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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!


  1. Congrats on that speedy PR!! Looks like there were a lot of 10 mile races last weekend. I like the idea of a 10k/10 mile combo--you did great!

    1. Thank you so much! The 10k for this race is great because it circles the lake. The 10 miler has a bit of an out and back and I heard mixed reviews...

  2. Woo Hoo! I think your hilly altitude training has served you well. That's an incredible finish time. Having someone to run with is also a nice distraction. So, the medal is a little cowbell? How cool! Thanks for linking.

    1. Woo Hoo, indeed! The medal works! Now I have something to cheer with.

  3. What a great race and super PR! Well done! I've only been to the USA once - it was for a workshop in Columbus, Ohio!

    1. What a small world! It's nice to be back in Columbus this weekend to see all of the things I've missed since moving to Montana. :)


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