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October Results

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.

Merideth prior to the start of the MCM
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 big city marathons and one of the things we'd discussed pre-race - the surface is much harder then what we have available to train on and her feet were having a fit. It's a long day with lots of pounding, and that's only the race time! Include the getting to and from, standing at the starting line waiting to begin running, it's an even longer day. But she pushed through the pain, still finishing with a 24 minute PR and running a 5:20. Only 5 minutes off the goal time she'd set and with a huge PR. That's not easy to do in a big city marathon!

A hard earned finishers medal!
At the end of the month, Jennifer headed to Fayetteville, WV for the Run Around the Gorge. This was her huge challenge for the year - a two day stage race with 27 miles on day one and 15 miles on day two to run around the New River Gorge. She'd done the shorter version the year before and wanted the finish the whole thing this year. What made it even harder was that we were pretty much starting from scratch in terms of volume and intensity. Not only were we having to build up for a marathon, but we had to be able to come back the next day for a 25k. That's a challenge for most athletes. But we were smart about the build, emphasizing continuous forward movement. It would be a long weekend and recovering between the two days would be important. We reviewed pacing, the course, and gear - everything possible for a successful weekend. Day one took a little longer then we'd anticipated, but she finished. In the cold rain and near snow conditions, she made it to the finish. Day two was a little easier and the weather cooperated - staying cold, but dry. Another long day, but another finish and she earned her Run Around the Gorge finishers metal - one of only seven runners who did both long days.

Action shot from Run Around the Gorge

Jennifer and Peter's finisher's medals and his third place award
Finally, Shana and Chandler traveled to Gunnison for the Sage Burner 28k. Shana had originally planned on attempting the 50k for her first ultra, but life got in the way of training and we decided that it would smarter for her to race the 28k and have a great day then stress over making time cutoffs. There will always be another ultra... It was a cold day (20*!) at the start, but both ladies were prepared. We'd reviewed the course in depth, the aid stations, gear and clothing options and I was confident that they would have a great day in Hartmans Rocks. What I wasn't expecting was for them to settle in and run together for most of the race! They both finished in great times and more importantly had fun for the entire race. With some of life's major issues adding to the stress of training, it was good to see them both take a break and enjoy the race. It's not always about fast times - sometimes it's more important to enjoy one step at a time and make some new friends along the way.
Rachel, Shana and Chandler joined by LM after the Sage Burner 28k

Super proud of everyone reaching their goals and accomplishing milestones this past month. Time for some well deserved and much needed recovery before we start plotting for 2018! Want in on the fun for the 2018 season? Click on coaching services to learn more and decide if now is the time to move beyond just training and start developing the skills and learning preparation to help achieve success!