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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Middendorf's Manchac ten miler: podium sweep!

The Power Milers only recently added women to their team, but it's paying off: first at Blue Doo, and now again at Middendorf's Manchac ten miler, we swept the women's podium. Our guys did well, too, going 1, 3, 4, and 5.
Manchac is about 55 minutes away, near Hammond, so we gave a ride to a friend who has a less-than reliable car. He said he was excited to see what our amped-up "game face" music would be on the ride over, and was a little let-down by Morning Edition on NPR. Hey, when you catch a ride with boring old people, that's what you get!

We arrived in Manchac at 7 for an 8 am start, which was plenty of time for us to park and pick up packets before my warm up. In fact, we were one of the first cars there, which is a rarity for us! My group was doing a 3-mile warm-up, since we were converting this into a long run, and I went ahead and put on my race shoes for the warm up. In the past, warming up in different shoes has lead to some front-of-calf soreness when I speed up for the race. I wore the New Balance 1400s again, even though they made my knees and ankles tender after Jazz half. My warm up felt pretty good. It was nice out, sunny and mid-50s, a little humid, a little breezy, but not bad.

We grouped at the line and I looked around at the other women. This is a small race, and immediately I knew our ladies had the podium this race! None of the familiar fast faces were out there...which gave me a fighting chance! After the national anthem, the horn sounded, and we headed out to climb the bridge. This course is an out and back with a giant bridge at the start and finish. It's not so bad on the way out, but the return trip? Ooof, it's rough.

I settled right into low-mid 6:40's right away - 6:45, 6:43 - hoping to run 6:45 pace for the race. It didn't feel terrible, and for part of the race, I tagged along with some other Power Milers. But that was probably a bad idea, since they were going faster than me, so two of my early miles were a tad fast. I had an idea that I was second female, but the turnaround point would tell. The first half was uneventful, except a water-grab snafu (for some reason, the volunteers set up cups, then let us all try to make a mad grab on the run...I missed one once, and ended up knocking over a bunch of Gatorade. You can't take me anywhere). But I was aware that we were taking advantage of a tailwind, as usual for this race. Sure enough, I rounded the cones and smacked into a headwind. But now I could see my place, at least. I was well behind speedy Paige in first, but I had second place by over a minute.

Naturally, I was totally alone for the second half in the headwind! But I put my head down and plugged on. I had some miles in the 6:50s, but I never fell apart. Yet I never sped up, either. I felt good aerobically, but my legs had zero pep. No life at all. I got a mental boost from seeing David (we pulled off a sweet mid-race high-five, too), plus some other friends and, actually, a lot of 10kers still on the course. This race also has a 5k and a 10k, and we all start together and turn around at different points, so for the final miles, I was chasing 10k runners.

Before I knew it, that blasted bridge was looming in front of me, and I am a little ashamed of my pathetic jog up its steep side. I think if both of your feet are on the ground at one point, it's not really running anymore! But then I plunged down the back side to a 1:07:47 finish: second female and a PR by close to a minute!
Paige, me, Daniella. Making that money!
With Paige in front and Daniella behind me, our ladies took the top three spots, meaning we all went home with Varsity Sports gift cards. I got $100! SWEET! I'm pretty happy to see another PR fall: my old one was from this course in 2012. My overall 6:46 pace ought to be faster (my half marathon is 6:49), but I think at this point in marathon training, I can't ask too much of my tired body. We have been running a lot, including a hard 20 last week, and I could definitely tell by my heavy legs. But a PR mid-training is a great sign for things to come!


  1. You ARE getting's no fluke!

  2. Congratulations on 2nd OA and the new PR! The power milers training is definitely helping you and it's so awesome that all of you placed. PRing in a shorter distance when training for a marathon and after a 20 is very impressive too. Enjoy spending those gift cards :).

  3. You are PRing like crazy. Congratulations!!