Racing to figure it out

2012 Virginia 10 Miler medal

For the second time in three years, I ran the Virginia 10 Miler on legs that weren't really ready for racing. The major lesson learned today: how to really push myself.

That's left me booming with confidence with 6 weeks to go to the Richmond Marathon.

Today I could have run another 16-or-so-mile long run for training -- since I don't "have to" do anything, I don't know how many miles I missed with a "schedule." I opted instead for a high quality long run in the 10 miler, an absolutely brutal hilly course.

My ultimate goal was to beat my previous best time of 1:22:49, which was 6 years ago. Two years ago, I ran this as part of my Richmond Marathon training and fell short of beating that time.

Today I ran the first 8 miles of this course right on target to hit or just break 1:20 -- I was pleasantly surprised with each mile considering I haven't hit big hills in a while.

When I got to the final 2 miles though, with a majority of that uphill, my legs reminded me that I ran 20 miles a week ago today.

While I didn't really have a final kick and couldn't finish as strong as I'd like, I crossed the finish line in 1:21:22, a nearly 90-second PR. More importantly than the PR, though, is how good I felt. I wanted to be faster today than marathon pace, but also leave the race feeling good about it.

Mission accomplished.

Now it's on to the important final 6 weeks of Richmond Marathon training.

Virginia 10 Miler elevation, Lynchburg