Monday, April 21, 2014

Countdown to Blue Ridge

One of my training runs this weekend in my Blue Ridge shirt
So here we are, less than a week until "America's Toughest Road Marathon" Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke, Virginia. I have been looking forward to coming back since Emir and I ran it last year. It was such an awesome atmosphere and course that we knew we had to come back. Of course when they asked me to come this year as an official race blogger I was leaping for joy! And as it turns out I have cousins that live about 25 minutes from the start line who we were able to spend some time with last year while at Blue Ridge. This year my mom and my uncle decided to join us for the trip down so they can spend some time with our cousins and that's not all, the kids are coming too! It's going to be a big family road trip down to Roanoke! I really can't wait and I'm so excited that we will have the kids and our family there to cheer us on.
Blue Ridge training run

I remember last year I was pretty nervous for this race. Even though our goal was solely to finish and not for any certain time due to the difficulty of this course, I felt worried that maybe it was too much for us to handle. Interestingly, this year I am not nervous, just very excited. I know I should be nervous since this year we are tackling the double. Yes, we are running "America's Toughest Road Marathon" twice. Remember last year in my race report how I described a group of people who ran the marathon twice and I described as really awesome but really, really crazy, Yeah, well this year we are the crazy! And yet, I'm not scared. This will be the first time we are running anything further than a 50K, our first time running 50 miles. I know it's going to be super hard but I also know we will just take it one mile at a time. It's not for time, it's just to finish. Ultrarunning has really taught me a lot this year about what I can do. Even though we haven't done this distance before, I know it's possible and I know that we can do anything we set our mind to. It's interesting how my whole mind set has changed so much. I'm totally a wreck leading up to a marathon that I'm trying to PR in but totally calm to run almost twice as far as I ever have before. I have a feeling there are a lot of runners out there that can relate to that, at least it makes sense to me ;-)
Rare training run together on Easter

Got out before the sun was out to practice running in the dark and early (well earlier than usual!)

I'm also feeling good because my training has been going well and I trust that coach Caleb has trained me well.  Overall the last couple of months, I've been logging more miles than ever topping off two weeks ago with a 68 mile week that included back to back 18 & 20 milers.  Other than the ocassional sore legs and minor aches and pains, I feel my body has been taking the increased workload well.  It's really giving me great confidence going into our "ultra" season.  

My 20 miler, the day after my 18 miler

So the plan this week is rest, finally some tapering.  Additionally Thursday is Emir and I's 10 year anniversary.  I have some top secret surprises for Emir that day before we set off in the late afternoon on our big family road trip.  We are hoping to make the shakeout run early Friday morning with Zoe Romano.  The packet pickup is 3-8 so after that we will be trying to rest up for our 2:30 start time.  I can't wait to see the beautiful mountains and the people that make Blue Ridge what I consider one of America's Best Marathons!
Got to run part of one of my long back to backs with these two

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