Me random? Why not ...

For more than two years now, my running has generally been focused around a longer-distance race down the road. The Virginia 10 Miler, the Shamrock Half (twice), the Richmond Marathon and most recently the Rock 'n' Roll Half. Even when I've been hurt, I've remained committed to these races. So it's no wonder that now that I haven't signed up for a "big" race that I have a lot of random thoughts. With no "what's next" to think of, my posts are just random, and I'm completely fine with that.

Virginia 10 Miler
So on my short walk/jog with my dog and while mowing my yard this morning, I realized that I really don't want to do this race. Yes I'm in shape and to prepare for it over the next couple of weeks all I would really need to do is run more hilly routes. But if I did it, it would make it two weekends in a row of traveling to the Lynchburg area since I'm headed there next weekend and I really don't feel like doing that.

It is a race I want to do again. It was my first double-digit distance race and it's a very challenging event. But my burning desire to redeem myself in a long-distance event isn't there. For anyone within a reasonable driving distance of Lynchburg, I would highly recommend this race. (Click here for the Web site.) It's an event that used to be gigantic -- Bill Rodgers won it several times in the 1970s and it peaked in the 1980s with nearly 2,700 people running it one year. Due to some poor organization it saw a big decline, but as of last year it is now organized locally and things seem to be improving drastically. It's also very hilly -- the highest elevation is 800 feet; the lowest is 593.

Anything but double digits
One reason I'm not doing the 10 miler is because I want to do some shorter races again, at least for a little while. I'm not committing to anything yet -- I'd rather just go unplanned. I'd like to do at least two more races this fall. It's been way too long since I've done a 5k -- I've done 11 since 2004, but the last one I ran was July 2007 when I set a PR. It'll be interesting to see how fast -- or slow -- I am in that distance in a race setting.

Things will be fine in '09
It's hard to think about next year already, but I can't help it since I'm essentially ending any thoughts of another long-distance race this year. Right now, my plan is to do the Rock 'n' Roll Half again, and that's really it for long races. That gives me a chance to adjust to having a baby in my life and it gives me about 10 months off long-distance training. I'll still have "long" runs, but I'm limiting race distances to 10k or less until next September. I need the break both physically and mentally. I am very interested in doing a duathlon in April instead of training for the Shamrock Half again, but I'll save that for another day.

What's in a week?
My runs this week have been great. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I'm enjoying running just to run. I feel like I've had a big weight lifted off my shoulders to say the hell with big races right now and do whatever I feel like doing when the time comes. I'm not worried about the number of miles in a week, I don't care about hitting 1,000 miles right now and I don't feel bad for cutting it short today because it's so hot and humid. I'm in an unusual zone right now and I'm loving every bit of it.