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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Recap: Missoula Half Marathon

Hola! I'm joining Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home's Weekly Wrap linkup to recap a race from last weekend. 
Free race photos!
The Missoula Marathon took place at 6:00am Sunday, July 15 in Missoula, Montana. I ran the half marathon. [race website]

Pre Race
We arrived in Missoula on Saturday–earlier than last year– and picked up my packet, explored the farmer's and craft markets, then went over to set up the Oiselle meetup. Our team includes a few race officials, so we were able to meet in the same room Deena Kastor used for her talk and book signing. As a result, we got an early team photo with Deena and Canadian Olympian Courtney Babcock, who lives in Missoula.

With Deena (bottom left) and Courtney (bottom right)
After the meetup (which was huge for Montana!), Alex and I checked into our hotel, grabbed a bite to eat at a local brewery, then settled into our room while I set out stuff for the next day.

Full team meetup. Huge group for Montana! (+ 3 out-of-staters)

I haven't been running on the roads and haven't had a traditional long run in two months. My long trail runs involve quiet a bit of hiking up a mountain and stopping for photos. It's great training, but not quiet the mental training needed for a road half marathon. Taking that into account –and the potential for warm weather– I made what I thought were pretty flexible goals.

A. Beat last year's time or at least sub-2. I'm in better shape, so I figured this was doable.
B. If I can't do that, then at least 2:05

Oiselle meetup at the half marathon start

It Was Perfect
Unlike my current PR half,  everything went perfectly. I hydrated well, went to bed at 10 (early for me!) and slept. In the morning, everything went like clockwork and I lined up with time to spare. I didn't feel like running, but everything was going so well I figured it might be a good day!

I lined up just behind the 2 hour pace group and got into a groove. I felt like I was working pretty hard for a pace over 9 minutes, but that's usually how I feel for the first mile or two.

Didn't see the photographer until too late.
We wound our way along a river and I passed the 2 hour pacers pretty early on. They were on pace this year–maybe even a little slow. I probably shouldn't have passed them, but there was a good downhill in mile 2 I needed to take advantage of. I wasn't feeling great by the time we crossed the river at mile 3.5, but I figured I could keep a 9:00-9:10 pace and hopefully stay in front of the pacers to get a sub-2 finish.
Miles 1-4: 9:17, 8:48, 9:09, 9:06

...Until it wasn't 
I felt like I was working harder than normal. My legs felt very heavy (even though I stopped running trails last week to give them a break) and my breathing was a bit labored. My stomach felt a little empty since breakfast was over 2 hours earlier, so I decided to take my gel around mile 5.

I've been using the same two flavors of gel for over three years. I'm not a huge fan of the Mocha flavor, but someone gifted me a huge box and I've been using them since. In fact, I'm almost out. I say all of this because using this specific type of gel was not new to me during a long run But for some reason less than a minute after I finished the gel my stomach cramped! It was in knots. I've run with stomach cramps or side stitches before, but this was on another level. I felt twisted.

I tried running through the pain, hoping it would go away. I noticed my pace was slipping. A 9:20 pace should have felt easy, but instead it felt like a sprint I couldn't maintain. I drank some water, but the pain continued. I couldn't imagine running 7 more miles as I tried to hang on.

It worked for a few miles, but almost as soon as my watch dinged 7 miles, the 2 hour pace group passed me. That was all I needed to stop and walk. I knew my day was over, so I texted Alex to expect me around 2:05. Soon after, my friend Wendie sent me a text to say her day was over, too. We were suffering out there!
Miles 5-9: 9:03, 9:18, 9:23, 9:59, 9:55

Better with Friends
From there, I walked on and off. I planned to finish each mile and walk the start the next if my miles chimed under 10:00. Just after my mile 9 walk break –as I strongly considered standing on the side of the road to wait for Wendie–I came upon a Oiselle teammate who was also suffering. She was going for her first sub-2, but when we met up she'd just started walking. She felt nauseous and upset over her race. We commiserated and tried to figure out what went wrong today. Was it the heat? We both thought last year was hotter. Maybe there was more humidity? Who knows.

Honestly felt like I walked more before mile 9!
We walked/jogged our way in and did a pretty good job running the final mile. Talking to her took my mind off my stomach pain. I wasn't gunning for a PR or time goal, so I let her unload her frustration. We've all been there! It sucks when you train for months and know you can do it. In the end, we finished in 2:08. I may have been able to hit 2:05, but honestly, who cares? I had more fun this way.
Miles 10-end: 10:17, 11:12, 10:42, 11:04, 8:47 (.1)

Crossing the line

Afterwards - Cheering Others 
I met up with Alex after and we made our way through the free food line, then over to the Oiselle cheering area. We stood there for two hours watching the marathoners come in. There were some big goals on the Oiselle team and while a few were met, most people struggled. It reminded me of my earlier conversation: Was it the heat? The humidity? What happened on Sunday? Why didn't we meet our goals?

After. Happy to be done.
Final Stats and Thoughts
My time was 10 minutes slower that last year. That's kind of a bummer, but this wasn't a goal race, so I don't really care. I'm mostly worried about why I got such painful stomach cramps and what to do if it happens again...

Final time: 2:08:05
Overall: ? (the results are separated by gender...)
Gender: 485/1852 (26%)
Age Group: 109/265 (41%)

Nice, big medal
Up Next: Cross Cut 15k (I've already run it, but the recap won't be up for a bit), then the Sweet Pea 5k. I was planning to go for speed at the 5k, but it's only 2 weeks away so maybe not... ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

2018 Injury and Goal Check-in

From a recent group run. Not me, but a friend.

Hola! Since I'm not doing weekly posts anymore I thought I'd pop in to the HoHoRuns/Taking the Long Way Home linkup and do a little mid-year check-in. (Umm... I wrote a draft of this on June 10th and forgot to post...) 

Injury Report: 

My stupid runner's knee returned after I stopped doing my PT stretches and working on my cadence. From late May to mid June my right knee would seriously swell after long runs. Luckily, after refocusing on PT and upping my mileage [I honestly think it gets worse when I run less], the pain is sporadic and doesn't affect my runs too much. It's not totally gone, but it's improved after two weeks of focused PT. So remember: do your stretches!

2018 Goal Check-in:

(These came from my end of 2017 post.) Let's see how we're doing:
  1. 5K PR. All miles under 7:55. Nope 
    I haven't run a 5k, so this hasn't happened yet. I'm not really training for speed, but maybe I'll make an attempt at August's Sweet Pea 5k?
  2. Half PR. All miles under 8:59. Yep
    I did it! 1:53 for an 8:40 overall pace. I have a half next month (Missoula), but since I haven't been training, I doubt I'll beat or match that time. Instead, I'm setting my sights on the Trinity River Run in Dallas while I'm at a work conference in mid November. 
  3. 10k PR. 8:30 pace or better. Yep
    Oh hey, I did this, too! This was a big surprise. I started slow and chatty and sped up a lot. 51:57 for an 8:21 pace. Sea level rules. 
  4. Keep up strength training.  Yep
    I'm still going to TRIBE classes twice a week.   
  5. Avoid injury! Nope
    I mean, I'm not broken anymore, but my knee is periodically swole. 
  6. Keep running with other people. Yep
    Not only did I break my 10k PR while running with a friend, I've been able to get out almost every weekend since spring with my BRFs on some beautiful roads and trails. Even though I'm kind of half-assing my current training cycle, getting out with others has allowed me to keep up my long runs and maintain a good base. 
Well, I guess that's all. My goal for the rest of the year: concentrate on PT exercises and keeping my right knee healthy!

Cheesin' with my baby muscles.

Did you make 2018 goals?
If so, how are they going? 

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Cap City Half Marathon 2018

I'm joining Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home's Weekly Wrap linkup to recap my latest race. Maybe I'll bring back weekly training recaps if I can make them interesting. But first, the race....

I bought some race photos!
The Cap City Half Marathon took place Saturday, April 28 at 8:00am in Columbus, Ohio.

I did everything wrong going into this race. 
It's a good thing I've run a dozen half marathons because had only one of those things gone wrong a few years ago I would have been toast. Here are just a few things that were less than ideal leading up to Saturday:
  1. Trained for 6 weeks.
  2. Traveled over 3 time zones in a week which = a messed up sleep schedule
  3. Drank three pints of [low ABV] beer, which I tried to make up for by chugging a ton of water when I got back to my hotel. 
  4. I didn't get to bed at 10pm and ended up waking up once an hour from 11pm to 4am. 
  5. Forgot to pack my anti-chaffing stick. Spoiler: My thighs chaffed. 
  6. My alarm didn't wake me up.
  7. Didn't take one last bathroom break and had to pee so badly in the corral. 
  8. Forgot to pack my handheld water bottle, so I purchased a bottle of Aquafina at the hotel and carried it the entire race. 
Pre Race
Thank goodness I set this out the night before!
As mentioned above, my 6am alarm went off, but it was almost silent (maybe my ringer was turned down?) so I slept through it. I'm so lucky I woke up at 6:27, looked at the hotel clock and immediately sprang out of bed. I'm also lucky I set out my stuff the night before and that my hotel was less than a half mile from the start. 

I got dressed, tried to eat my entire bagel (didn't work) and drink more water + Nuun to cancel out the beer from the night before. I felt kind of gross, but not as bad as I did around 11pm the night before. (P.S. I drank so much because I went out with friends and they treated me to drinks. I will drink one beer the night before a race, but this was crazy. I was probably nervous.) 

There was a Oiselle meetup at 7:15, so I headed to the park. It was not only nice to meet new people and see old friends, but it was a great excuse to get to the park early, check my gear, and get race ready. We all took a bathroom break, then a small group of us walked to the corrals. Two other ladies were planning to run between 1:55 and 2:00 so I lined up with them.

Ohio team + West Virginia + me

At this point I had no idea how the day would go. I freaked out the night before in blog form because I knew I'd consider this a waste if I didn't take advantage of the nice weather (~50º and sunny) and my current fitness. But here I was, mildly dehydrated, feeling icky, and tired from lack of sleep. 

A. Perfect day: stick with the 1:55 pacers and PR. (8:47/mi pace)
B. OK day: Sub-2:00 finish. (9:09/mi pace)
C. Disaster: Go back to the 2:20 pacers (2 friends) and try to enjoy the misery. (10:40/mi pace)

(Not my corral.)
The Race
A few minutes before the corrals let out (one at a time. I was in C.) I had to go to the bathroom so badly. There weren't any porta potties next to the corrals and I didn't want to leave and get stuck in a slower group. My plan was to stop at the first aid station for a break. I've never done that, so I was hoping I could channel my inner Shalene at Boston and take 13 seconds.

When corral C let out my two Oiselle teammates took off ahead and I lost the 1:55 pacers almost immediately. Whoops. I decided to run by feel and concentrate on getting to a porta potty. 

New course (click to enlarge)
The course was new this year, so we did the German Village bit first. I'm glad. It was my meltdown point in 2014 and 2015. This time I looked around at new businesses, read every spectator sign, and just kept my pace consistent. I tried to pick up the pace on downhills, but other than that I didn't look at my watch until the first mile dinged. I was going a little slow. Even slower than a sub 2:00. Oh well. At this point I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to run the whole thing. Thinking about even 6 more miles was a stretch. 

I passed the aid station and the bathrooms had a big ol' line. I convinced myself to keep trucking. An Instagram friend would be at 2.75 so I tried to make that my next milestone. Once again, I wondered if I'd finish this race without walking. Knowing he was up there must have carried me, because mile 3 was my fastest yet. 
Miles 1-3: 9:13, 8:54, 8:38

I was finally hitting a groove and I'm not sure why I never remember it takes me 2-3 miles to get comfortable. Maybe I should do a warm up run? I'm not sure how that would affect the later miles... Anyway, we reentered downtown and there were a ton of spectators. Some of them had giant foam hands so I high-fived as many as I could. I was feeling decent by this point. Still could have gone for a bathroom break, but it was less of an issue. Mile 5 exited downtown and lead to a park. There was a weird out and back of .1 total that I didn't love, but I'm sure it was to add distance. There was also a nice spectator offering champagne. Nice offer, but no thanks. 

Just before mile 6 the quarter marathoners turned off and the halfers headed north on Neil Ave, a street lined with Victorian homes. I used to drive Neil Ave a lot when I lived in Columbus so it was nice to see it again, but tough because I knew how far a mile felt on the street. In fact, that's the hard part about any race in Columbus for me. I know how far apart the milestones are, unlike running in a new city where I just go with the flow. 

Mile 6 was a steady climb and I decided to take my gel. My stomach was still a little sensitive from the night before, but as I wasn't able to finish my bagel in the morning I was starting to get hungry. 
Miles 4-6: 8:43, 8:30, 8:40

I want to be honest: I was pretty shocked by these paces. I was kind of tired, but not like I've been by mile 6 in most half marathons. I haven't raced since last July, so maybe my memory is a bit foggy, but I felt good. In fact, I felt better at mile 6 than I did at mile 1. And instead of my normal, "the faster you run, the faster your done" I started thinking, "you can do it." That's way more positive than I'm used to! 

Mile 7 took us through the Ohio State campus and past another water stop. I caught up to the Oiselle teammates I started with and one said, "you must be feeling better!" I said something–who knows what–but we didn't talk again. They pulled away and I was a little bummed I couldn't keep up considering I'd caught them. We wound our way through campus a bit more and I was tired, but tried to keep them in my sights. There was another consistent uphill, but it wasn't too bad. 

In mile 9 we turned onto Lane Ave, which is another road I've run many times. Normally I'm going in the opposite direction, so it was pretty awesome to see it was a steady downhill to the river. I took full advantage and picked up my pace. I passed my Oiselle teammates and finally found the 1:55 pacers. I overtook them as they slowed for another aid station.  

Holy crap. I passed the 1:55 pacers and felt good. 5 miles to go. 

I began calculating my finish time and tried to keep up my energy. The next mile was the quietest. It's hard to get spectators on this stretch of Olentangy River Road so I tried to think about my next milestone: running past my old work building. I imagined the weird landlord would be outside and I'd say hi (it's happened before). He wasn't there, so I shifted my focus to the next milestone: hitting mile 10 in 1:28 for a 1:55 finish. 

I did it in 1:26:43. Not blowing it out of the water, but doing way better than I expected, plus the pacers hadn't caught up and passed me. This is a pretty boring part of the race, so I read all of the signs I could and smiled each time someone yelled my name.
Miles 7-11: 8:32, 8:39, 8:26, 8:28, 8:32

After mile 11 it started to get hard. I kind of wanted to walk during 10 and 11, but now I really wanted to. I don't think my elevation is completely accurate because we had to run over a highway and my Garmin data doesn't include it as a hill. I sure felt like I was running up a giant hill. I tried to think back to Seattle the week before. I'd made it through those hills, so I could do this one, right? I didn't stop even when I saw other folks walking. I wanted to, but I knew my slowest run would be faster than walking. 

After that hill we worked our way back downtown. No matter which direction you come from, downtown is uphill. There were back-to-back 30 foot hills in mile 13 and they felt like 100 feet. This part of the course rejoined the quarter marathoners, but they were on the other side of the cones, so I didn't have to deal with the "traffic." I tried to chug along. There were more and more spectators as we got closer to the finish. It was so hard, but I had to keep running if I wanted a PR. 

Coming in to the finish on High Street.
We made the final turn onto High Street and a few things happened: we still had at least .4 to go, I couldn't see the finish line arch because of the hill ahead, and it was a wind tunnel. It was so windy one of my legs whipped into the other. I literally had to put my head down and just keep pushing. Finally I could see the finish line, but I had a ways to go. I knew it would be a 13.2 course, so I made a point of looking at my watch to see my time at 13.1. A PR! 

I kept trucking, but my last .2 was almost my slowest pace of the race. Not sure if I was phoning it in, blowing away, or checking myself out on the giant video screen, but I sure didn't sprint to the finish. 
Miles 12-13.2: 8:40, 8:40, 8:51 (.2)

Post Race
I crossed the line, looked at my new PR (wahoo) and felt great. It was so unexpected after a night and morning of disasters, but I know I'm in better overall shape these days and–let's be real– training at 5,000ft and racing at 750ft has its advantages!    

Me and Jennie
I was a little sad not having Alex there (back in Montana). He was sleeping in so I didn't talk to him for another hour. I grabbed my snacks, tossed my empty hotel Aquafina (I carried it the whole way!), and headed over to the VIP tent to hang out with my sister in law, Jennie. She let me gush about my race, which I very much appreciated.

Final Stats and Thoughts 
This was an almost 5 minute PR. My previous PR was set two years ago (though I came close to it last July). I've been sidelined with runner's knee for almost 7 months and started taking a strength class, plus my recent 10k PR unlocked my potential. It helps so much when you can look back at a race that went really well when things get tough. I hope I can use this half as motivation when times get tough at my next race. 

Final Time: 1:54:17 (1:53:27 at 13.1!!!!)
Overall: 1,520 / 6,369 (24%)
Gender: 470 / 3,474 (13.5%) 

Up Next: Achieving sub-2 was a big deal for me in 2016. After that, I really didn't consider trying to break anything more than 1:57 (all miles under 9:00 pace). I think I can run even faster than 1:53/54. Maybe not a sub 1:50 yet, but it's possible someday. If you would have told my 12 minute mile self this a few years ago I would have thought you were crazy. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Real Talk: I'm freaking out about...

I was going to tweet about tomorrow's race, but once I hit the character limit I thought, "you have a blog. Why not use it?" So, hello and welcome to my blog post:


Let me begin by saying, I'm not freaking out about running 13.1 miles. I can do that. I know it'll take me anywhere between 2:00-2:20 on a decent day. I have two friends pacing the 2:20 group, so if all else fails I can stick with them and enjoy the 10:40 pace.

I'm freaking out for a few reasons.

1. Cap City is my kryptonite. I've only run it twice, but both times I've crashed and burned somewhere between mile 9 and 10. I excuse 2014 because that was my first half, but 2015 was all mental. Yes, I was sick, but I wasn't dying. I used the sickness as a crutch and walked way too soon.

2. If I walk during this race, it's over. I know some people do really well with run/walk or walking the water stops, but I am not one of those people. My best halves have been running the entire time. From 1:58 to 2:08, my PRs started happening because I wouldn't let myself stop. I've run a 2:01 once with lots of walk stops, but then i just felt like crap after because I probably could have sub-2'd even if I ran a slower pace.

3. Last week I ran a surprise 10k PR. By A LOT and with two "slower" miles. I honestly didn't think I could run so close to my 5k pace in a 10k. I think most of it had to do with Megan and wanting to stick with her even when it got hard. I repeated my mantras "faster you run, faster it's done" and "just 9 more minutes" and after we crossed the line my legs hurt, but I wasn't tired. I still had energy. But how much?

4. I'm so afraid of running with pacers at Cap City. I've tried twice and the first time I went out ahead of the group and the second time I ran with the group, but they were going about :30/mi too fast and I burnt out. The Missoula Half pacers did something similar and I kept them in my sights, caught up, then eventually passed and finished a few minute before them. Ideally, I'd do something like that. Take it "slow" at first, then speed up. You know, how you're supposed to run a race.

5. I don't really have a 5. I guess the junk that's left inside is:
What if I CAN run faster than 1:55?
I think I probably can.
Will it be tomorrow?
I've only trained for 6 weeks! But I have a solid base of strength and HIIT now.
I'm not in peak shape, but I've got to be in better shape than when I lived in Ohio.
Altitude training may carry me!
Or not.
I should run this conservatively and then set my sights on the Missoula Half in July. By then I'll have a bunch of trail miles under my belt.
But what if that race is really hot? I do better in chilly temps!
OH LORD, what will I wear tomorrow?!

And so on...

I haven't felt like this before a race in a while. Probably because I've been running for fun since my knee started bugging me 7 months ago. I didn't intend to race this, so maybe that's why I'm freaking out. I know I can sub-2 if the stars align. Heck, even if they don't I should be able to do it. But will I?

If you read this, thanks. If you didn't, that's ok, too. Who wants to hear someone else whine unless you're in the same boat? ;)

Sorry for typos, time to grab pizza...



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tenacious Ten 2018

I'm joining Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home's Weekly Wrap linkup to recap my Tenacious Ten race. Still having occasional knee pain, but it seems like it's getting better. Maybe I'll bring back weekly training recaps in May. But first, the race....

Free race photos! Almost all photos below from Flashframe
The Tenacious Ten took place Saturday, April 21 at 8:00am in Seattle. There were two distances: 10k and 10 miler. I ran the 10k. [Race website]

I ran it last year and had a blast touring Seattle, so I knew I'd be back. This year I'm a team leader for Oiselle Volée Montana, so I knew I'd have at least 8 team members to meet up with throughout the weekend. I also saw some East Coast friends and finally met online buddies in real life, so it was a nice, social weekend.

Night Before 
Packet pickup took place at the Watertown Hotel in the University District. We thought about staying at the host hotel, but had our dog and car with us, so we opted for an Airbnb in South Lake Union with free pets and parking (and an awesome location). We grabbed our packets, then sat down for a pre-race talk with Lauren Fleshman (!!). She was wonderful. She talked about race prep and visualization, then answered audience questions. I came out of it with an even greater appreciation for her.

Afterwards, we walked to Trader Joe's for dinner fixings and back to our Airbnb to make pasta and relax. We had a 6am wakeup the following morning and I (as always) had a hard time falling asleep.

Montana Oiselle team members. It was really windy and chilly at 7:15

Pre Race
We woke up easily, ate, got dressed, and grabbed the car to drive to Gas Works Park. We figured we'd have a hard time finding parking, but lucked out and got the third to last spot in the lot. I met the other Montana Oiselle ladies for a photo at 7:15, checked our gear, took one last bathroom stop, and headed to the start line to listen to the National Anthem.

Look! It's my new friend Lauren Fleshman pacing the 7:00 group.

Everyone I knew had different goals for the race, so I figured I'd run alone and see how it went. I had a few loose goals in my mind:
A. Great day: 8:30 pace or better
B. Decent day: New PR (under 53:41, 8:38/mi)
C. No C goal. I finished Run to the Pub in 53:40 with limited training, at elevation, and with a few miles in traffic, so I figured I wouldn't do worse at sea level unless my knee started hurting.

The Race
I lined up well behind the 8:00 pacer. I only saw four pacers: 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, and 9:39 (hour 10k). I plugged in my headphones, hit start on my podcast, and ran. People passed me at the beginning, as always. But I tried to keep my head down and maintain a decent pace.

I am not in this photo either, but Kara Goucher is! (She won the 10 miler.)
About three or four minutes into the race my teammate Megan caught up to me. I assumed she was gunning for some crazy pace, so I didn't expect to stick with her, but after a few minutes of chatting I realized she wasn't going anywhere. I didn't want to slow her down, but she made it apparent she was fine. We talked for the first mile about the race and Bozeman stuff (she's the reason I joined a gym class here), and I found myself talking while running up two hills–something I could never do last year. Maybe my "altitude training" is finally paying off!
Miles 1, 2: 9:04, 8:51

The sun was out and buildings were blocking the breeze, so it seemed like the weather warmed up a lot. I was so relieved I wore shorts instead of capris. I took off my arm warmers between 3 and 4. I figured we'd take it easy and chat the whole way, but suddenly we were talking less and running faster. I was working hard, but not dead. Imagine my surprise when I saw our mile times!
Miles 3, 4:  8:18, 8:14

I know I was tired in mile 5 and kept wondering if I wouldn't be able to keep up. I tried to stick with her. We got a much needed surge of energy from the water stop volunteers as we climbed a small, but consistent hill. I told Megan there would probably be a cameraman after the bridge and she was ready to smile. She surprised me by jumping in the photo and it was nice to have something else to focus on for a bit!


I was really tired after the bridge and knew we still had about a mile. BUT I wasn't as tired as I've been in past races and I was able to tell myself the end was only 9 minutes away. We ran downhill (yay) toward the park and I was still with her. She may have slowed down. Honestly, she probably did and I appreciate it because if I wasn't running with her I may have convinced myself to walk or slow down. When we made the final turn I told her to run up ahead, but still attempted to sprint it in.
Miles 5, 6, final .2:  8:08, 8:06, 7:50

I'm not a fan of photos taken from below lol

Post Race
We crossed the line and found Alex, then went our separate ways to grab post-race goodies. There were giant donuts from Top Pot, Picky Bar and Oat samples, Clif bars, flavored water, massages, etc. It was a really nice selection of vendors. The weather could not have been better (ok maybe less wind on the lake). Such a lovely day for a run!

Stats and Final Thoughts
Cowbell time!
I technically PR'd, but Strava won't count it because my Garmin said 6.18. Boo! I had Garmin issues last year, so maybe I needed to connect my watch sooner. #cityproblems

Anyway, wahoo PR!

Final Time: 51:57  (8:21/mi)
Overall: 144/677 (21%)
Gender: 106/577 (18%)
Age Group: 21/104 (20%)

I cannot believe I ran miles under 8:20 in a 10k and I don't even consider myself in "top shape." I still need to work on leaving it all out there because as soon as we crossed the finish I had energy. My legs were more tired than normal, but that could have been because of our 10 hour car ride or the hills. I'm not sure if altitude-to-sea-level worked it's magic, if I'm in better shape, or if it's a combination of the two, but it sure is a confidence boost after the last seven months of pain! My knee still hurts sometimes, but it didn't bother me during the race. Another win.

Next up: Cap City Half Marathon next week in Columbus. I took over someone's entry and found a cheap flight, so I figured I'd run a race and visit friends and family. This will be my first time home in almost a year! Not sure why I decided to run a half, but we'll see how it goes. I can finish it, but I don't think it'll be a PR. Bummer!
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