Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On This Day in 2013...

Just ONE MONTH from today is the 5th annual Blue Ridge Full and Half Marathon, and thankfully for me this year, the inaugural Star K 10K. I say "thankfully for me" because I officially dropped my registration from the half marathon to the 10K the other day. Finishing the half this year was one of my goals for 2014, but it's just not going to happen. My running has been off and on for a while now, and I've been mostly focused on cycling recently (and will continue to do so since we registered for Mountains of Misery). I may not have a fast time at the 10K and will probably walk a lot of it, but I will finish and enjoy being a part of this awesome race for the 4th year in a row.

A few quick reminders and updates on BRM: 
  • You must register by March 27 (tomorrow) to be guaranteed a t-shirt. And as runners, we all know it's all about the shirt
  • While you're registering, be sure to check out the info on the G. Love & Special Sauce concert the night of the race - runners can get discounted tickets. 
  • Also, don't forget about the pasta dinner the night before the race. Zoë Romano will be speaking at the dinner. In case you don't know, she ran the entire route of the Tour de France (that's 2,115 miles) last May-July. She's the only person to ever do that, so she's kind of a big deal. 
  • Race photos are FREE this year!! I feel like this is pretty rare...now you won't have to show everybody your finish line photo with the big watermark on it because you just took a screenshot of the preview because you were too cheap to actually buy the picture (I KNOW I'm not the only one who does this)
  • There's really something for everybody at this event...a full marathon, a half marathon, a 10K, the kid's "marathon", the official unofficial double marathon for all of the crazy people.

If there's one thing I have learned from running, cycling, and endurance training in general, is that we all go through cycles. Highs and lows. There have been times when I've absolutely loved running, and times I when I've felt like I'm being forced to do it. Times I've been injured, and other times when I'm feeling strong and invincible. Times I've felt motivated or times I've been lazy. 

This time last year when I was one month out from the Blue Ridge Marathon, my very first full marathon, I was doing my last two long runs, 21 miles on March 16th, and 22 miles on March 30th.

From my 22 mile training run

As I mentioned above and in most of my blog posts for the past year, I really haven't been running much. Partially due to injury, but also probably due to burnout from training for a marathon and also because I fell in love with my bike. Sometimes I feel like I won't ever be a long-distance runner again, but truthfully I know that I will be (or can be if I put forth the effort). I don't know how or when I will get there, but I know that I will always continue to go through cycles like this, and I have to remind myself that this is just a phase. I've been in a low point in my running before (when I hated running from birth to 2010 and again in late 2011 due to injury), and I eventually came back and ran a marathon. Anything is possible. 

But for now, my focus will remain on cycling as Andrew and I train for Mountains of Misery on Sunday, May 25, where we'll be tackling 104 miles and 10,000+ feet of climbing and an elevation profile that looks something like this:

taken from someone's Strava

The most worrisome part is the last 4 miles where, after already riding 100 miles, we'll be faced with an epic climb with 12%-16% grades. It should be a fun time. Apparently a number of people either don't make it or end up walking their bike up to the top. Needless to say, this ride is going to require that I focus mainly on cycling, so I'm not at all concerned about being in a low point in my running right now. In fact, it's probably a good thing. 

Have you been through similar "cycles" in your training?