The end of April saw lots of events and races for Thelen Coaching athletes!
Jen returned to the Rattler Trail Run in North Carolina, where she raced the 10k event again. She had a great race, with a PR of over nine minutes on the challenging trails of San Lee Park in Sanford, NC. Last year at this time, we'd just started working together and the 10k was a hard event for her. This year, even with a greatly reduced training load to allow for the extensive studying required for the Physical Therapy OCS exam, she had a great time and felt strong the entire way. And she placed second among the women for the 10K!
In Colorado Springs, Merideth took on her longest trail race to date, the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race 25k. It's held in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, on a rolling, challenging
course. There's more climbing then it appears on first inspection, with three major climbs and plenty more short, punchy hills. Add in the unexpected technical challenges and it's a harder race then many people realize. Combined with the first really hot day of the spring and that made it even harder since the last half of the course is fairly exposed. Merideth pushed through some mental struggles during the entire event and kept moving forward. She managed the challenges the course provided, drawing on the preparation and training over the last few months. In the end, she preservered and finished in 4:30:32 - a very respectable time for a first 25k on such a hard course. She also proved to herself that success in endurance running comes from mental strength. Having the mental strength to keep forward momentum when things are looking rough will be key for some of the goals later this summer.
|Merideth finishing her first 25k and the longest trail race to date|
Shana returned to the CMTR this year after a severely sprained ankle knocked her out last year. Because of work commitments, she wasn't able to get the training needed for the 25k, so was racing the 10k this year. Even the 10k at CMTR isn't an easy jog in the woods. It climbed up to top of Blackmere, almost reaching the second highest point in the park. For Shana, this was a triumphant return to the trails - a reminder that even though something knocks you down one time when you get back up, you get back up strong and smarter. She had a great time, finishing in 1:19:58
|Shana enjoying her day out on the trails of CMSP in the 10k|
A little further west, Dennis was in Moab to tackle one of his bucket list rides - the White Rim Road of CanyonLands National Park. To finish the White Rim in a Day (WRIAD) and to do it unsupported was something he always wanted to accomplish. Between the huge fitness base the ITI had provided and the perfect weather opening, the end of April was the best chance for this season. To do it unsupported meant carrying over 230 ounces of water - as well as food, spare clothes and gear. A lot of weight to be pedaling around with... Dennis had a great day on the trail, including plenty of photo stops and touristing adventures during the ride. Sometimes it's not about speed - it's about the journey. Even so, Dennis still finished the ride in 12:40 - including the photo stops and touristing. Not bad for solo/unsupported adventures!
|Solo unsupported WRIAD rig from Dennis|
And finally, on the edge of Pacific Ocean, Dianna was running in the Big Sur International Marathon. This was a dream marathon for her, one of those once in a lifetime events due to the lottery that you have to deal with in order to enter. At the start of the year, it was looking questionable due to some major health issues. Then her doctors finally got things under control with some med changes and we were able to to get some solid training done before the race. Again, a large part of endurance running is mental strength and Dianna was able to find her confidence with some hard long runs in the Garden of the Gods. Out in California, she was able to find her pace and make the needed adjustments on fly to finish strong. She put the preparation with gear, nutrition and hydration to good use, as well as learning some important things for her next big race this summer. Even better, she finished with a new marathon PR of 5:40:17! Not many people set PRs on the Big Sur course between the hills and the wind, but she was able to put all the pieces together for a race to be proud of.
|One well worn bib number and the finishers medal from Big Sur|
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