Running the Blue Ridge.

This Saturday, April 21, I will be running the Blue Ridge Half Marathon in Roanoke, VA!

Although this event has been a long time coming (I won the entry for the full back in December – but switched to the half after deciding on adding another late spring marathon to the mix) it somehow still crept up on me! Since Shamrock, things have been in a bit of a time warp for me, I guess! Luckily enough, David (who sponsored the entry giveaway) is a Roanoke native and reminded me about it on twitter and I was able to get my act together and book accommodations and make some plans!

This is where we are staying:

Hotel Roanoke.


Initially, I was interested in this hotel due to its close proximity to the race start/finish and packet pickup, as suggested on the official race website, but after checking out the hotel site, I was definitely sold. It’s a historic (built in 1882!) tudor-style structure that has seen many renovations through the years, as well as hosted a great number of notable guests and is currently owned by Virginia Tech and operated by Doubletree.



I don’t know about you, but I love old buildings and cookies – so this sounds like a great place for me!

Anyway – back to the race

“The Blue Ridge Half Marathon course is not quite as difficult nor as long as the full marathon, but it is still a challenging run. The course begins and ends in downtown Roanoke.”

When I read that description, I was doubly-glad that I had gone for the 13.1 😉

All this said, I have another semi-big announcement to make…

I am going to run this race.

Shocking for a running-centric blog, right? Or, duh, you just said you’re running this race, how is this an announcement? Okay, let me explain…

I am a very inwardly-competitive person – as in, time is important to me. I get kind of hyper when the numbers are not what I want to see – i.e. the one-minute PR’s at Shamrock and Princess this year – but I need to accept that change and improvement are gradual. Every race is not going to be a PR, and even if it is, it might not be a big one.  I tell others this, but am hard on myself – so, for this race, my goal is a little unique – I am going to try my darndest NOT to race this race – but to run it.

How am I going to achieve this goal? The process is three-fold:

  • Utilize my Garmin – since I have my cool new tool, I am going to try and find my even, steady pace and stick with it as much as possible. If I have ‘gas in the tank’ at the end and want to finish strong and fast, that’s okay – but since this is a scenic event why not soak up my surroundings?
  • Be observant – I want to focus on how I can improve as a runner – mentally take in how I feel at each pace and how my body responds to the elevation changes / climbs /etc. Where can I work harder? What are my strengths?
  • Accept what I cannot control – this is the third running of the BRM – last year, there were monsoon-like conditions. With the wacky weather this year, who knows what Saturday will bring? But so is life – we can plan all we want, but sometimes there are other plans for us.

Since I’ve been marathon training, it is nice to have this half to run as a tune-up as well, and it’s interesting how I feel physically ready for this event, but am having more difficult preparing mentally!

How do you get in the right mindset for a race?

8 thoughts on “Running the Blue Ridge.

    • Thanks, Katie!

      I am definitely looking forward to it, never been to that part of the state before 🙂

  1. Hotel Roanoke is definitely the best place to stay for a variety of reasons – I’ve stayed there a few times for events/weddings. Love it. As far “running” this race instead of “racing” it … well, it’s nearly impossible to race. You’ll understand that after 2 miles and you start that long climb up Mill Mountain. 😉

    Oh, technically I’m a Bedford native. 🙂

    • I am getting really excited! I guess I should change your title to Roanoke / Bedford local? Hehe…also glad to see that I will have to run! This is great LR material 🙂

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