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The Tale of Two Ten Milers

(Okay not so much of a tale, but more of a few humble brags and fun running pictures.)

Soon after Boston the questions, “Are you taking time off running?” and “When’s your next race?” pop up. Friends and co-workers all kinda laughed when I said Steve and I already signed up for two back to back 10-Miler weekends.

Six days after the marathon we had the Columbia 10 Miler on the schedule. I was using this as a shake out run and didn’t want to push hard so soon after Boston. And Steve hadn’t been running more than a few 5k’s each week. He sacrificed time out on the road to be sure I got in all my marathon training miles. (If I haven’t said thank you, Thank You Stephen.) Our Columbia 10 Miler goal was to finish in 1:30-1:40 which breaks down to 9-10:00 minute per mile pace. We thought that would be doable for the day.

If you can spot us below, I’m pretty sure we were chatting about pace, downhill felt awesome!

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I had to wear my Boston shirt, but I didn’t know we’d be matching… oops.

We cruised. Hitting much faster paces than we had talked about, and working hard without over doing it. That’s key for distances over the 10k.

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We took a gel at Mile 5 and later learned that Steve needs more nutrition for that type of duration. We maintained a good pace, slowed just a bit, but there was a point around mile 8 where he just felt out of energy. He needed more fuel. Lesson learned!

We crossed the line in 1:22:41 (8:16/pace)

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@shesgoingforspeed

Steve is a lot like me with running and fitness, he’s a workhorse. Even low on energy he never lost steam. It’s the part of running where your mind takes over and you ignore the body. You can do anything for a mile or two. I broke down the end of the race in minutes instead of distance. So i’d tell him, “We have about 5 minutes left to run.” To me, minutes are easier to wrap the mind around than distance. Time goes down, distance seems far. I’ve been using this trick for the last year, especially during the final miles of a marathon.

Stephen PR’d his 10 Mile and I finished feeling pretty good. I was so proud of him, but little did I know a week later he’d do it again…

The following weekend we headed south to St. Mary’s for the next ten. Last year this race was a half marathon and we ran it the day after completing a Ragnar Trail event. I will never forget how it felt waking up that morning, like a truck had run us over and we were about to go run another 13 miles in the heat. Haha.

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We both don’t normally run in compression socks, but we were brutally sore and thought it was a good idea, even in the heat and humidity.

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Anywho, we headed down, settled into a Comfort Inn, grabbed dinner and relaxed in the hotel. I knew I wanted to run this ten miler hard. I wanted to see if the training I had put in for Boston was still there. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t and still don’t feel like I got to use the training because the weather in Boston held me back that day. I was still hungry to see the Garmin flash numbers that showed the training.

It was a cold breezy morning and both of us seemed ready to work. We warmed up, stretched and soon after some encouraging words to each other, we took off.

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I went to work immediately. I knew the 10 mile tempo workouts I had been doing once a week since January were paced between 7:10-7:20s. My goal was to do a normal for me tempo and try to stay near those paces, hopefully finishing between 1:10-1:15.

The picture below is me thinking “oh god, wind.”

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I tried not to think about the wind. I kept reminding myself that Boston’s weather was 10000x worse and it was sunny and mild out. I could deal with wind.

I could also deal with the pace. 7:05s were showing up on my watch and it didn’t feel too bad. I knew it was going to hurt for a bit until I settled into the pace, and I was right.

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Below: notice the wind in my hair haha. We had it at our sides on some roads, but on the open country roads it was head on terrible wind.

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There were a couple out-n-back turnarounds where I got to see Stephen and get a few high fives in passing. It definitely helped my morale. I was running even paces, I felt good, but like any race, it’s hard to run hard for extended periods of time. And almost every turn was into headwind, which I was so over.

Can you spot Steve below? These are the open, flat, boring, windy roads I was talking about.

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A left turn happened and the wind died finally. The camera guy caught the moment of sweet relief going into mile 7. About 21 more minutes of work.

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I chased the few guys in front of me, never letting anyone pass. My pace started hitting 6:45s, I just had to push for a few more minutes.

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I finished in 1:09:13 (6:55/pace) 1st Female

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Steve finished in 1:19:57 (7:59/pace) 3rd in his age group! He absolutely crushed the Columbia 10 Miler, PR’d AGAIN and if post race memory serves me correctly he said to me,  “I’m coming for ya.” That’s my man.

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We had two very good races back to back which were great practice for the future. Stephen’s 2nd gel at St. Mary’s obviously helped his energy and finishing speed and I learned that my Boston speed wasn’t a fluke.

Neither was this picture I took. Always happy to catch the fun moments.

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Have you ever raced a 10 Miler?

What’s your favorite race distance?


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Inside the 10 Mile Mind – Vol. 3

Week one of half marathon training went as well as it could have gone. My easy runs were easy (all 9:00+ pace) and the speed workouts were much easier and faster than normal! (6:44-7:30/pace). I’m already seeing the benefits from changing up the pacing and running slower on easy days.

Saturday morning was the first double digit run since November. There’s something about the first 10 miler in a training program that I love. It’s exciting, a little scary but the expectations aren’t too high. It’s the first of many long runs i’ll encounter and eventually 10 miles will be the “shorter” long run i’ll endure.

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I downloaded a few podcasts and set out on a flatter trail that i knew wasn’t completely covered in snow. The first mile was under construction. Running over the uneven, muddy, wooden planks forced a slow pace and took my mind off of how cold it was.File_000 (61)It also helped that the podcast I chose was all about running my easy runs “painfully slow.” The first several miles were so easy I got to enjoy the outdoors (I hadn’t run outside since Jan. 16th!) and my legs had plenty of time to ease into this run.

My plan was to run the first six miles as slow as possible, squeeze in the Nuun Year Dash virtual 5k and finish with a cool down mile. It doesn’t matter if i’m running 400s, mile repeats, a 5k or an ‘A’ race, I’m always nervous that i won’t be able to run fast when i’m supposed to. And with all the slow running i’ve been doing I was nervous my body wouldn’t remember what “fast” was. (Ridiculous right?)

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At 6 miles, I restarted my Garmin, switched from the podcast to EDM Pandora and stretched my legs for a minute. I knew I didn’t want to go all out, there was almost no point since I would be stopped by 2-3 intersections and I still needed to actually finish the long run without burning out. I was hoping for a solid, moderate effort.

I took off and my legs felt as if they were freed from a cage. I was completely shocked at how easily I went from running a 9:20/pace to a 7:16/pace. It felt natural, I felt in control, and that made me the happiest little runner of all. File_000 (62)

During long runs in the past, i used to over think a lot. I put myself down and told myself i wouldn’t be able to get faster or ever run a marathon again, or would never meet my half marathon goals. Mental training has been much more important to me for the last several races. I try to only think positive thoughts, even when the run isn’t going fantastic. I’m going to do the best I can on the day, and if things don’t go perfectly…i’m only in training and it’s not my job.

During this particular run I wasn’t thinking about much except that i was going to run until I had to run a little faster for 3 miles, then chill out for the cool down. Breaking up the long run was helpful mentally and physically. When my plan calls for those long run with a “fast finish” I will make sure I leave the last mile for a cool down. It was the one thing I kept telling myself during the 5k effort–> You get to run a slow mile soon! That was actually motivating and a huge relief when I finished the hard portion.

It’s also very motivating to know that a hot shower, hot coffee & a warm puppy are waiting for me afterward. ❤

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OH and if you haven’t seen my Instagram, i totally put her in my Nuun shirt and threw the medal on her. I figured you guys have seen me in a medal enough 😉

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Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 9:25/pace

Tuesday: 3m easy 9:10/pace, 40 min strength (chest/legs)

Wednesday: 6m HMP Tempo (2m warm up, 3m @ 7:03/pace, 1m cool down) + 1200m row 

Thursday: 25min hips/core

Friday: 4.1m easy 9:13/pace, 15min rope pulls & body weight tricep dips

Saturday: 10.1 long (6 @ 9:19/pace, 3.1 @ moderate effort 7:16, 1m cooldown 10:45/pace)

Sunday: REST!

Total Miles: 28.2

Do you dress up your pet?

How do you mentally get through your long runs?


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Phone Dump Friday #6!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6.4m hill repeats (16 x 100m repeats pace between 6:30-6:50), 15 min glutes/lower back 

Wednesday: CFE 5000m row, 100 lat pulldowns (single arms), 120 bosu ball burpees w/pushups, 200 situps (varied type). 

Thursday: 5m intervals –10 X 200s (2 @ 5:39/pace, 2 @ 5:36, 2 @ 5:33, 2 @ 5:27, 2 @ 5:24)

Happy Flex/Phone Dump/TGIF/Can’t wait until Sunday’s Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, FRIDAY! Before we go into the random pictures that didn’t make it onto the blog let’s talk about entering the Spartan Race Entry Giveaway! <—If you win you will be given a code to use for a free entry. So the winner of the code doesn’t necessarily have to be the one to participate in the race. If you have a friend, spouse, co-worker who like adventure races, win it for them! How much would they love you for it? So go enter! You have nothing to lose! Except for time–the giveaway ends Sunday night at midnight!

Keep an eye out because warmer months make me feel uber generous and I will have another giveaway soon!

…and onto the dump! Here’s my sister with a puppy.

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my favorite beer while in LA

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a label i almost ate (yes I did, in fact, wash the apple!)
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My car hit 100,000 and I missed it. 😦 don’t worry, the ostrich saw…
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just cause i’m wearing real clothes. real boring clothes, but real clothes nonetheless
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Pancakes. Cause I run yo

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My travel buddy

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Just cause I don’t get a latte art… hehehe

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and the 1.9lb bag of Sour Patch I “bought for Cameron” for Easter.

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Good Luck to all everyone running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler this sunday! Including several of my clients!

SARAH! MATTHEW! RACHEL! JENNIFER!

KICK SOME ASPHALT!