The Lake Run – 12k

The Lake Run – 12k, May 6th, 2017
1st in AG
5th Overall
56:40 
3+ min course PR over last year
10K PR within the 12k of 46:53
The Lake Run is such a fun day with so many people from the community coming out. Gorgeous at 46 degrees and 11mph wind. Mitch, the Lake Run, and everyone make this day a great one.
PRE-RACE
Going into this race, I really struggled with whether or not to do the 12K or 7k. While the longer distance seemed better considering the marathon training, I also worried about having heavy legs. And if I can’t get my legs moving, I’d rather that be for a shorter distance than long. Nonetheless, I stuck with the 12k in hopes to at least beat my time from last year… and at most, have a race I can walk away from and feel proud of, coming off of the marathon. (see, I’m basically over it – ha ha )
I plugged my 5K time from St Patty’s to a race predictor calc and it had me between 7:32- 7:35 pace for 12k.  And that assumes you are trained for this race, it’s a decent course, and you didn’t run a full 2 weeks prior. This course has some beautiful rolling hills, and we also had some wind. So going in I told myself to try to start at 7:45 (if I could even pull those out), and if I have anything after the first few miles, whittle my pace down from there. 
Last year was my first time running this and I actually had a friend (Aaron D) share at the start his goal of 8:05 pace and I worked my butt off to hang with him and we kept them all at 8 flat avg. And that was fast for me/for my fitness level last year.  I was trying to remember back to the course, but honestly, I just had vague details of turns and hills and lots of friends 🙂 
Race morning flew by, between catching up with old friends I haven’t seen in a while that were out to run, portapotty line, warm up. Before I knew it, we had 3 minutes before the start and I hadn’t decided on which shoes, hadn’t taken a gel, and hadn’t said my prayers!!  
Decided on the Kinvaras. I knew some other teammates were not wearing their racing flats, partly coming off of the marathon and wanted extra cushion and partly because the 12k is a little longer than what they had been running in the flats. That seemed to make some sense to me, and I had never raced in the Kinvaras and I thought it would be a good trial. Thanks to Saucony for awesome OPTIONS! Here we go!  Prayed + gelled on the way to the line.  Good vibes to my peeps as we waited for the cannon.  
RACE
Cannon went off and I see my fam on the sides cheering.  I head out and about a minute in I see my pace is a shocking 7:10. Freak.ing.idiot.  I start slowing it way down and hear Rick V + Aimee D behind me. Now I know I’m in trouble. These people should not be behind me. Ever.   So I slow down and they chitchat for a little bit and they make a move and I stay back.  And by chit chat, I mean we are all comment on Rachel’s stroller mastery 🙂 I really chilled out in this first mile to make up for the speedy .25. 
3/4 in that 1st mile we slightly turn and hit some wind. I hear a friendly voice come from behind me saying, “hey, you want a wind block?”, it was Andy Huette, gotta love those compassionate pastors 🙂 wind blocking for someone slower than you: perfect example of servant leadership.  We turned another corner and the wind died down and so I came beside him and we had briefly chit chatted.  He was running the half and was keeping the pace in the 7:30s. That was faster than I wanted to go for the first half of this. But I also didn’t have anyone else by me at that point and so I just thought, I am going to hang with him in the 7:30s if I can, and hopefully not die off too miserably.  And if he wants to block some wind for me then that will net out from an effort standpoint.  So I tell myself. 
Mile 1: 7:33
Mile 2: 7:32
Around the start of mile 3, I see Abby Bokus ahead and we catch up with her. I didn’t know it was her for sure until I got closer. Said hi and we exchange some pleasantries. We’ve never really talked at lengths or have even been formally introduced, just lots of mutual friends.  Honestly I didn’t even know if she knew who I was, but when you have a first name like Holly-Rae, and a husband + kids yelling your name on the course, it’s pretty easy to figure out.  🙂 
She was really kind and encouraging and I just wanted to hang out with her until she split for her half. Andy had pulled away and was a little bit in front of us. So Abby and I talked back-and-forth here and there.  She had much more energy to chat and i just nodded and gave thumbs up.  Mainly, I was just hoping I wasn’t going to die out for going faster than my plan.  I didn’t feel miserable – but also didn’t feel like it was a slam dunk to keep this up.  I see my fam cheering for everyone – I love it that they truly enjoy coming out and watching + cheering. I don’t take it for granted!  I get some high fives from my kiddos and smile for the cam.  Also see teammate Andy W out on the course offering some encouragement.  YES!!!!!  I needed it!   When Andy and Abby turned off we exchanged some cheers for one another.  I love this running community.  
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Mile 3: 7:29
Mile 4: 7:43
At this point, I’m thinking “Halfway there. I’m solo…  I know I’m going to have to work hard now without friends, and I went out a little faster than I wanted”. My goal was to try to just focus on each mile and hang on as much as I could. Took a gel at 4 mi, was carrying my own water (which is growing on me). I saw a group of guys ahead of me and worked hard to slowly shorten the gap and catch them. The whole time I was just praying they did not have some obnoxious cologne once I got to them (frosty 5k flashbacks). Thank God, once I got to them the coast was clear and no rancid old spice to be found. or smelled.    
Mile 5: 7:34
Mile 6: 7:37
The guys were very nice and we exchanged some encouragement.  Once we turned that corner at 5.5 it was like BAM, wind is baaaaaack.  I was side by side with one of the guys, with the other guy behind us (later learned is Damon Dusin).  We got in a line and Damon moved in front of me.  So I’m at the back.  Then the guys switch places, Damon leads.  The guy right in front of me now, is slowing down more and more.  I didn’t know if I should slow down WITH HIM to conserve for the finish, or barrel thru.  I decided to give him a break and move in front of him, and also pick the pace back up a little and make sure I can stay with Damon. Over time on that windy straightaway, I realize we are pulling further away from the 3rd guy in our group.  Broke my heart, I have been there!  I hated to do that, but did not want to lose too much ground in this wind!  So then it was just me and Damon, and the wind was bizarre and it didn’t feel like a straight headwind, I really couldn’t find the perfect spot to get a perfect block, but it was definitely helpful. Because Carol has taught me well out at the windy hills at my house, in terms of the protocol and racing manners with drafting…I knew I needed to give him a break.  I told him I would take the lead and push some.  HE LAUGHED AT ME.  He said you are a tiny person and wouldn’t help me anyway, just take advantage of my height + width.  (He had a good foot on me at least – short girls probs).  I told him I really would try and give him a break, I didn’t want to take advantage… but he wouldn’t let me get in front, and honestly I think I would have just slowed him down.  So… I just kept working hard to stay with with him. I figured even if he was going faster I probably should be at this point, it has to even out effort-wise, having the wind block.  So I hung on. 
So this next part – I debated even sharing because it’s really embarrassing. But whatevs. Somewhere along the line I did bad math, or just spaced out, but I thought that this 12k was EIGHT MILES.  So after seeing splits come across in the 7:30-7:40 range, I wondered what kind of crazy magic trick I could pull to avg 7:30 overall and get sub 60 min timeline.  7minx8 miles = 56 min. 8minx8 miles = 64 min.  Land in the middle and get sub 60.  Somehow that time goal got in my mind around 6.5 and I really wanted to push and make it happen. Damon must have noticed a pick up or maybe I made a face 🙂  because he asked me what my goal was and I replied “I’d really love a miracle finish and get it under 60 min.”  And of course, he knew that this thing was over at 7.5 miles, and of course we were on track to do sub 60 min.  He didn’t say all of that, just said “oh you for sure got that, you will do that no problem”.  and I’m thinking, for a guy who doesn’t know me, he must think I have another gear to pull… but I don’t. I’m tapping out. I can’t pull 7 min pace for the last 1.5 (I’m thinking).  HA!  See above. freak.ing.idiot.
My watch dinged at 7… I knew where we were on the course, and man, it sure didn’t seem like the finish was a mile away.  so perplexed.  but we were getting close to that last turn and so i started to kick it up a notch.  After the turn and see the finish, i knew I screwed up the distance and it wasn’t 8 miles. 🙂  I don’t know what I would have done different – maybe I could have turned it up sooner. but honestly – I felt like I was out of gas.  I didn’t have anything left, so thank God it was only 7.5!
Mile 7: 7:30
Last .5: 3:42 
POST-RACE
I found my fam at the end and got some hugs and warmer clothes on.  We hung briefly – I knew it was cooler than it felt and I would tighten up if I didn’t move.  I had several people I wanted to cheer in a little bit and so decided to do a quick cool down out on the course and cheer.  I see Carol had the same thought and was running her mom in !!!  LOVE IT!  On my way back the timing worked and I got to see Clint and cheer for him, probably when he had .75 left.  See blurry pics – he’s so freaking fast even at this point in a half.  This race is so fun because so many people come out – several friends ran for the first time, people I only see once a year out here, a group of girlfriends doing their first half… just an awesome picture of our community of runners.  I was super thankful to have people almost every step of the way during this race.  The course isn’t easy, but it is B E A U T I F U L!  I genuinely enjoy cheering for people and seeing others do their best and overcome new challenges.  I loved passing out water and helping at the finish – the segment I did this was for a lot of people that were crossing for the first time.  And I loved hearing and seeing how everyone else did.  Often Running Racing Team rocked it!
WHAT I LEARNED
  • My body can recover from a marathon pretty decently.  I thank all the plants in my diet.
  • Don’t stress about which distance to run. No one cares. 🙂
  • I really am better running with people. Even if I don’t know them 🙂 I do best with a village.  I’m going to have to do some training to overcome this because every race doesn’t work out this way.  But super thankful when they do 🙂
  • The Kinvaras felt great – and I made the right choice on no sleeves for these temps. 
  • I CAN start/stop my Garmin accurately, with a little focus! ha! I was right on the dot on my time!  But I liked my pace according to Garmin (7:33 for 7.51) compared to my pace according to the race results (7:35). 
Celebrating this race as a victory!!  Last year I was 3rd AG and this year I took the age group. This is a good pace for me, on any day, much less 2 weeks post marathon and with this course + wind. Even though I wanted to do that shorter loop, there’s goodness in comparing my time from last year.  THREE MINUTE PR!  I really have to give a shout out to Clint for this – I know this 12k reaped the benefits of his marathon coaching. And also have to give credit to my awesome team that has given me so much confidence + love.  Thanks, once again to Mitch, Often Running, and Saucony.  
And I have to give some shout outs to all of the awesome people out there running – so many fun, awesome people – from my trail girl Tanya GiaHOTTIE (2 in AG), to Bev Nelson (awesome bible study leader!), Denise Jovanovich, Aaron Damkoehler, Emily Zeller (thanks for laughin at me), preacher Andy Huette who rocked his half marathon, Seanan my long time friend- with his comeback at the Lake Run, Rick V bringing all his smart alleck wisom, Todd Harmon (bleeding green with me), Jennifer Williams, Rachelle Leuty (rocking the stroller!) and hub Ryan, Courtney Zell, Gene Harding with his dance moves at the finish, Abby B who is another 100 mile hero, Amy Meiss who finished her first half, Erin Stombauhh (awesome tri-valley teacher!), not to mention all of my teammates, Amber, Carol, Clint, Gary, Jeremy, Joe, Rachel, Steve – all who had a great day and AG placed.  And another awesome race, timed by Eric @ IRT – always fab.   I know I didn’t get a chance to visit with everyone – but loved seeing everyone and being part of an awesome midwest group of runners!
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