Friday, April 19, 2019

2019 Blue Ridge Half Marathon


Blue Ridge Half Marathon

2016 and 2018 still have me a bit gun shy on training for this race, so I didn't do a lot of downhill sprinting until just 3 weeks before race day and even then I only did 2 or 3 serious attempts at a sub 6 mile. It seems to have worked out well as a strategy because I approached the start line with little to no nagging aches or pains and I crossed the finish line with no pain at all, (but I did develop a cramp in my right foot that lasted for several hours).

Every year my primary goal for this event is to run mile 5 at a sub 6 pace. I had achieved a 5:59 for 7/10ths of a mile in training on a neighborhood road, but I wasn't overly confident that I would have what it would take on race day. Blazing through a downhill sprint for 7/10ths is one thing when your 2 miles into an easy jog, its something totally different when you have just ran 3.5 miles up the side of a mountain at full throttle and have to make a transition from uphill to downhill without dropping below a tempo pace.

Somehow I managed to pull off my fastest mile 5 to date.
2013 (left) 2012 (right)

2019 (left), 2017, 2015, 2014 (right)
I generally find training in the high 5's and low 6's to be uncomfortable, so I don't do it much, but I like to log at least one sub 6 each year...preferably during the Blue Ridge Half.

Its worth noting that the first 6 miles of the course have been the same since 2011. The course was tinkered with each year for its first 5 years, then in 2014 the race directors decided to stick with the Peakwood addition on the back half. I didn't care for it much at first, but have grown fond of it over the years.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Ressurection

I haven't published even one blog entry all year.

Until today.

I got away from it, but writing, even if only for the sake of writing, is a good mental exercise and it helps me stay focused on goals.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Roanokes Triple Crown

Roanoke's Triple Crown

I've stated repeatedly that the reason running is a sport of all winners is because waking up and going the distance is all the exercise that anyone really needs. You even get to pick your own distance. Hopefully most people will opt to stay in good enough shape to brisk walk a 5k, but if a 1/2 mile is what you do, then more power to you.

I personally choose to stay in good enough shape to run a half marathon on any given weekend with little or no notice. I have to work to build my mileage up to run a full marathon and I have to work to build my intensity up to run a competitive 5k. Its just the routine that suits the time and energy I have available to devote to my recreational life.

Naturally I'm going to run most of the half marathons in the Roanoke area, so I'm glad to see that someone had the great idea to incorporate the 3 biggest road half marathons into one award, the Roanoke Triple Crown.

At this point in time, you get the Triple Crown for showing up and going the distance for 3 separate half marathons. The Blue Ridge Half (or full), the Race Roanoke 13.1, and the Star City Half. I think that is a great incentive to stay relatively active year round and I hope the program continues. 

I, however, am also a bit of a numbers geek. My pursuit of numbers and statistics has a lot to do with why I've stuck with running as a recreational past time. As such I've often wanted to see the Roanoke Triple Crown adopt a more numerically driven format.

By adding the times of my 3 halves for each year I get  this chart: 
Year BR 1/2RR13.1SC 1/2Total of first 2Final Total
2017 1:50:551:45:49 1:39:003:36:445:15:44
Race ChangeBR 1/2Salem 1/2SC 1/2
2018 2:19:141:40:561:42:374:00:105:42:47



  So from this chart I am able to monitor my own statistics as they relate to the Roanoke Triple Crown. It leads me to wonder though how much trouble it would be for the Triple Crown organizers to monitor finish times and present a ranked format on their web page. It might help generate some enthusiasm for people to come in from out of the region 3 times during the year to participate in our races.