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October Results

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Busy month in October! The cumulation of months of hard work, long runs and speed workouts lead to some great results for Thelen Coaching Athletes. PRs were set, goals were accomplished and challenges met head on.

 First up was Merideth. Her end of season race was the Marine Corps Marathon, with an aggressive finishing goal of 5:15. We geared the training towards that goal, with all of the long runs and intervals suggesting that it was not only do-able, but she had the potential of going faster. We set out the plan - start her watch when she crossed the line and keep the pace steady for the first few miles while the course was crowded. Then we would gradually increase the pace every few miles until she not only made up the the time from the slower start, but was actually faster. I was tracking her day while at work and she did fantastic with the pacing. Smart and steady, moving efficiently through the race. Until about the 35km, then things started slowing down. One of the hazards of…

Pikes Peak Ascent

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Pikes Peak. The mountain looms over the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs - dominating the skyline. And for past 62 years, the mountain has hosted "America's Ultimate Challenge" The Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. The Ascent is hard enough - about a half marathon that climbs almost 8,000 feet from the base of the Mountain in Manitou Springs to the Summit at 14,115 feet. The Marathon also treks to the summit, but then turns around and retraces the course back down to Manitou Springs. I've competed in both many years ago and have nothing but respect for the mountain and the runners that choose to take on the challenge of racing to the summit and back down.

Three Thelen Coaching Athletes took on America's Ultimate Challenge this year - setting their sites on the Ascent. Merideth and Shana were both competing in the Triple Crown of running, have raced in the Garden of the Gods 10 Miler and the Summer Trail Round Up earlier this year. Kendall was focusing…

July Athlete Results

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July had some busy weekends for Thelen Coaching Athletes, with some great performances. On the 4th of July, three athletes headed up to Palmer Lake for the Four on the Fourth run for some holiday fun; the real goal for all three was only a few days later at the Summer Trail Round Up - Race #2 in the Triple Crown of Running. So I'd scheduled the Four on the Fourth as a workout race. Run hard, but it's not all out pace for the distance. Even so, Merideth still set a new PR at that even, slashing over 8:30 from her time the year before. Just goes to show what consistent focus and training can do! Both Shana and Kendall also had good races, setting new marks to shoot for next year.

A few days later, it was down to the Norris Penrose Event Center for the Summer Trail Roundup. This was the second leg of the Triple Crown of Running, so was the target race for Shana, Merideth and Kendall. None of them had raced it before, so they were going out hard for a solid time. Shana wanted a st…

Motivation

At some point with every athlete, the question arises - why? Why am I putting myself through all of this hard work, devoting all my free time to this endeavor? It doesn't matter what sport or level of competition, if you don't have a clearly defined goal for the event or race, it's going to be difficult to see the point of all the training. That's only part of answering the Why. Without understanding the reasons behind your goals - your motivation - it's easy to give up and tell yourself that the goals are meaningless and there's really no point in trying anymore. Questioning the Why can happen after a bad workout, when time limits ability to train or even when friends and family start asking about the events. It can happen after a race when comparing finish times. It doesn't take much bring out the "why I am I doing this?" and it can quickly become a downward spiral as more workouts get missed, esteem drops and so on.

At this point, I ask my athl…

Garden of the Gods 10 Miler

June 11th was another big day for Thelen Coaching athletes, with the first race in the Triple Crown of Running for both Merideth and Shana. The Triple Crown of Running is a Colorado Springs tradition -  highlighting two city parks and finishing with the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon. Because of the challenge of the PPA, it's also one of the few races that requires qualifying prior to entering. The usual method is to run a half marathon faster then 2:25 with the Super Half earlier in the year being one of the favorite qualifying races. Shana had gotten her time there and was set to go. Merideth on the other hand hadn't had the best day and missed the time. She ran under that mark at a later marathon, but it was already past the qualifying window. That left her one option when registering for the Ascent - register for the entire series and use the Garden of the Gods 10 miler as her qualifier. There were no second chances with that option - it was run under 2:10 or forfeit the en…

Dirty Kanza 2017

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I'm a little late in getting this published, but it was another good year for Thelen Coaching athletes in the Dirty Kanza 200. While it was unfortunately not a 100% finishing rate, everyone rode hard and made the smartest choices they could during the race. I had four athletes in the event - two returning finishers and two rookies at the event. Three athletes finished, with one podium in the Tandem division.

Don Wood - captaining the Tandem with his stoker Jesse Ramsey finished one step higher on the podium this year, taking fourth in the tandem class. They rode smart and steady in the hot and dusty conditions this year, finishing in 16:45 and earning the Midnight Club patch for finishing before midnight. Over two hour faster then last year! Granted, it's hard to compare times in a race like DK as the the course changes slightly each year and weather has huge impact on the event. But two hours is a huge improvement and I'm very proud of both Don and Jesse. Even though I do…

Blue Dot Stalking

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March and April have been pretty quiet with regards to races for my athletes - but the races they have been doing have been big ones. Ones that spanned multiple days and utilized the Trackleaders platform to allow for monitoring and following all the athletes - blue dots for the guys and pink dots for the ladies. Hence the term blue dot stalking.

At the end of February, Judd started the Iditarod Trail Invitational 300 - racing from Anchorage to McGrath along the traditional Iditarod dogsled course. There are specific checkpoints that the athletes must reach and a recommended route. Each athlete has to have a minimum of survival and mandatory gear that they have to carry that is checked before the race. Judd is no stranger to winter racing and fat bike racing, with multiple finishes at the Arrowhead 135. But this was his first trip up to Alaska and over twice the distance as Arrowhead. As a rookie, the primary goal was to finish. He had some other goals of course, but finishing was nu…