IMG_1344After a week where I basically felt like junk every day, a decent race!

Monday: 8 easy miles early (66 min / 132 AHR), pretty sure the HR was messed up the entire run. Not a lot of sleep, dark, blah. Massage that afternoon.

Tuesday: 10 miles total (73 min / 153 AHR), with 2×2 mi at race pace for Saturday, which averaged to 6:31. Windy and warm, but felt good. Jasyoga in the parking lot afterwards.

Wednesday: Suckfest day number 2, 6 miles (49 min / 139 AHR). For me, a junky run is one where my HR is really low (under 145) and I just can’t get my legs to move faster to get it up. That means I need some more recovery (which is why I just let it be). Taught Pilates after.

Thursday: Complicated schedule day, ended up teaching Pilates first and then running 8 miles (63 min / 147 AHR), part of it with my bestie, plus strides at the end. Warm and windy. Better than Wednesday but still not feeling a lot of pop.

Friday: Ran 11 hours after finishing the last one, early in the morning with a dead headlamp. Excuses, excuses. Whatever. Felt like absolute trash. Schedule called for 4-6, I took the shorter option and called it a day. 4 miles (34 minutes / 139 AHR). Normatech boots during lunch. Picked up packets for the Papa John’s 10 Miler after work, then headed home to get ready for the Personal Best Training sleepover at my house. Two of my teammates who live in Indy, plus one’s wife, came down and stayed with us. We all went to dinner, and everyone called it a pretty early night. Much foam rolling was had on my living room floor.

Saturday: 15.35 miles and 1:49 total, including Papa John’s 10 Miler race. 10 minutes of Normatech boots (more on that next week).

Sunday: 6 miles (48 min / 134 AHR), first 3 with the hubs, better than expected. I was initially just going to do 4 but since I felt pretty good I kept going. Turned out I had not only been running slightly downhill the whole way out, but also with a tailwind. Back was not quite as quick! Then hit the deck for 34 minutes of Jasyoga — tried the Sunday Reset from the 26.2 Collection finally and LOVED it.

Totals: 57 miles, 145 minutes of Pilates and Jasyoga, 100 minutes of massage/Normatech boots.

Papa John’s 10 Miler race report

“Okay, now look serious.” Jordan, me, and Blake.

Early morning wakeup call for Team PBT. Lot of foam rolling and stretching and general weirdness because runners. We piled into our SUV and headed down to the race start, even getting there early enough to beat the port-o-john lines. It was chilly, in the mid-40s, and we did most of our warmup jogging big loops around the football stadium parking lot. After about a mile, we jogged back to the car to drop off some gear, change shoes, etc. Another bathroom stop, drop the rest of our warmups in a designated truck (seeded status FTW in this series!). Strides. Nervousness.

Pause for race info: PJ10 used to be the national championships for the distance. The first 3 miles are flat, then 3 miles of ass-kicking hills, 2 miles of flat, and then a sneak attack overpass hill. In the past, runners have hit the overpass at 9 and run a few blocks farther before turning into the far end of the football stadium, then running most of the way around the football field. Due to renovations, we couldn’t finish inside the stadium this year. We figured out the new finish line, but weren’t sure where they were tacking on the extra distance until we got to run up an extra couple little hills heading into Iroquois Park!

I had talked to coach on Friday, and we used the natural geographical breaks in the course to shape my race plan: go out somewhat conservatively and stay comfortable until the hills, hold position through the park, then open it up once back on the flats. Coach also suggested thinking in terms of minutes, not miles, which did help.

I tucked into a small pack in the beginning that had several other girls I knew in it, along with a few guys. Relax, find the groove, don’t go out too hard. It took 5 minutes to get my HR up to about 170, and there I stayed. First 3: 6:32, 6:28, 6:40 (starting uphill). One of the girls started to pull away but I stayed put.

In the hills, coach wanted me to hold my position, so there was some trading off back-and-forth as we went up and down. Caught a friend around 4, but otherwise it stayed about the same. I was in a pack with two other women I know. One I’ve beat at every race I’ve run this year, and I had passed her earlier in the race and was surprised to find her back with us in the hills. Park section: 6:30, 6:54, 6:46.

Coming out of the park is fun because you climb the last and biggest hill and then get a huge downhill with a lot of crowd support coming back out. You also have the runners still coming into the park, so there’s a big boost there. I’m in a small pack with the girl I had previously beat and a couple of guys, including one guy who I always end up running with during this race. So strange.

Last 4: 6:16, 6:46, 6:31, 6:23. That nice downhill was fast, but then I split a 6:46 out of nowhere and just didn’t have it. That was when Courtney started to pull ahead, and I let her go. There was another girl we could see ahead but I didn’t have the legs to run them down. I focused on hanging on and continuing to stay focused and push. We hit the overpass later in the race this year, thankfully, and when we did, Andy (the guy I always run this race with) said we were right on 65 pace. Thumbs-up from me — my goals were sub-65 and top-10. He started to pull away and then changed his mind, saying we had come this far, he was staying with me and helping me push for the finish. He was right, I suddenly felt like I had to dig deeper and not slow down and mess up both our times. We turned into the parking lot and I gave what kick I could, and squeezed in under 65.

Jordan, in green, fought hard to the finish and got out-kicked.

Both the guys on my team were waiting for me at the car, having had great races themselves. Jordan finished 3rd male overall and Blake 11th, both in great times. We headed out for a 3 mile cool down, picking up a friend of Jordan’s and the women’s winner, Rosie, along the way. It’s possible we semi-snuck (the gate was open) on the practice football field and ran on the grass. We hung around so Jordan could stand on the big stage for the awards, too. Next year, I want that top 5 finish!

Once we got back to my house, I put my loaner Normatech boots on for 10 minutes, showered, and headed for team brunch. I love team brunch. Honestly, having my teammates stay with us was probably the most fun part of the series!

Stay tuned for some more introspection on the entire series. 🙂