Friday, April 19, 2013

Countdown to Blue Ridge

In about 12 hours I should be about halfway done with the race...yikes.  I think I'm ready...maybe. (Actually, by the time I finish typing this and actually post it, I'll be way more than halfway done...) I've never "tapered" before a race like I did before this one.  And the only reason I took it so easy this week is because of how bad I messed up my quad muscle last Friday.  I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to run this weekend, I only ran twice this week.  A light 5 mile jog/walk with 2 5th graders on the river trail on Tuesday, and a 7 mile run with a fellow teacher on Thursday.  My quad didn't stop hurting on stairs until Tuesday or Wednesday.  The Tuesday jog was completely flat so it was hard to assess how the muscle felt.  It didn't hurt at all on Thursday's hills though, so I guess I rested it well.  Hopefully the easy week will end up helping me tomorrow, and not hurting me stamina-wise.

Thankfully, spring has at long last arrived.  When I drove to Roanoke about 2 weeks ago to buy new running shoes, everything was brown and dead looking.  Not pleasant scenery.  Today, there was tons of spring green, and a lot of trees with bright purple flowers.  It was a gorgeous drive after the drab grays and browns of an obscenely long winter.

This is the road heading up towards the top of Mill Mountain, about 2 or so miles into the race.

A short trail section at the top of the mountain, shortly before mile marker 4.


The view from the top of the mountain.  
No time to stop and take it in during the race so I drove up there today to check it out.

The Mill Mountain Star

This year's race t-shirt. 
Most awesome race shirt.  Ever.

There seems to be some sort of convention of young college boys in my hotel.  They were rampaging through the hallways's quiet now but I'm terrified that they will be loud in the wee hours of the morning and keep me awake.  I sincerely hope that all is quiet so that I have at least a chance of sleeping in this bed that is sadly not mine...

Last major decision to run with a watch or not to run with a watch.  I'm trying not to race with a watch anymore, but I've developed a nasty habit of running my first mile way too fast (like dangerously close to 6 or below).  I kind of feel like I need to bring a watch just to make sure I don't ruin my race by doing that again.  (I think that I would have done way better in my February race if I hadn't gone out so darn fast). But, I don't want to bring a watch because I want to run the rest of the race by feel without keeping an eye on my watch and obsessing about splits and pretending that I can actually do the math in my head.  (Ok, I can probably do the math in my head if I try really hard.  But it's hard to get it accurate when most of my brain power is going towards keeping my legs moving and my lungs working)

Decisions, decisions.  

I'm pretty sure I'll leave the watch behind.  I sincerely hope I can run my first mile between 6:30 and 7 if I do that...and not end up over-compensating and running my first mile slower than 7.  That will be hard to make up later in the race.  Winning time last year was 1:29 and my 2nd place time was 1:35.  If I can break 1:30 on this will be amazing.  And I totally want to achieve that.  Please.

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