living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Filtering by Tag: Virginia 10 Miler

Power of 3: Reflecting on May

May was a decent month with running. I ran more miles than April, but I'm still stuck in some mediocrity. That said, it was a step forward and that's what's important. 

Here's a look at my goals and how things went:

1. Get my long run back to 6 miles. Done! I did 6 and 6.2 miles on the last two Sundays of the month. 

2. Do a max plank of 2 minutes. Nope. No excuses. I just didn't try hard enough. I'll revisit this, again, some other time.

3. Sign up for a race. Done! While I thought about several different races, I've opted to return to Lynchburg for the Virginia 10 Miler in September. Much more coming on that, as well as my June goals ...

June goals.

A post shared by David H. (@runningbecause) on

The PR streak

The competitor in me is ready to compete against myself again. I don't know if 6 weeks is enough time to knock off a PR, but the one I'm going for feels reachable. My current 10-mile PR was set on the hilliest of courses in the Virginia 10 Miler last year at 1:21 and change. Certainly on a flat course at Virginia Beach (and at sea level) in the Surf 'n' Santa 10 Miler I can drop closer to an 8-minute pace to beat that time. If my PR in the half is so much faster pace wise, I know I just need to put in the work to get there.

All this thinking about a PR has me reflecting on nearly 10 years of running and this "PR streak" that I have, which is, quite simply, setting at least one PR per year (technically two) since I started running. I'm a big believer in looking at my past to understand what my next goals are, so for the first time in a really long time, I'm looking back at what PRs were set each year all for the purpose of making sure I go for at least one this year.

* indicates first time racing that distance; ** indicates tlast time racing that distance

2004 5K - 24:51 * 4 miles - 34:00

2005 * 2 miles - 16:18 5K - 24:42 4 miles - 33:47

2006 * 1 mile - 7:11 5K - 23:49 * 8K - 39:17 * 5 miles - 41:07 * 10K - 48:32 * 10 miles - 1:22:49 * Half marathon - 1:55:28

2007 1 mile - 6:26 5K - 23:03 5 miles - 36:59 Half marathon - 1:44:23 * Marathon - 4:12:51

2008 ** 4 mile - 32:49 8k - 38:26

2009 ** 2 mile - 14:57 10K - 48:11

2010 ** 1 mile - 6:15 5K - 22:41 Half marathon - 1:42:52

2011 5K - 21:52 5 miles - 36:47 Marathon - 3:56:17

2012 ** 10K - 45:49 ** 10 miles - 1:21:22 Half marathon - 1:40:48

This year hasn't been a total loss with racing. My 5K in July was a nice race, but I didn't capitalize on those feelings. I've also opted to focus more on fun this year rather than PRs, such as running in costume with my sister in April (where she got a PR).

In a little more than two weeks I'm running the Richmond Half Marathon with no major goal in mind. I'm looking at that similar to last year's Runner's World Half. It's a set-up race. Run it strong; finish healthy; stay focused on the Surf 'n' Santa 10 Miler in December.

Getting, or not getting, a PR isn't going to make or break me, but I need to set realistic goals in 2014. The December race will help determine that that reality looks like.

3 things: Virginia 10 Miler reflection

Virginia 10 Miler, LynchburgThis has been an interesting week with my legs. While I ran the Virginia 10 Miler hard on Saturday, there’s no doubt that I left some things on the course. That’s the point of a training race though. I needed normal marathon training to resume this week. While my legs have had that "heavy" feeling this week, I feel pretty good with the weekend nearing.

I want to take one more look at what transpired that day and where I placed. With a few days of hindsight, I’m pretty pleased with how the race went and what the numbers show. In parenthesis are my stats from my previous PR, 6 years ago.

1. 33rd out of 94 in my 30-34 age bracket (18th out of 32) 2. 228th out of 748 men (124 out of 355) 3. 276th overall out of 1,299 finishers (150th out of 526)

The previous 31 days ...

September 2012 may go down as the month in which I finally jumped the mental hurdle and got back to enjoying running. Overcoming that -- if in fact I'm fully over it -- has turned my running around. Last month's biggest highlight certainly came Saturday in the Virginia 10 Miler, but there are other things that made it so awesome.

  • The second half of the month was all about re-discovering some great things about Virginia, including my spontaneous trip to the beach, getting to see a gorgeous sunrise over the ocean ...

Virginia Beach sunrise - Instagram

  • ... then yesterday getting to run with the mountains as my backdrop ...

Peaks of Otter - Instagram

  • The weather also got a lot nicer, earlier than I expected. That doesn't mean there haven't been some hot days, and I know October can have a lot of ups and downs, but the oppressive heat is thankfully gone.
  • I bought a headlamp, making those early morning runs and the occasional evening run much safer and less stressful.
  • Lastly, I crossed the most miles ever in a month with 140.2, which means I crossed 900 miles for the calendar year. Not having mileage goals makes these numbers almost seem surreal. I'm pretty sure that I won't ever have an overall mileage goal again -- it's made running so much more enjoyable.

Enough reflecting. Bring on October.

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