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:
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?