Thursday, April 7, 2016

Blue Ridge Marathon: #throwbackthursday Edition

Here we are: 9 days out from my 7th consecutive running of the Blue Ridge Marathon. POP QUIZ! #1: Do you know how many Blue Ridge Marathons there have been? If so, you know why I do not want to miss this year's race! (HINT: the answer is 6. Making this year the 7th. Meaning I have run it every year. Just to clarify.) #2: Do you know when the Boston Marathon will occur this year? If you said 2 days after the Blue Ridge Marathon, then you'd be correct.

Regardless, this is not deterring me from running either one of these amazing races. As I have told many people, if I could only pick one race to run, it would be the Blue Ridge Marathon for many reasons: it's challenging, it's exciting, it's practically in my backyard, and oh- it's America's toughest road marathon. All great qualities in a race! So, we have decided to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce on all the uphills and downhills throughout my adventures running the BRM.

2010: THE YEAR THE STUPIDITY BEGAN
I decided in 2010 that I wanted to run my first ever marathon. And so I thought that running 10 miles as my longest run (like, as in my longest run EVER) was sufficient. You know, just 16.2 miles left after that. And then I stumbled upon this brand new race in Roanoke, VA (just an hour north of where I live) called the BLUE RIDGE MARATHON ON THE PARKWAY! Hey, on the parkway! Couldn't be that bad, right? I quickly learned that it could be that bad. And it was. I never wanted to do a marathon ever again!


4:24:00


2011: THE YEAR I LEARNED THAT NOT ALL MARATHONS ARE CREATED EQUALLY
Apparently, the BRM earned the title of "America's Toughest Road Marathon" which explained a lot about my experience the previous year at that race. Everyone told me, "If you survived BRM, you can do ANY marathon!!!" Other marathons wouldn't be as bad as BRM! So I did BRM again. Because that makes sense. 
4:16:03

2012: THE YEAR THE STREAK BEGAN
I did BRM its inaugural year in 2010 as well as the year after. So I decided that I would do BRM for as long as I could! All these three years, I got my shoes approximately 2 days before the race. Apparently, that's not a thing for runners. I always thought brand new shoes for the big race was a good thing! You know, after all I'd have 26.2 miles to break them in. 


4:02:20

2013: THE YEAR THAT I RAN BY THE SEAT OF MY... SHORTS?
2013 was an emotional year. This was the year that mere days before the BRM, the tragedy occurred on Patriots Day at the Boston Marathon. My goal at that point was to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and a bunch of people told me, "Do you still want to run Boston?" and my answer was: "Now more than ever." I had actually started training and running other marathons (you know, ones NOT on mountains) and I was bound and determined to get my Boston Qualifying time. My training was better than it had been, but not great. My increase in training led me to a surprising personal record, not only on this course, but in the marathon in general!


3:31:14


2014: THE YEAR I DECIDED TO DO 2 MARATHONS 6 DAYS APART
Me liking this race helps me to enjoy my runs despite me regretting my decisions. I ran the Raleigh Rock 'n' Roll Marathon with a friend just a few days before. But this was my 5th running of the race, so it was kind of a milestone year for me I guess you could say and so I obviously had to do it again. I finished the race and drank a lot of Vanilla Coke that year. That was a good year.


4:08:04
5 years' worth of medals and shoes: one pair of shoes per year

2015: THE YEAR I SLEPT NAKED ON THE LAWN IN ELMWOOD PARK
This brings us to just last year. Last year's race was intense. They decided to increase the elevation change because it wasn't hard enough before! Apparently, I was feeling pretty good and was able to finish in 10th place overall and finally place in my age group for the first time in Blue Ridge history!


3:32:44
Oh yeah, and here's the "sleeping naked on the lawn of Elmwood Park" part.
I realize I am not naked. I meant "naked-ish."

2016: THE YEAR I GO TO BOSTON
Stay tuned to find out how this year's running of the BRM goes, as I will be heading to Boston the day after BRM, then running the marathon the day after that. If it wasn't for this race, I probably never would have come up with the goal to qualify for Boston, so really our Bassett to Boston blog would have never been a thing. Anyway, I have been adhering to my training plan that I designed for this year's BRM and specifically with the intention of being able to survive both BRM and Boston successfully. So let's cross our fingers and hope for the best!

3 comments:

  1. Alfredo & Elizabeth, you are an amazing couple! Keep on running, supporting and loving each other just as you are!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Pam! We appreciate your kind words. :)

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  2. What an awesome post! We'll be watching for you at ~Mi 20 - hosting an unofficial water stop with watermelon skewers, grapes & snickers.

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