Non-recap recap for a non-race race

It's tough to put into perspective what it's like to run a race that I'm not really training for. Today's Virginia 10 Miler was great -- 1:23 and change. I was about 40 seconds off my time from four years ago, but I really blame the weather for that. The last couple of miles in the direct sunlight in fairly warm conditions were tough considering how cool the weather has been for my long runs recently. I know I could have ran harder, but I certainly won't beat myself up. My big goal for this year is the Richmond Marathon and this race is just a stepping stone toward those 26.2 miles and reaching my 4-hour goal. I wanted to do the Virginia 10 Miler to push myself harder. I've been lacking speed in many of my runs, so this is something I felt I actually needed to do. I didn't want to give it 100 percent -- there's too much injury risk involved in that. So I'll take 95 percent effort, a good time, some of the craziest hills around on a long-distance road race  and put marathon training back on the front burner.

Today's race did get me thinking about 2011 already. If I put training effort specially toward this race like I did before my blogging days and run the hills on this course more, I know I can break 1:20. It's a great goal to have for this race, but I think it takes the dedication to train specifically for it. Like I experienced today, running 18 miles for a long run the week before isn't the best way to prepare for the 10-miler.

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This particular event is a very special one for me -- six years ago, I ran the 4 miler that is part of this event. That was my first road race ever and first racing of any kind since my junior year in high school in 1995. I ran 34 minutes exactly in that race and have been hooked ever since.

This is the fourth time I've taken part in this event -- I ran the 4-miler again in 2005 and then the 10 miler in '06. It was nice to be back on the course today and see how much it's grown in the past few years.

It's worth noting that back in 2006 after the 10 miler I didn't run for about two weeks after dealing with knee issues. It's a good feeling to know that this time around I'll keep running and will very likely double today's effort next weekend.

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Lastly, today's run puts me just shy of 110 miles for the month -- this highest monthly total this year. I'm now just less than 180 miles to 1,000 for the year.