Hello and good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Many of you are still in your weekends and I’m happy for you. 🙂
I just finished up a 6 mile run this morning (I’ll run 4 more later today…two-a-days are back) with some sprints/surges at the end and it felt GREAT to run fast again. I hadn’t had much of a reason to do that in the last several months. I tried to make virtual races a reason and I tried to give myself time trial goals, but it was too easy to just blow those off. I’m a man that needs structure. Enter the Blue Ridge Marathon…
I signed up for Blue Ridge last year, but we all know how races turned out in 2020. I was pretty ready for it, but maybe not as ready as I should have been. The elevation profile for this race is CRRRRRRAZY, with a Total Elevation Gain/Loss of 7,430 ft. How do you even get ready for that? You take your vitamins and say your prayers, as the great Hulk Hogan would say. You also run hills; lots and lots of hills.
I’m already cruising along on week 3 of my training plan, (thank you, Coach Craig). I had a decent enough base built up from all of my fun-running, so that helps. I’m ramping up pretty quickly in the weekly mileage department with back to back 40 mile weeks, which I hadn’t done since March. 40 I can do. I’ll start whining when I get over 50.
It’s been so great to have structure again! I love looking at the spreadsheet and clearly seeing what’s ahead of me for the next 13 weeks. It gives me a little extra motivation to get my butt out of the warm bed and out into the cold morning. It helps that I have some great people to run with too. I’m aware that there are mixed feelings about running buddies these days, but I have a circle of trust with a few and we’re in this mess together.
Blue Ridge is going to challenge me in ways that I’ve never been challenged. I like racing on rolling hills. I don’t like climbs. Staying patient and staying relaxed will be crucial to my success. Generally, I’m bad at both of those things.
It will be refreshing to not have a BQ on my brain while I’m running. There’s ZERO chance I’m BQing this one. I have a time in mind, but I’m out to survive this one.
I’ve been named an ambassador for the race this year, and if you’re interested in joining me, you can sign up here and use code RANDALL20 (yes, my name is Randall, not Ralph) for 20% off!