Friday, September 29, 2017

Twin Cites 10 Mile Race Goals

At the start of the summer, a month before we even entered the lottery for the Twin Cities 10 miler, I had started to do some fiddling around with race calculators and predictors for a goal time. I wrote down a time for where I currently thought I was for 10 miles and 13.1, as well as where I'd like to be in the fall for both of those distances. I stuck the sticky note to the inside of my locker at work, and forgot about it.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I again started to analyze my training to determine what seemed feasible slash terrifying for upcoming goal races. I put my 3k-5k speed work paces into some calculators, and compared some of the training paces, and whaddaya know, but it spit out some of those same darn paces I had written down way back in June.

In the last couple of weeks, I've written down a half dozen race plans mile to mile, planning from a slower to faster finish, one focusing on the hill variances through, and others using my 2010 paces as a guide. EVERY MOCK UP I create has me finishing in this same goal time.

I'm starting to get creeped out. And also scared, because the pace is a whole lot faster than my brain thinks I can run ten miles in.

A goal: 1:27s. 8:47 pace would get me just sub 1:28, and a 1:27-1:28 is what all of my calculations keep spitting out. This is definitely a perfect running day mentally, physically, and also a little assistance from the cold weather gods.

B goal: 1:28s. I think this goal is a pretty strong contender. Based on my previous time at this race in 2010, I ran almost .1 long on the course, and I'm sure I'll do that again, since it's a really large race, and sometimes I get impatient and have to take the long way around hoards of people. I know it's only 6 seconds/mile, but an 8:53 for ten miles seems so much more manageable.

C goal: Sub 1:30. I haven't ran a sub 9 minute pace half marathon in a million years, and knocking it out for ten miles would really give me some great confidence in continuing that trend for my half in November.

Regardless of race time, I am beyond thrilled with this training cycle. Toni and I worked incredibly hard for a ten mile race (seriously, sometimes I lol at how challenging our training cycle was FOR A TEN MILE RACE), we put in a ton of miles, woke up at crazy times in the morning to get those miles, did doubles when our personal schedule required it, and I am 100% over the moon in love with running again. I honestly didn't know if I'd ever get back to this point with running and I'm so thankful to be there, and healthy to boot!

I can't wait to turn around and cheer for all of my SFWR sole sisters who are running the Twin Cities Marathon (many of them their first, others shooting for BQs!). They inspire me daily and I can't wait to see them run their victory lap down the finishing stretch. And I know it's jumping the gun a little (a lot) but I'm excited for it to be our turn in 2018!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Weekly Reads: When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishiis a teen book by debut author Sandy Menon. My book group chose it to read, so I picked it up. It was a really sweet love story, and I enjoyed it a lot. My friend likened it to Stephanie Perkins, and I have to agree with that, also a read-alike for fans of Sarah Dessen. Nice, sweet teen read. Check it out.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from Goodreads:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Training Week 11

Week of September 18-24

Monday Planned: 6 miles, 2 mile warm up, 5k, 1 mile cool down

Monday Actual: 2 mile warm up, 5k race (slightly short) and skipped the cool down mile as I had to dash to book club!

Tuesday Planned
Recovery 4 miles
Tuesday Actual

Wednesday Planned:VO2 Max 8 miles, 2x1200, 2x1000, 1x800 @ 3k-5k pace
Wednesday Actual: 3 miles with the group at 605. 60 minute yoga class and then we went to the track for 5 miles including 2x1200, 2x1000, 1x800 @ 3k-5k pace. All intervals were sub 8 place. It was my best track workout of the session. Wahoo!

Thursday Planned
POWER + Rest
Thursday Actual: Rest. I woke up for POWER and then reset my alarm and went back to sleep.

Friday PlannedRecovery 4 miles
Friday Actual: 4 recovery miles at the coffee run with Toni and Kristin! Then all the coffee!! FREE SHOT FRIIIIIIIDAAYYYYYYYY!

Saturday Planned
Endurance 9 miles
Saturday Actual: Long run 9 miles with Toni. So very humid. Uff da.

Sunday PlannedRest
Sunday Actual: Rest day!

Total Mileage Planned: 31 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  30.4 miles

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Today marks two years since Kyle and I said "I do" in his parents' backyard on the most beautiful and perfect late September morning. I'm happy to report that year two of our marriage has been way less stressful and so much more fun that year one was. What a rough honeymoon year we had. Luckily year two felt like the honeymoon stage that we missed out on.

Despite it being an easier year, I couldn't be more thankful to have this guy by my side. He supports me on my crazy running dreams and adventures, and is just as weird of a pug dad as I am a pug mom. Love love love.

Here's to many many many more years (and a few more pug children).

Monday, September 25, 2017

Race Report: Sioux Falls Parks and Rec 5k

Last year, I had such a blast doing all of the Sioux Falls Parks and Rec 5ks both in June and September/October. The only bummer about running and training going so well for the Twin Cities 10 Mile, was that racing a 5k didn't really fit into our training weekly. However, two weeks out from our goal race, we squeezed in the 5k to use as a race predictor for the 10 mile. I had hoped to be in the 8:00-8:15 range based on my 10 mile goal pace. My speedwork sessions in the 3k-5k range had been 7:50-8:20 throughout the past training cycle.

Toni and I went for a two mile warm up with 4x100 strides in mile 2. And my legs felt like GARBAGE. My calves were so tight from all the hills the day prior. Yikes. I honestly thought about not doing the race at all, but I hoped that my legs would eventually loosen up. I usually make sure I have at least a rest day or easy day in between long runs and speedwork, so I was really hoping I wasn't going to break myself before the goal race!

Right as the race was starting, I realized my watch had reset itself, so I quickly tried to find satellites. Shortly after we started I looked down and saw a 4:12 pace, so I'm sure it was a little wonky to start. Lolz. Toni flew by me and was in the lead for females, and I was sitting in 2nd. Another glance at my watch showed 7:37 pace, which may have been just a little too fast. Another female came up on me halfway through mile one and we ran together for a bit, and then I pulled ahead. Right at the one mile marker, she pulled ahead again.

Mile 1 8:10

I had assumed she was speeding up, until my watch confirmed that she was maintaining while I was quickly fading. Gulp. Mile 2 is always the worst for me, so I just tried not to let the gap between us fade too much and get to the turn around asap. Once I'm "halfway done" I can usually convince myself to pick up the pace and dig deeper. A biker was coming from the opposite direction at the turn around, so I slowed down quite a bit so we didn't collide, and suddenly 2nd place female was light years ahead of me. Crap. I failed to look at my watch at the turn around, so I wasn't sure what my first half split was, or what the distance was at the turn around. This race is always a short course, but it was a new route because the bike trail is closed, so I wasn't sure if it'd be around 3 or a full 3.1.

Mile 2 8:37

The final mile, I kept closing in on guys who I had assumed had gone out too fast and were struggling. Thanks for the motivation dudes! But when I'd come up to pass them, they weren't wearing bibs, and were just out for their runs. Hah. I appreciate them spurring my competitiveness regardless. Hah. I picked it up a little in the final mile, but my legs just didn't have any spring in them.  I knew I'd have to go to a super painful place to go any faster than what I was doing and I just didn't want to risk injury or something stupid for a little faster 5k (3 mile) time/pace. I barely even picked it up the last 30 seconds according to my garmin. oops.

Mile 3 8:11 (8:26 pace)

I finished the 2.97 in 24:59 for a pace of 8:24.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Race Report

When I woke up the morning of my 13th consecutive Sioux Falls Half Marathon, I woke up to lightning flashing outside my windows. Friends were texting me worried about the weather. I pulled up some radar and pretended I knew what was happening and thought we were on the tail end of it, so I didn't worry. I picked up Toni and we made our way to the race start. My stomach was super angry and I was in and out of the bathroom a lot. The races were delayed 15 minutes due to the weather, and I'm very thankful for that one extra trip to the bathroom. Phew.

We snapped a picture with the SFWR group and then made our way down to the race start. I had my last bathroom stop, so we ended up being pretty far back. We saw our friend Jordanne and her dad, and she told us to cut and line up with her. Her and her dad were running together, planning for a 10:30 pace, so I had asked if I could join them for company. I knew Toni would be running faster, so she really needed to head up ahead of us! Before we knew it, Kelly shot the gun and we were off. In true Jeri fashion, I refused to run until I crossed the starting line. I'm a jerk like that. Hah.

The bad part about starting inside is that I didn't have satellite signal. And it took forever for my watch to finally hook up with satellite. Toni ran with me for the first half mile which is great, because once my watch did tell me a pace, it was 15-17 minute miles. Toni confirmed that we were running 9:10 pace. Oh. Ok. It's a little early for that. Before I shooed her ahead of me, I had her tell me what distance her watch was at so I knew how far off I was.

I settled in for some miles, and let Toni go on her way. I was footsteps behind Jordanne and her dad, but I knew they had planned to experience their race together, so I just hung out in their presence. The first two miles were pancake flat, so I focused on hitting that nice 10:30 long run pace. I auto lapped my Garmin at the 1 mile marker so I could get accurate paces from there. During mile three there were some up and downhills, and I made sure to keep it easy on the downhill portions so my IT bands didn't get angry. I chatted with a lot of folks as I made my way downtown.

1. 10:33
2. 10:30
3. 10:40

Around 3.5 miles in, I realized I was feeling really good, and my heart rate was super low. Like, recovery run low (averaging 148, usually my long runs are 155-165). So I stopped being so focused on keeping my pace at 10:30 and allowed myself to run a little quicker, especially during the uphill


4. 10:18
5. 10:30
6. 10:06

I started to see a lot of my friends out cheering on the race in miles 4 and 5 and that made the race really fun. There were some portions of the race in this stretch that weren't my favorite. At one point we ran through a parking lot for part of the route. That's not exactly the best view of our city, imo.

Near mile 5 we got to the Falls Park and ran by the spot my mom has cheered at for years and years and years. I got a little teary eyed heading down to the spot, and then found myself laughing, because for the second year in a row there was no one in her spot. It is *such* a good spot, you can see the runners making their way to the falls, you get a great shot of them coming to you, and there's a great angle as they make their way away from you, hence why she always got that exact spot. I laughed because I could just see her yelling at people to "get out of her damn way" so she didn't miss me. :)

I ran into my running buddy, fellow SFWR pal, and yoga student Holley who was making her way through the replay. I got to chat with her for a few minutes before I hustled on my way.

7. 10:20
8. 10:08
9. 10:12

Miles 7-9 were on stretches of the bike path that I run all of the time. They're fairly flat, so it wasn't hard to pick up the pace a bit. I stopped looking at my watch except for when it beeped the mile markers. I also saw Kyle and his parents during this stretch. Somehow Kyle had missed me at the beginning, so he was stuck twiddling his thumbs until I got to mile 9.

10. 10:23
11. 9:37

Heading into mile 10 I knew we had our last big hill, but apparently I didn't remember last year's route very well. Instead of being a long abrupt uphill that lasted 6 blocks, it was a long slow moderate uphill that went for about a mile and a half. Shockingly enough, I felt really strong and was blowing by people. With three miles left, I put in my earbuds and turned on my iPod. Miles 11 and 12 are still hilly, but more of rolling hills (the out and back portion from the first few miles of the race, essentially), so I just worked on running that uncomfortable tempo pace. I had hoped to get down to 9 or 9:15 pace for the last three miles, but with the hills, that just wasn't in the cards.

12. 9:28
13. 9:13

I saw Kyle in mile 12 and told him he had 9 minutes to get to the finish line. He didn't make it. Hah.

I did see him just a few minutes later with his parents, so that makes it okay I suppose. I knew I was going to be close to my 2:12 "goal" time/race estimate, so I ran in the final .2 miles hard.

.2 1:23 (6:57 pace)

2:13:26 average pace 10:10

I'm really excited about how this race was. I felt great the whole time, and it was the first race I've finished in a long time where I thought to myself "I could totally run another 13.1 miles". Usually I'm saying "thank GOD I'm not doing the marathon!" from mile 6 to 13.

I'm excited for the Twin Cities 10 mile next week and the half in Boston in November!

Race Result

754 / 1379 (54.7%)
79 / 180 (43.9%)
414 / 893 (46.4%)

153 bpm
167 bpm