to be a part of this. Then, it hit me: I should register Zeda! Can she cover 1000k in 4 months? Probably.
When I got home, I looked at the website and found that there was a doggie-vrat category, with all registration fees going directly to dog rescues. I was sold. Dave and the boys were on board. Zeda was going to virtually walk across Tennessee.
I am so glad that I made this decision because I think I am having more fun walking Zeda than if I were running myself. Every day becomes a different challenge: How hot will it be? How much time can Zeda handle outside? How much walking can we do? Who is going to walk her? Is she tired? Does she need a rest day? It is these questions that make each day exciting as we try work around different circumstances and stay focused on achieving the goal of finishing.
Today, we are 60% of the way through and have 1/3 of the time left, which means that we have some catching up to do, 39 kilometres to be exact. That means that Zeda has to walk an average of 10.5 kilometres a day – doable in a perfect world. Will she finish? Absolutely, but our world is anything but perfect. The big question is “Will she finish by August 31st?” Time will tell.