The Champion Next Door Show – Episode 27 with JT Mackay

JT Mackay – Cincinnati, Ohio

JT ran 2:33:04 in his marathon debut at the Old Glory Invitational Marathon on November 1st. He also ran 31:01 at the Minster Oktoberfest 10K. JT ran cross-country and track at Mississippi State where he ran 14:48 for 5K and was 1st Team Academic All-American. He now runs for the Cincinnati-based elite team Cincinnatus Elite.


 

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The Champion Next Door Show – Episode 26 with Julie Mercado

Julie Mercado – Dayton, Ohio

Julie ran 2:53:14 in Houston this year at age 46, which was only her third marathon and her first since running Boston at age 26. She also ran 1:22:01 in November at Indy during her buildup to attempt to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon. Julie was an All-American in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track at Hillsdale College and now runs for Runners Plus Elite. She recently finished as the 3rd female (1:25:26) in the Old Glory Invitational Half Marathon, a local elite race held in Dayton on November 1st.


 

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Recap: Already Loved Trick-or-Trot 5K

Saturday, October 10, 2020 – Lebanon, Ohio

Since my last race back in March, I have focused on training consistently while monitoring the status of many road races. At times I fell into periods of overtraining, using workouts instead of races to prove my fitness. Forced out of my comfort zone, I invested in technology such as my first GPS watch (Coros Apex) and the Stryd foot-pod, which have provided great insights into training load, stress, and recovery.

After aggravating an old achilles injury back in August, I took some down weeks to try to recover and I felt it was time to rip the band-aid off and test myself with a race. The Already Loved Trick-or-Trot 5K provided the perfect opportunity to do that. I figured I could go out and run an honest effort without the stress or pressure of a big race. My goal was to run conservatively and shoot for around 5:10/mile, and then let loose on the third mile if everything still felt okay.

I felt good for the first two miles, things were flowing and I felt relaxed. There was a downhill/uphill during the second mile, which I took conservatively and maintained a steady effort over the hill. On the third mile, a straight shot to the finish with all turns and hills behind me, I felt my right achilles tendon tighten up and the pain was severe. I’ve been managing this injury since 2018, and I really wanted to get a race in, so I made the instant decision to finish. It was a difficult third mile but I decided to hold the pace and consider the damage afterwards.

In hindsight, I probably made the wrong decision, but racing forces you to think and act swiftly. The damage to my achilles was obvious as I could not run, or even walk normally, after the race. I got out of there quickly in order to regroup, put some ice on the tendon to reduce the swelling, and ultimately to jump-start the process of healing. After limping along with this injury sustained back in August, I realized it was time to address the issue head-on and get back to a place where I can resume training injury-free.

I have since resumed Physical Therapy at Mobility Fit, where I spent a lot of time in 2019 overcoming this same injury. They’ve helped me heal, improve my running form, and to strengthen other lower-leg weaknesses. It’s a humbling place, but a place that has been a consistent starting-point for my success.

Next thing on the schedule will be getting healthy so that I can resume training this winter and racing in 2021. Let me know what you’re working towards – drop a note in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram¬†@ohloru. Stay safe, stay healthy, and smash that next race!

Ohio Long Run