Attack of the Pikermi Princesses

My unofficial running club has had its name revoked because apparently we run too much. So, we are now the Pikermi Princesses (if you dont know what a Pikermi is, please read this) and we even have a team shirt that’s being made as I type this post! It was a big running weekend: Ellie had her first 10k Saturday morning and Julie, Shannon and I were doing an 8k Sunday afternoon (Ellie was doing the fun run the day after her 10k – rock star!). Plus I had to fit in an 17mile run in between the two.

Rock Star Ellie Kills her 10k

Ellie chose the Cary Distance Festival 10k for her first. The poor thing was in a panic last week after she “pulled a Julie” (looked up last year’s results) and realized she was competing in a small, fast race. I kept telling her I’d trip someone before I’d let her be last but apparently that’s too Tonya Harding and we’re classier than that. Shannon and I came up with the brilliant idea of volunteering rather than just showing up to cheer and somehow managed to not tell Ellie, which is a huge accomplishment for us!
It was an early morning for a Saturday – we had to be there by 8 am. I forgot to eat breakfast before I got there and the Town of Cary is the most annoyingly planned city in the world so I was a grumpy bear by the time I got there. We all managed to be on time (small miracle) however, there was no volunteer coordinator at the volunteer check in so we waited, and waited, and waited. Shannon finally asked one of the old men if he knew what was going on, and luckily he knew someone who did. We originally thought we’d be at a water station or spread out….but we ended up putting on official looking orange vests and protected the runners by blocking traffic. Apparently you have to be at least 18 to block traffic and the man made my day by asking me if I was old enough (if you listen closely you can hear Shannon and Julie rolling their eyes)!!
Julie and Shannon. The only thing Julie stopped was Shannon from chasing down the motorcycle cop speeding up and down the road.
Shannon and me. I’m more official because I have a whistle!
Our reputation apparently proceeded us because we were managing most empty intersection ever! Luckily it was full of runners and we had our hands full cheering, which is way more fun anyway. We had runners coming at us from both directions. It’s actually harder to enthusiastically cheer for every runner than you’d think and we repeated the same lines over and over (actually, I stole Shannon’s) but we did it as loudly and excitedly as we could. About 10 minutes after the main 5k pack passed through, a man came walking down the hill. He walked with a severe limp, sometimes assisted his effort with a cane, and there was a race bib on his chest. I can’t imagine what kind of courage it took him to sign up for a 5k but he obviously had an amazing spirit because as we cheered for him, he unleashed a bright smile and asked “Do you think they will wait for me?” We said of course and he continued without missing a beat. I had goosebumps as we watched him walk down the road – he was so inspiring.
The amazing man finished the 5k to the loudest cheers!
Ellie killed her 10k! We got to see her twice because of our spot on the out and back portion of her course. She looked just as strong coming back – she’s a rock star!! I guess we weren’t too embarrassing because she even told her fellow runners that we were her girls. Thanks for claiming us as we jump and yell like crazies!
Smiling after 6 miles 

Marathon Training 

What better way to get pumped for a obnoxiously long run by watching and cheering for a race? The plan was to head from my house and do a 17 mile out and back loop. Unfortunately I have the attention span of a poodle so when I saw a sign for a greenway I’d been wanting to try, I took a detour and ended up farther from home than I meant. It was a hilly run – according to the USATF Website I went 18.6 miles. I can’t wait to try out that route with my new Garmin (finally arrived two days after this run) and play with the report (wow, I’m a loser). Despite the hills it was a pretty solid run and I managed to run pretty decently at the end. Since I live near a busy intersection, I always get in strides at the end of all my runs as I sprint to make the lights before people trying to turn get too tempted to hit me. Although I was able to “sprint” home, my legs started to lock up when I stopped and I ended up having to crawl up my stairs. The evening schedule was to foam roll and stretch like crazy so I wouldn’t be too sore for the 8k the next day, however, next time I think I can do something as stupid as a race the day after a 18+ mile run, I’ll remember to put eating on the schedule too!

RR: St Patty’s Day Run Green 8k
This was supposed to be a fun run with the girls. The race came with a free pint glass, a drink ticket good for a beer, a post race street party with a band, and it’s logo was a leprechaun running with a beer in his hand – in what way was this race not made for me? Unfortunately, my schedule wouldnt accommodate the long run any other day but Saturday and at the end of the day marathon training is more important than a silly old 8k but I can’t help wishing the weekend had played out differently.
Surprisingly, I wasnt sore at all on race day and I was walking around like a normal person. Being notoriously late, I got to the start about 10 minutes before gun time…so there wasn’t enough time to take cute pics of my outfit. I had on knee high socks with shamrocks, a green garter, black shorts, green tank top, shot glass suspenders, green barrettes in my hair, and shamrock stickers on my face. Ellie and her husband showed up to support us. Ellie did the fun run around the square while her husband (we call him “the coat rack” now) held our stuff. I was feeling good at the start and, while I was expecting to be slower than my last 8k time of 47:31, I had no idea how much Saturday’s run would effect me.
They did a semi waved start, which was nice considering how crowded it felt. We were all towards the back, which sucked because it made me weave around all these people for the first mile or so. I actually kept up with Tiffany for the first mile and was feeling pretty decent until I suddenly ran out of gas. It was like someone flipped a switch or unplugged me. I went from feeling great to feeling hollow. My legs felt heavy and while my heart rate was still low and my breathing was fine, everything felt like a huge effort. I toughed it out managing just under 10 min miles for another 2 miles when at mile 3 I had to do the unthinkable – I walked! I hadn’t walked during a race since my horrible RnR VA Beach half. Not even the hilly and miserable Thunder Road HM made me walk. I’m getting tough. I’m too Shera to walk. But I walked. It wasn’t even a hilly section of the race. A minute later I told myself to stop being a pansy and run but only made it about another half mile before I was walking again.
I repeated this cycle until I finally turned the corner and saw the finish line. It was on a slight down hill and I swear it was illuminated with a choir singing “Hallelujah!” Someone must have plugged me back in because I booked it to the finish without any problems. Really Jen,  you couldn’t have found that energy earlier?? Arg. Disappointing 53:26 finish. The route was really hilly but I know I wouldnt have done about the same on a flat course so I can only blame myself for going through that. Not only was I slow – I was miserable and it was supposed to be fun. Adding to my grumpy feeling about the race, my chip didnt scan at the start so I had to email the race director with the start times of my friends. Luckily he changed my time without a fight – I’d hate to start flexin the guns on an innocent man!
Ellie, the coat rack, and Tiffany were all at the finish cheering. Ellie blew her whistle like a rock star and it was great to have friends cheering as I came in. The coat rack informed me that my phone had been vibrating and it was Tobi! Of course she killed the race and was already chilling while I was sweating like I was in a freakin gatorade commercial. She’s such a cutie! Too bad she had to round up two crazy boys otherwise I might have kidnapped her to the bar with us 
I had props in my bag to decorate St Kat! Congrats girl!
The post race party was super crowded and the line for the free beer wasn’t worth it so we waited in line for our pint glasses and headed to a nearby bar. We are cheap dates – 1 beer and we were pretty much ready for bed! At least I was…but I made sure to eat something first!!! I have to say it’s not smart being a race addict while marathon training…but looking back on the after party, I wouldnt have missed this race for anything. Overall, I’d say the Pikiermi Princesses had a pretty darn good weekend!

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