Race Report: Raccoon Mountain 10k and Life Update!

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” – Henri Nouwen

Wow, it’s sure time for an update! Hold on for the ride, this will be a little jumpy! After the bittersweet finish in IMMT, I was completely set on racing again. I still had fire in my belly and wanted to see what I could do, especially on the run. Well, after a few weeks, two jobs, and trying to train seriously, my body has told me it’s had enough. Even getting 9+ hours of sleep a night, I was utterly exhausted, stressed and pretty unhappy. So IMCozumel is now off the table. I’m definitely still have the fire, but it’s going to have to wait. Still working on the race plan for next year. In the meantime, I’m going to keep training and have a few ‘mini’ breaks during the holidays! I’m definitely feeling good about it.

I also traveled to Chattanooga TN to cheer Doug and (my athlete) Dana at IMChoo. While there, Alex and I participated in the Raccoon Mountain 5k and 10k. I honestly may have been not 100% in on the race (honestly just wanted to relax), however it was truly a blessing in disguise. The Chattanooga Track club was so warm and welcoming especially as it was rainy and really windy. The race was well run except for a slight delay in the race start – their equipment truck was stolen! Once underway, the course was closed to traffic (or no one was up on the mountain), miles were marked and everyone was supportive.

As I previously said, the course was on top of a mountain and honestly I was glad Alex was there (right? Races are totally better with friends!). I picked her up on Saturday AM (someone else needed to sleep in and relax because of a silly ironman.. ;)) and we made the trek. Little did I notice there wasn’t much gas in the car on the way up.. more on that… But we made it with plenty of time. After a mini panic attack (probably more on my part) about the gas situation and what time zone we were in (our phones had different times!).. we finally got our packets and relaxed a little bit before warming up.

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Love our adventures!

Warm up went smooth and I felt pretty decent. I was looking forward to seeing what I could do. Once the race went off, it was pretty smooth. The 5k and 10k start at the same time and start together so it was going to be interesting who was going to go left(5K) and right (10K) when we got to the first mile (6:38). I started off with a group of 7 men, hoping I could hang and they could block the wind for me, but got gapped a little at the mile – where 2 of them went left instead of right. So I was in  6th place and the goal was to maintain that position.

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Once we turned right the headwind was so strong it was causing the rain to stay on my eyelashes. I won’t lie – I was pretty annoyed and didn’t want to race the 10k anymore haha (mile 2: 6:59 – thanks to the wind and hills). However, I let the negative thoughts go and really wanted to make this a hard effort. I started focusing on the mile I was in and that was it. At mile 3 (6:30) I could hear some feet behind me and really started to get competitive. Most of the race I was solo so I actually welcomed the feetsteps behind me, it kept me honest with myself and focused on the task.

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Also after mile three – a half mile uphill. It hurt AND he caught me (mile 4- 7:06). Mile 4 to 5 was almost all downhill – I caught back up. Mile 5 (6:26) is where I decided I really wanted to make it hurt and started a move to the finish (Mile 6: 6:06). I was 1st Female and 6th OA (41:32 – a Road 10k PR). My favorite part about the race was the Chattanooga Runners that were present. They were genuinely interested in us and seemed to loved having us Ithacans in their race! Alex also had a great race – she has been having some ups and downs, but being able to run together is something that I love!

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Always Awkward Getting Interviewed

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Turns out it was the TN State Road 10k!

Oh- remember the gas situation – good thing we were on a mountain – put the car in neutral and we gave it plenty of encouraging words as we made down the mountain and to the gas station. Phew. The rest of the day was to college football, relaxing and helping Doug prepare for his race. Not to mention checking in with Dana for her first Ironman!! 🙂

Ironman Morning was rough. Like any good sherpa I was up at 4 and didn’t get to sleep until after 12. It was great spectating and cheering, definitely made me want to get out there and race again. It was hard to not sign up the next day. I loved meeting new friends, friends from Team Coeur/Social Media (Yay Heidi!!), and cheer on all the athletes. Doug had a good race, fortunately no bike issues and ran a PR in the marathon. Dana handled the day like a rock star and was smiling, positive and from what she tells me LOVED every second of it – she crushed the course and *jumped* through the finish line (Jury is out on how high the jump was).

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Doug Getting after it.

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Dana and I!

Additionally, three more of my athletes crushed their races today at the Empire State Half and Full Marathon! BrieLynn PR’ed in the half after a crazy couple of months during grad school and Liz tackled and dominated her first half marathon. Let’s also not forget about Lindsey who handled her first marathon like a champ with a TON of smiles. It was so fun out there cheering for them! Oh! Did I mention I didn’t hear any of them complain about the weather – ya know 77 last monday and SNOW on race morning! Complete champs!!

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(R-L: Liz, BrieLynn, Lindsey and myself!)

Next for me? I officially got into the 2016 Boston Marathon! I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get in even as I did BQ at wineglass, but it was such a rough race and I wasn’t *that* far under the standard. But – you know me, I had another plan in mind, which is now just going to have to wait! 🙂 At least something big is on the table 🙂 Now until then? Training to stay in shape, some road races – like the annual turkey trot, enjoying time with family and friends, having fun with Doug, getting work done, and finishing the Cross Country season with the Cornell Ladies (LGR).

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Love a perfect fall bike ride in October!

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Puppy Snuggles – the Best

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Apple/Pumpkin Picking with Mom and Doug ❤

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Here’s to a beautiful and fun fall!