Blue Ridge preview

I haven't talked about next week's Blue Ridge Half Marathon beyond one post because, quite honestly, I haven't been all that excited about it. It's kind of weird, but perhaps I've been too close to it. My work is one of the sponsors and we're putting together a video of the marathon course. I've seen every part of the course at minimum two times; the other day I got to bike about 6 miles of the course to help re-shoot some sections not on main roads.

While that part of it has been fun, it has felt like a business approach to the event. Besides normal hill running, I haven't really prepared for this race at all.

I'm also not really looking at it as a race -- it's a tough, tough training run that is kind of the bridge to a few weeks of focusing on the Cleveland Half.

Yesterday, though, my excitement returned. I joined a much-faster-than-me co-worker to run up Mill Mountain in Roanoke where the half course comes down, and then met up with another co-worker at the top to run down the back side of the mountain that will come up during the race.

It was quite humbling to go up the mountain -- the quick elevation change caused me to stop a few times to catch my breath and pop my ears. It was friendly reminder that I can't just go out there without some sort of strategy.

I can't attack those hills like I do in some other races around here -- I have to save myself a bit and leave some gas for the end when it flattens out a bit.

I don't have a set-in-stone goal for this race. The course is slightly different (and harder) from a couple of years ago, so to beat my time from that race wouldn't be a good goal to have.

For now, I'm just looking forward to getting out there and having fun. It's nice to know I can't PR this race, but I can use it as a springboard to getting a PR at Cleveland.